Manufacturing & Hitech
In a future-ready high-tech enterprise, ‘return on innovation’ is the new ROI, being ‘dynamic’ is the new ‘static,’ and product engineering is the ‘new shop floor.’ It’s possible. But how can companies get here? The opportunity lies in keeping pace with the rate of change in market needs and business strategies, while successfully navigating a continuous cycle of new business models and better operational execution.
The differentiator for high-tech companies, however, lies in understanding changing needs and responding through an integrated dynamic approach – enabling them to craft the future while others follow.
Automotive enterprises need to get on the fast track to the future in if they are to capitalize on market opportunities. These opportunities come with new market dynamics that help enterprises catch up on the road to sustained success.
Structural changes brought on by the recent downturn have made the industry more resilient. To succeed in a post-crisis world, companies need to build loyalty with the new digital consumer. They need to put:
- Engineering integration in overdrive
- Exploration of new models of commerce in top gear
- Supply chain agility on the fast lane
Challenges and opportunities
Changing consumers: Tastes change with time. And tomorrow’s environmentally-conscious vehicle buyer will have different priorities, making decisions based on peer recommendations and wanting to co-create while being digitally connected. This calls for automakers to re-orchestrate the consumer ecosystem to build and retain the loyalty of new buyers.
Integrating new technologies: Automotive engineers are tasked with integrating newer technologies in the vehicle more quickly than ever, driven by the need to stay connected on the road and by green movements. Leveraging talent and practices from non-automotive industry base will be essential to ride this new wave of product innovation.
Connected vehicles: Tomorrow’s vehicle will be an extension of the owner’s lifestyle, leaving the door open for a digital channel for an array of products and services. Automakers need to tap into this opportunity and create new revenue streams with innovative offerings requiring new models of commerce.
Smarter supply chains: Agility in reacting to shifting markets and demand patterns, information visibility, and resilience to adverse situations will characterize smarter supply chains of tomorrow. Because being ‘just efficient’ is not enough anymore.
New growth markets: What works in one place will not work in another. Rapidly evolving infrastructure, economic thresholds, and consumer behavior in emerging economies will drive product and process innovations required for success and local innovations.
Core vs. context: Now, more than ever, high-tech enterprises need to focus on what they do best: understand the market and build for the future. For the rest, there are partners — whether it’s product assembly, third-party logistics, or payroll. This helps reduce capital expenditure, addresses variability of business, and ensures that the focus stays where it should – on the core.
Supply chain complexity: Outsourced manufacturing bases, forecasting demand, exponential SKU growth, and a global customer base are variables that add to the challenging task of managing an increasingly complex high-tech supply chain. But this supply chain also holds the key to customer satisfaction, inventory turns, and most importantly: operational effectiveness.
Continuous evolution of technology: Sociotechnological forces like the shift from desktop to mobile computing, the emergence of developing economies, the personalization of customer engagements, and increasing bandwidth have created an enormous opportunity for high-tech enterprises to innovate their business models, product lines, and customer service processes.
Product engineering is the new shop floor: For traditional manufacturing companies, addressing efficiency and quality issues through lean and Six Sigma was the norm. High-tech companies face a new normal – their ‘shop floor’ comprises product engineering divisions spread across the globe. To enhance throughput of products and new intellectual property, the way forward is to create collaboration platforms, build reusability, and use standard operating tools and procedures.