Without a doubt, the auto industry is going through a digital renaissance. From pre-collision technology, advanced driver assistance, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication to the potential of the driverless car, the possibilities are stunning. But for automakers, this can prove to be a headache as their product lines become increasingly complex as more and more devices and components are incorporated.

Conventional wisdom dictates that the more features you add, the more likely something will go wrong – and no business can afford this. Buyers expect vehicles that are engineered to provide the highest-possible level of safety, driving experience, and reliability. And if you don’t offer them, they will happily go elsewhere to find it.

Maintaining market relevance is more than just offering vehicles that are exciting and capture our imaginations – it’s also about the brand relationship. For most consumers, their direct connection to your brand is the driving experience, sales encounter at one of your dealerships, and the service area. The key is making sure that you deliver quality products, and, if failure happens, run a smooth complaint and resolution process that shows consumers how much you value their business.

By digitally transforming three business areas, you can step up the quality of your brand’s product and consumer experience.

  1. Quality planning and production testing
    Components – individually or as assembled with other devices – are tested throughout design and assembly. When each unit passes testing, it moves down the line for the next step. However, this is only a small part of how companies can benefit from digitizing this process.

    Integrating quality management, from design to delivery, can enable end-to-end testing to detect errors along the way and ensure buyers purchase a quality product. By injecting qualitative and quantitative characteristics into the process, the business adds flexibility to the value chain to support simple and highly complex testing. All results are associated with measured values that are time logged and archived. When an error occurs, all contextual data and history (such as throughput quantities, cycle times, and performance) are accessible for analysis and error handling.

  2. Error handling and resolution
    By connecting claims reporting, processing, analysis, and resolution, the business can get a better view of a vehicle’s performance. Where is the error happening? Is it an isolated event or a widespread design flaw? Or is it a component of assembly error?

    While this insight is advantageous, the real value lies in the car-ownership experience. Once a claim is reported, the message goes to a specialist who determines the best course of action to resolve it. Whether the specialist triggers a work order for the local dealer, requests a mass recall, or allows the car to be returned for market value, consumers only experience a smooth, seamless, and fast process that get them back on the road safely and worry-free.

  3. Quality-related costs
    Traditionally, production and other quality-relat
    ed costs are only visible in its entirety while their exact composition remains hidden. What if you could take a look at those individual components? With digital transformation, you can.

    You would be able to decide the economic impact of quality plans and communicate those findings to development. When development, operations, manufacturing, supply chain, and other related areas can understand the cost of any error, business priorities can be determined with greater clarity, ease, and speed. From this clear structure emerges enormous advantages from triggering financial follow-up processes by analyzing errors, quality costs, and touch points.

Is your automotive business ready for a digital transformation? Find out how SAP Automotive Consulting Solutions can help by visiting www.sap.com/acs.

Contacts: Lukas Hook, SAP Automotive Service Owner for ACS Quality Management

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