It’s time to rethink EIM in the automotive sector

Creating a platform for digital transformation

At our recent OpenText™ Enterprise World 2018, there was a great deal of talk about two things: how companies have digitally transformed their business and how Enterprise Information Management (EIM) is changing to help digital business succeed both today and in the future by being intelligent and connected businesses. Connected is synonymous with the car industry, and EIM in the automotive sector is uniquely suited to deliver the central information platform that automotive companies need to realize the full value of their digital transformation programs.

From connected cars and electric vehicles to personalized production and smart factories, there are many trends driving the need for digital transformation initiatives in the automotive sector. It is also the sector where these initiatives can create the most value. According to the World Economic Forum, there is $0.67 trillion of value available to automotive players and a further $3.1 trillion worth of societal benefits as a result of digital transformation up until 2025.

Data and intelligence: The core of digital transformation

Modern drivers are increasingly connected, urbanized and environmentally-conscious. They are demanding a completely different customer experience based around new technology features and ownership models. To respond, automotive companies need to bring the customer experience to the front and center of their thinking.

This entails a profound business transformation driven by digital technologies. Organizations are beginning to leverage digital competencies to innovate new business models, products, and services. EIM in the automotive sector enables the seamless blending of digital and physical business processes and customer experiences while improving operational efficiencies and organizational performance. It provides an intelligent platform that allows information to flow end-to-end across the extended value chains of the modern automotive company.

IDC estimates that by 2021, 20% of G2000 manufacturers will depend on a secure backbone of embedded intelligence to automate large-scale process and speed execution times. I’d say that this figure will be substantially higher for automotive companies as they understand the need for digital technologies to drive innovation and agility.

As Seval Ox, CEO at Continental, puts it: “Companies in the automotive sector must innovate fast – or die.” The question becomes: which platform can you adopt to facilitate your digital business?

The case for a transformed EIM in the automotive sector

Taking an integrated information management approach is no longer just an option for automotive companies, it has become a ‘must have’. In the digital age, information has to flow without any friction in many directions: top-down, bottom-up, from inside out and outside in, between employees, business departments and across the business network. To enable that, companies must integrate data analytics, transactional content and content-related activities.

Sadly, this is often easier said than done. The core business applications—such a ERP, PLM or MES—have not been developed to meet these requirements. As such, most of the time business applications lack the capability to seamlessly transfer data and information to other business processes and applications. In order to effectively cover intra-enterprise processes, companies often need to rely on expensive and cumbersome custom applications or error-prone manual processes.

EIM in the automotive sector acts as a central platform that helps automate processes and workflows across the organization. It is a digital backbone that lets automotive companies improve the way their products and services are designed, produced, and delivered in the digital space. This is achieved through information flows that are highly managed, highly secure and highly available.

Figure 1: EIM in the automotive sector: Central to digital processes (Source: IDC Manufacturing Insights 2017)

Benefiting from the new capabilities of EIM

EIM has been around for some time but it is a very different technology now from when it first appeared. From being a central repository for the management of structured enterprise content, EIM in the automotive sector now delivers comprehensive capabilities that address the key business processes for automotive companies, including:

  • Content Services to manage all structured and unstructured data within the organization
  • Process Automation to increase the efficiency and productivity of key workflows and processes in the automotive value chain
  • Customer Experience to create an end-to-end contiguous journey for customer loyalty
  • Advanced Analytics to process the vast amount of internal and external dataset and deliver actionable insight to improve decision-making
  • Discovery that makes all data auditable and compliant
  • Business Networks that automate the communication and information exchange across supply chains and trading partner communities

The modern EIM solution brings all these components together on a single, central intelligent information platform. This is an approach that is increasingly popular with all manufacturers. According to IDC Manufacturing Insights, by 2020 over 60% of companies will rely on digital platforms “that enhance their investments in ecosystems and experiences and support as much as 30% of their overall revenue”.

The automotive sector, with its focus on innovation and speed through agile production processes and integrated supply chains, will remain at the forefront of the adoption of intelligent digital platforms. Through this, companies can achieve the three most important objectives for digital transformation programs:

  • To develop and market digitally enriched or enabled products and services
  • To digitalize, harmonize and improve business operations
  • To engage with digital customers

Modern EIM is the intelligent platform that automotive companies need at the heart of their digital systems. It can deliver the competitive advantage as companies explore the potential in new digital-driven products and services.

As Bill Ford Junior, Chairman of the Ford Group states, “If we do this correctly, we can have a very different-looking company 10 years from now. If we don’t do it correctly, we will be at best a low-margin assembler of other people’s technologies and that’s not where we want to be.”

I will be exploring how many of our Automotive customers are using EIM in their business when we meet for our next Automotive & Manufacturing User Group in Detroit, October 11th. Save the date now!

To find out more about the User Group and how EIM in the automotive sector is helping in automotive transformation, please contact us here.

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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