Accelerating Project Delivery for Effective Business Outcomes
The Automotive industry covers the designing, manufacturing, marketing, and selling of motor vehicles. It forms a vital part of British industry and the economy, with staple, luxury brands such as Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, Aston Martin, and more being established and based in Britain.
Over 25 manufacturers build over 70 different model of vehicles in the UK, supported by 2,500 component providers and skilled engineers. In 2022, over 775,014 cars, 101,600 commercial vehicles and 1.5 million engines were built in the UK.
Responsiv work with staple automotive brands including Lotus, Aston Martin, and Jaguar Land Rover. Innovation isn’t a new thing for the automotive sector, so let’s keep the momentum going.
'Containerised' IT for Competitive Advantage
Working with the inhouse IT operations team and systems integrator, we envisioned, designed, and developed a cloud native, containerised integration solution that could move with the business.
The new design featured encapsulated connectivity “nodes” that could be managed independently, and a clear separation between manufacturing, financial, data synchronisation, and supply chain data.
Legacy IT Infrastructure
Responsiv understand the industry specific business considerations, and ensure that our planning and technical designs lend themselves to minimising risk and assuring that all stakeholders are properly informed.
In this case, legacy customisations were not compatible with new products, requiring a more strategic approach over a like-for-like upgrade.
Learn more about how this iconic car manufacturer completed this major upgrade of their enterprise connectivity with Responsiv by clicking below!
Supply chain disruptions have led to increased costs and lead times for new vehicles. This has put pressure on the used car market due to the convenience and quicker turn-around timeframes, increasing the demand to supply ratio.
Whilst car production in Britain rose 11.7% in the first half of 2023 as supply chain issues continued to fade, production has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.
The ability for companies to precisely track the location and status of their supply chain is important in improving the service they provide to their customers as well as serving their own ESG requirements.
By providing customers with insight into their vehicle’s journey and progress, companies can remove some of the uncertainty around deliveries and lead-times.
Integrating and automating technologies mitigate the risks associated with unpredictable supply chains.
One example is inventory and demand management, providing visibility of the supply network. This means companies can anticipate in advance when stock is needed, so delivery to consumers is less likely to be disrupted.
In a similar vein, the monitoring of stock control through real-time data means that if there is more stock than needed, insight tools can predict the quanitity needed the next time, reducng cost and material waste.
Having the transparency and understanding of where supply chain issues arise through the use of data will allow businesses to make key decisions, use the right resources, and solve bottlenecks. We now need a mechanism to share the right information between supply chain participants in a format that makes sense, quickly enough to be useful and actionable, and securely enough to prevent undermining of commercial models.
Click here for more information on keeping supply chains reliable and sustainable.
IBM API Connect provides all the functions needed to provide a secure and robust API capability.
Responsiv use this technology to deploy robust and high-performance API solutions that include a developer portal to manage external developers, testing facilities including a sandbox to allow external developers to test their software, analytics collection, secure API hosting, and API traffic management that can separate different priority traffic and protect internal systems and resources.
Responsiv Cloud API Platform provides this capability as a cloud service.
To access portals and websites that are intended for people, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) pretends to be a person. This allows businesses to push and pull information through portals intended for people, and to do this task regularly day and night. It’s not real-time but it is much more frequent and cost effective than a manual alternative.
Finding the specific skills required to keep your business running is important but is proving to be a global challenge. Korn Ferry estimate that by 2030 we should expect a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people. If left unchecked, in 2030 that talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealised annual revenues.
Based on its digital ambitions the EU alone wants 20m technology specialists, which compares with the 9m it had in 2021. The IMI predicts a 160,000 shortfall of workers in the UK automotive sector by 2031 based on figures from its Automotive Sector Employment report.
Industries and organisations are searching for the answers to this global skills shortage, and one answer is to outsource, another to automate.
The Automotive Industry is no stranger to automation, with factory assembly lines being occupied by robots (the physical kind). Despite this, Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI), said: “The industry faces its biggest skills challenge of the last two decades. We have been lobbying Government, the automotive industry and the education sector for a long time to invest in addressing the shortage in qualified EV technicians, and the majority have stepped up to the challenge. But our latest report worryingly reveals that the UK’s lack of EV skills are just the tip of the iceberg.
An aging population is a significant contributor to the dilemma. Many of our older workers are set to retire over the coming years and fewer younger workers are joining the labour force. Without doubt, more needs to be done to attract young blood into the UK’s automotive sector.”
Mitigating a skills shortage can appear daunting, putting strain on recruitment and the wider business to solve the problem. But there are some solutions outside of recruitment that need to be considered to mitigate this business challenge.
Automating data heavy and repetitive tasks means existing skills can go a lot further; creating staff capacity for activities that need to be done but has been left waiting for new resources.
This could be automating manual data entry or automating parts of admin or manufacturing processes. By replacing manual tasks with automation, companies can reduce dependency on skilled labour. For example, if there is one member of staff that knows how to complete a task or process; by automating and recording this knowledge, the risk of this getting lost if staff leave is removed.
Automation consolodates knowledge and ensures it is not lost when staff leave or move on.
Training and Education is a great opportunity to upskill your existing workforce. This does not mean you load them with double the responsibility, rather prepares them for new technologies and working practices in line with the changing landscapes.
With new technologies continuously emerging, there is a delay in skills being taught. Ensuring staff are kept up to speed with these new technologies, systems, or processes will provide your company with the required skills at a lower rate than trying to recruit someone with skills that are hard to find.
The downside of this is the associated cost and time it takes to complete. If skills are needed ASAP then you cannot wait around for staff to be up to speed.
Outsourcing skills is perhaps the quickest way of mitigating the skills shortage. Finding a reputable partner with the desired skills means you do not have to find them as permanent in-house staff; removing the strain on budgets and recruitment.
These skills can vary from business analysts and project managers to IT and other specialist roles.
Outsourcing may also include procuring a managed service. This is mainly when looking at IT solutions. Managed Services mean your chosen vendor deploys, hosts, and manages the software and accompanying applications within the agreement (these are typically cloud-based).
Managed services take the responsibility out of house and ensures your software applications run as optimally as possible with patches and other support being included. Your users see the benefit without the worry of having the skills to fix bugs and make it run.
Responsiv offer managed services for a range of our solutions, including the Responsiv Cloud Platforms.
This means we deploy, host, manage and support your environments on behalf of your organisation. Your end users get the benefit of software applications and processes on cloud, without worrying about having to support the skills in house.
Responsiv Assist is our remote technical support offering. Credit-based, Responsiv Assist can be utilised only when needed for software support – updrades and patches, training sessions, troubleshooting, license and certification monitoring, document reviewing, and more.
Get in touch to find out how we can best help your organisation tackle the skills shortage.
The Automotive Manufacturing Industry is moving towards more sustainable practices, and has been visibly doing so since 1999.
The 2023 SMMT Sustainability Report states that while the “increase in water use in 2022 represents a retrograde step, it comes in the context of a longer-term trend of a -26% reduction in industry water use since 1999.
Industry waste to landfill has fallen by -98% since 1999, with zero waste to landfill the ultimate aim for the automotive industry. In this context, combined waste to landfill continued its decline in 2022, falling -35.3% compared to the previous year, while the total volume of material reused and recycled rose 19.6%. For vehicle manufacturers, waste to landfill per vehicle fell -39.6% in this period.”
A challenge for the industry may include ESG reporting of these statistics for use by consumers and supply chain partners.
Ryan Pring, an Associate Director in Digital Risk Advisory Services, states “a lot of manufacturers are currently asking us how they can ensure they’re measuring energy consumption accurately. This is driven in part by the need to improve ESG credentials because of consumer and stakeholder expectations but without a doubt, this has come into sharp focus because of increased costs. Businesses are now looking to invest in driving energy efficiencies as well as measuring and reporting on this.”
Trends in becoming net zero and carbon neutral in manufacturing means sustainability is becoming a key strategy for automotive businesses. The growing demand from consumers and investors means companies need to evaluate their products and supply chains to ensure they are abiding by sustainable practice.
Environmental impacts throughout the automotive supply chain become clearer when there is automated and intergrated monitoring. Data insight into energy and waste levels at each stage of the manufacturing process (as well as other business processes) means strategy can be guided, and measurable change can be made.
Regulatory compliance can also be achieved by having data available for consumers and partners as part of ESG and EPR regulations.
Using automation technologies supports more sustainable practices. Data accuracy, reduced error and rewrok, and improved data collaboration means businesses are more productive, cost-effective, and efficient. One example is using process automation technology to complete tasks usually done by humans in a more efficient, wasteless way.
IBM Envizi is IBM’s answer to ESG reporting, allowing organisations to record, track, and monitor their energy and usage data. Envizi presents this data in consumable and adjustable screens to allow for report building and decision making based on real-time information.
Responsiv’s skills in integration means we can work with organisations to connect their systems and data directly to IBM Envizi (or their chosen ESG platform) so they can streamline ESG reporting.
This data can then be shared as necessary with supply chain partners and consumers as per sustainability regulations such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
Responsiv Cloud is hosted on tier 3 UK datacentres. This means they conform to the UK’s grading standards for datacentre security, sustainability, and continuity. Our Cloud offerings are flexible, allowing for scalability as necessary with value based pricing models.
With the described staff shortages faced by the Automotive Manufacturing (and many other) industry, improving business efficiency and productivity will need to be achieved with fewer staff.
As with many industries, this can be seen by streamlining and optimising business processes, removing bottlenecks and errors.
For automotive manufacturers, this includes managing supply chain oversight and lead times, automating repetitive and data-heavy processes such as onboarding, ordering parts and vehicles, and customer communications, etc.
BDO’s Stephen Cooney states “the first place to start with boosting productivity has been making improvements to the shop floor and improving processes. This might look like automating aspects of someone’s role or making a task more efficient, requiring less manual input. To retain staff, the future could require having two people earning (say) £15 an hour rather than three people being paid (say) £10 an hour, so it’s about making sure you can get the same output with less people.”
Simplifying these processes isn’t a per branch issue, with the need to address inter-store communications and processes to fully enhance the consumer and employee experience.
Combining innovative technologies like machine learning and automation including RPA are just a few ways automotive manufacturers can increase business efficiency.
Automation of data-heavy, repetitive processes and tasks is a quick way to improve business efficiency, as it allows staff to focus on more productive activities with quick and easy access to necessary data.
Decision making is a large part of any business. Responsiv estimate that 70% of decision making time is spent collecting the data needed to make the decision. You can immediately make this a more efficient process by ensuring that the right data is available at the right time allowing these decisions to be made promptly.
Another technology that can be utilised is Cloud. It provides an environment for data to be stored in relation to operational steps, virtual tools that hold information about specific tasks in production, and a training envionment for robots.
Additionally, companies can utilise other technologies like applications or platforms to address specific inefficiencies, such as team collaboration or resource management.
Responsiv is an integration and automation specialist; our offerings and expertise centre around these technologies.
Responsiv Cloud provides a set of full service cloud offerings that simplify your hosting and systems support. Our managed services takes the responsibility for managing you solution away from you, meaning we do all the maintenance work whilst you get the benefits of productive systems, applications, and processes.
Responsiv Consulting provides advice for organisations that need to integrate and automate their data. We provide strategic guidance for how to move forward or to specific technical solutions that deliver your business needs.
We also help in defining and recording business requirements with our discovery workshops to engage key process stakeholders. This means we can mine staff knowledge of a process to ensure we are automating the right process and tasks to be as effective and efficient as possible.