The Automotive sector is currently undergoing a multi-level transformation as manufacturers reshape their systems and processes to improve resilience, flexibility, and agility while continuing to meet ever-changing global demand. As some of the leaders of digitalization, successful automotive manufacturers are leaning on technology to help them reduce costs, increase revenue, and drive efficiency.
The last few years brought unprecedented levels of volatility to manufacturers in general, and to the automotive sector in particular. As a result of the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and rising inflation, automotive manufacturers have faced a multitude of supply problems including semiconductor shortages, global supply chain issues, and production shutdowns. In addition, consumer demand has rarely been as tough to predict, especially when considering historically high prices for both vehicles and the gas to run them, as well as increasing interest in electric vehicles (EVs).
Automotive organizations need to be focused on strategies to improve supply chain resilience and efficiency, whether that’s sourcing supplies nearer to home, carrying more inventory, or predicting and mitigating potential risks. They need to explore and pursue sustainability efforts including ethical sourcing, sustainable vehicles, and a low carbon footprint. And they need to explore next-generation vehicle approaches, such as shared mobility, mobility as a service (MaaS), connected cars, and advanced driver assistance systems.
To do all of that, automotive manufacturers need to become more agile, improve lean manufacturing processes, and prepare themselves and their operations for all eventualities—especially as products become more and more complex.
As digital transformation trendsetters, automotive manufacturers understand that digitalization enables resilience because it enables work from anywhere and collaboration with anyone. A flexible, secure, cloud-based work platform, especially when enabled with virtual simulation tools, generates accelerated cycle times, fewer late changes, and improved transparency throughout the product lifecycle. Digital twins—virtual representations of physical objects or systems—can be created for products, performance, and production to result in fewer physical prototypes and test facilities, more predictability in performance, fewer production complications, and a greater likelihood of delivering what consumers are looking for.
Every company in the Automotive sector wants to do better with less. Those that embrace a digital transformation are the most likely to succeed in achieving agility and flexibility in product development and manufacturing, innovating products, and reducing costs.