IndustriesAutomotive & Manufacturing

Digital disruption takes center stage at Automotive Industry Day

Sometimes it feels like the automotive industry is being turned upside down by digital disruption. In response to these changes, some technology providers appear to be singing the same old song. But at OpenText™, we prefer to take advantage of new technology and prepare our customers to become intelligent and connected enterprises. And for our customers who attended our recent Automotive Industry Day in Detroit, the consensus was clear: it’s time for the automotive industry to embrace digital transformation.

Industry days can be interesting because you’re bringing together manufacturers, suppliers, and logistics partners who can often view each other as competitors. This can lead to people sitting through presentations but not contributing for fear of giving away too many of their secrets. Luckily, when our attendees met at the GM facility in Detroit, there was open and engaging discussion. There is so much change happening within the automotive sector and so many different ways to address it that, I think, a fresh perspective is welcomed.

That’s what we tried to achieve with our Automotive Industry Day. We looked at how established technologies – such as EDI and document management – are evolving to meet today’s digital challenges and how these are combining with newer technologies – like AI and Blockchain – to drive operational efficiency and business innovation.

Learning from real world examples

One thing I always find at events like the Automotive Industry Day is that the companies I speak to have something in common. I call it hype fatigue. There is so much talk about disruptive technologies and the benefits they offer the industry – and this is undoubtedly true – but people want actions more than ideas.

The two questions I hear time and again are: What can you do to help me with this problem? How can you make my life easier? Companies want practical solutions to their real-world problems. That’s what we set out to demonstrate in Detroit. I found it interesting how people responded to discussions on EDI and the use of OpenText™ Business Network to improve business efficiency and supply chain collaboration.

We addressed these questions with presentations from customers on how OpenText solutions were being applied to meet digital requirements in automotive. I have to give special mention here to Mike Nippo from North Star Bluescope Steel for an excellent presentation on how the company is combining AI and analytics to create a disruption dashboard – a means to see at a glance where disruptions may occur in their fulfillment processes and take corrective actions immediately.

A little peak into the future

Of course, we also talked about the future—not just about how fast technologies such as AI, IoT and Blockchain are maturing, but how they can be applied to dramatically transform operations for an automotive company. During the event, we gave a proof-of-concept view of how a supply chain might work autonomously in the future.

It demonstrated how the combination of these technologies with the OpenText Business Network can significantly enhance supply chain management. Together, they can transform the supply chain with game-changing capabilities, such as proactive replenishment, predictive maintenance and pervasive visibility. This approach seemed to strike a chord with many of the executives at the event.

All in all, it was a very useful day for everyone who attended. Those who attended said they found the day very informative and it was great to be able to network and discuss solutions to problems with industry peers.

Have we won you over yet? If so, we will be holding another Automotive Industry Day in Europe early next year and in the US next spring. If you’d like to find out more or be put on the mailing list for either event, please email me and I will be sure to keep you in the loop.

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Tom Leeson

Tom is Industry Marketing Strategist for the Manufacturing Sector globally. An Engineer by Trade, and Mathematician by Education, Tom’s entire career has been spent in Engineering, Manufacturing and IT helping customers digitally transform their business and their manufacturing sector. With Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things, Manufacturing lives in exciting times, so there is much to talk about.

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