By Ravi Pandit on 17 July 2009
The 4cs I spoke about last week are pushing our customers towards major actions on 3 fronts:-
1. Speed to Market: to survive and prosper in the new world, our customer wants – shorter time to conceptualise and create new products and shorter time to deliver the products to the customers.
2. Product Differentiation: a “me-too” product doesn’t attract customers’ attention. The product either should be different in key areas to give it a sense of uniqueness or should solve a customer’s individualised needs.
3. Cost: getting all of the above at a lower cost than before is priority. By lower cost, I don’t mean just the cost of purchase, but the cost during the total product life-cycle.
These customer demands open doors for some new services, while closing them for some old legacy ones. From my interactions with the many automotive corporations we partner with, I believe the top areas they would like to see change in, are
1. Product Design - Major changes in the design of products and also the process of product design. There would be significantly more electronics in all products as customers ask for fuel efficiency, emission reduction, or even product customisation. A greater degree of value engineering would be required to achieve weight, design-time and cost reduction; this will be driven by materials technology combined with Computer Assisted Engineering. The demand for collaborative software-driven product development will increase as companies build their product expertise globally.
These portend significant opportunity for electronic hardware designing, embedded software development, mechanical engineering as well as PLM practices. Our advanced technical solution group and PLM practice are well placed to build on these opportunities.
2. Manufacturing will change dramatically as it globalises and drives towards faster delivery and lower cost. We should see far reaching changes in shop-floor management as well as in overall supply chain management. We believe that our PLM & MES practices will address a part of the needs of our customers in this space
3. Business Processes – Customers want to see significant changes in how their business processes deliver results. The process improvements will be driven by demands for cost and time reduction and greater customer satisfaction. While customers would need to improve their process through implementation of standard ERPs, there would be greater focus on business process improvements, shared services and SaaS. Our Business IT services as well as Global Business Solution services will be targeted towards meeting the needs of our customers in this domain.
Fundamentally, our customer will look for efficiency and innovation. For a few quarters there would be a lull, but when the spending tap opens, the customer’s key criteria would be efficiency and innovation.
How do we get ready to serve our customers in this new world? Where do we need to excel?
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