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On Cloud: Accelerating Innovation & Collaboration In Automotive Industry

By Murali Manohar, Senior Director and General Manager, India Subcontinent, Infor,

Added 20 September 2022

With the growing demand for smart mobility, cloud connectivity possesses capabilities for supply chain transformation top-down. Read to know how.

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With India being one of the largest passenger car manufacturing countries in the world, auto manufacturers are constantly innovating to keep pace with evolving trends. Today, customers are increasingly demanding smart mobility as well as uncompromised safety and quality in vehicles. This has resulted in leading OEMs incorporating advanced cutting-edge technologies to stay ahead of the innovation curve.

In the past few years, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things have been revolutionising the automotive industry, which was once part of only luxury and high-end car models. However, intelligent automation is fostering innovation in the sector, leading to connected cars and services becoming a reality in India. While the connected cars market is still in the developing stage in the country, it is anticipated to grow to $32.5 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 22.2 per cent between 2019-2025, according to the report by Research and Markets.

The drastic rise in changing business models and uncertainties has made supply chains increasingly complex. To manage disruptions and ensure supply chain continuity, automakers are realising the need to modernise their legacy systems to drive competitive differentiation. By leveraging flexible cloud technologies, production and logistics processes can be optimised to build a more robust and agile business. Harnessing modern collaborative tools and cloud connectivity has thus become essential to drive efficiency across the supplier network and keep operations moving.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPLY CHAIN

A functioning supply chain is the basis of efficiClent production. Suppliers provide the manufacturer with a wide variety of components - from simple parts to complex hardware and software. This makes it all the more important to build a well-thought-out supplier network based on a strategic sourcing plan. Close cooperation and real-time insights into the supply chain increase confidence in the logistics processes and even boost efficiency.

In this context, the return on investment (ROI) of suppliers is becoming increasingly important for the supply chain. However, it is no longer only traditional parameters such as costs that count; the strategic selection of reliable and well-known suppliers also contributes to customer loyalty.

REACTING IN REAL-TIME TO CURRENT DEMAND

Transparency via valid data streams and evaluation in real time helps both manufacturers and suppliers to react agilely to changing demand situations. This way, they can keep costs and margins under control and adapt to new trends in time. Manufacturers recognise interruptions in the value chain and can react earlier to disruptions caused by external influences. This is achieved, among other things, through the concept of a visual supply chain that can be displayed in the cloud at different locations, for example - in real-time. In this way, all those involved always have an insight into current events.

At this point, it is also advisable to use systems that enable seamless transparency across the entire supply chain. They improve cooperation between manufacturers and suppliers and thus increase the efficiency of all work steps. Once full transparency is achieved within these processes, the supply chain can also be extended. For example, manufacturers can incorporate the needs of end consumers into their planning and develop new services or business models. And thanks to the connection with cloud technology, such an adaptation of the processes is possible for all parties involved in a timely manner.

GLOBAL QUALITY STANDARDS THROUGHOUT SUPPLY CHAIN

Collaboration tools with cloud connectivity are an important foundation for these optimised processes. With the help of these tools, the complexity of supply chains can be managed while the quality of the end product increases. At the same time, quality managers can digitise processes, standardise audit types across the entire company and quickly identify potential problems. The tools continuously collect data, store it in the cloud and enable cross-functional access and evaluation for all stakeholders. Based on the collected data, all processes can be analysed and informed decisions can be made.

As a result, cooperation tools with state-of-the-art cloud technology support the development of trustworthy and global supply networks. In addition, they increase the market position of the manufacturer thanks to the agile action capability and scalability of the supply chain. In combination with assessment tools such as scorecards, common quality control standards (APQP, MMOG, audit control) can be easily implemented and quality management systems (QMS) implemented. This way, companies ensure that their suppliers always meet the highest standards and that all components of the logistics chain are optimally coordinated.

INDUSTRY TRANSFORMATION UNDERWAY

The transformation from an on-premises IT infrastructure to a cloud strategy modernises numerous processes in companies. It also improves supply chain agility. Cloud connectivity gives suppliers and trading partners worldwide access to central supply chain information. This allows companies to scale their production and logistics processes more easily and respond quicken to sudden changes in demand. This means they are well prepared for the increasing pace of innovation in the automotive industry.

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