Meeting customer demands through connectivity and market diversity

As the world slowly emerges from pandemic-driven lockdowns, social distancing and remote home offices; modes of daily transportation will be a top-of-mind issue for both working and socializing. Aside from being prepared to meet this expanding market, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must be proactive in meeting customer demands—which are becoming more and more individualized. That means it is crucial that automotive manufacturers know what those customer demands are and how they will be presented. Shopping and buying trends can be tracked through key technologies of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to know and prepare for these demands.

After collecting and interpreting these critical shopping trends, OEMs must provide digital platforms where customers can seamlessly interact with products and sellers. The platform is the hub for gathering all information around customers, products, services, suppliers and partners (see image below). Collecting data in these areas is the basis for intelligent data analytics and using artificial intelligence. Ultimately, the OEM should put forward a market presence optimized in developing, producing and selling the right product at the right scale, highlighting the brand’s strongest quality proposition in the best configuration and at the right time. Anticipating customers’ demands even before they articulate what they want is the goal of proactive analytics and AI.

Automotive manufacturers can better meet customer demands by preparing to deliver on two concepts that will shape the marketplace of the immediate future—digital connectivity and sales diversification.

Connectivity as a new premium

When buyers are digitally connected with a marketplace, relationships arise from interactions and engagements that foster a sense of empowerment, effectively helping the buyer want to complete the transaction. Being connected to customers also supports individualized services and products.

Connectivity is the key to seamless integration of people with their cars, from shopping and buying to accessing smart-home systems during commute time.

Connectivity is the key to seamless integration of people with their cars, from shopping and buying to accessing smart-home systems during commute time.

Furthermore, connectivity is the key to a seamless integration of cars with the OEM to provide additional remote services, predictive maintenance and to collect data regarding the quality of several measurable features in the vehicle.

Last but not least, connectivity is a fundamental piece of the puzzle on the roadmap to autonomous driving. The thoughtful application of new methods and software systems will help OEMs design service strategies and develop end-to-end digital systems for vehicle platforms.

Market diversification

To make the most of each market’s potential, sellers need a stronger diversification plan for premium vehicles in primary markets like the EU, US and China based on regional values and/or individual needs. This diversification may manifest in changes to the dealer organization from on-premises sales to an expanded online showroom, for example. A robust digital experience before, during and after the sale is the minimum expectation for modern car buyers.

Digital business platforms, customer relationship optimization, contact center/customer service tools and user experience design are a few of the ways the automotive industry can develop and support stronger market diversification — and meet customers on their terms.

For a more detailed discussion of meeting customers on their terms, please download our paper, “Who needs to own a car? Changing mobility needs and their impact on the automotive industry.”

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About Matthias Böhmer
Co-Head of Global Manufacturing Consulting and Head of Manufacturing Consulting Central Europe

Matthias has held several positions for Atos Consulting and gained his practical experience in many different projects in the automotive industry, in discrete manufacturing and in the energy and utilities sector. Among others he has been a driving force behind projects with Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), Bosch, ZF Friedrichshafen, and the Daimler European Data Center.
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About Steve Cockerill
Vice President and Consulting Partner, Global Manufacturing

Steve is an experienced business technologist with over twenty-five years of technology and digital consulting experience gained in the Manufacturing, CPG, Automotive and Telecoms sectors. He has held several international consulting and blue-chip roles, leading multi-country consulting and programme delivery teams to support clients across the UK, Europe and the US. Steve is an Atos patent holder for his work upon real-time analytics in the Rail industry.
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