Vehicle manufacturers in today’s economy face one of the most demanding environments in automotive history, and it doesn’t look to be getting better any time soon, with all signs pointing to increasing complexity in the market, operations and IT. Aggressive competition, shrinking traditional markets, increasing production costs and the remnants of overcapacity create a playing field rich with challenges. However, this also creates an opportunity for strategic companies to outpace the competition.
The results of a recent global IDC Manufacturing Insights survey suggest that in this business environment, automotive manufacturers are looking to be able to make faster, better decisions in order to implement a well-balanced strategy that combines cost containment with growth opportunities. Enterprise technology is uniquely positioned to help automotive companies achieve these goals.
To remain profitable in an increasingly competitive global environment, companies need strategies, processes, and systems that enable greater visibility into operations and more responsive supply and demand chains
The survey further notes that nearly 65% of automotive manufacturers recognise that the IT systems they have in place are ineffective or inadequate to support the fast decision making required in today’s complex business environment. The information needed to make important decisions is stored in multiple IT systems, and, looking along the supply chain, companies are feeling the pressure of not having adequate integration and data sharing with partners.
To remain profitable in an increasingly competitive global environment, companies need strategies, processes, and systems that enable greater visibility into operations and more responsive supply and demand chains. In addition, companies need greater flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing markets and new customer demands.
Furthermore, per the IDC survey, nearly 60% of automotive respondents acknowledge that their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system does not offer any collaborative feature, and they point to this as the limitation to achieving faster decision making. Over the coming years, more than 80% of respondents want ERP that can streamline business processes, improve collaboration and support them in achieving operational excellence.
Organisations are positioning themselves in a way that helps them stay competitive in uncertain economic conditions, focus on the core business, and be faster and more responsive
IDC Manufacturing Insights identifies four ‘IT forces’ – cloud computing, social business, mobility and Big Data analytics – that will enable this change in technology. More than 90% of respondents think that the four IT forces will change the way they work in the near future, a further 35% of which believe these changes will be absolute.
Such strong interest amidst a chaotic market indicates that many automotive organisations are likely to make foundational investments in technologies designed with these four initiatives in mind to improve the value of their IT systems, and in particular, their ERP system. Organisations are positioning themselves in a way that helps them stay competitive in uncertain economic conditions, focus on the core business, and be faster and more responsive.
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Automotive World Ltd.
Kevin Piotrowski is Vice President of global business development at Infor.
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