Winning with Optimal Execution in Auto Supply Chain

Automotive suppliers are continuously challenged with ever-shrinking product lifecycles in order to satisfy the latest consumer tastes that demand new innovation.  As a result, they must more frequently introduce new innovations instead of relying on past competencies.  Suppliers are further challenged by automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) demanding that costs be at least maintained or even reduced.

A new white paper describes how an automotive supplier can not only survive these challenges, but also thrive by using modern PLM technology that aligns sales, development, manufacturing, and operations resources to respond to the needs of new programs with winning proposals.  For example, consider how suppliers determine their proposal to best meet OEM needs within cost constraints and internal profitability targets.  Stakeholders throughout the organization must contribute input through multiple rounds of internal and OEM evaluation.  This often takes too long with current business approaches due to poor reviews and change control.  As the due date approaches, short-cuts are taken which jeopardizes the success of the program for both the OEM and supplier before it even begins.

Next, consider what happens after the program is won.  Without proper governance, supplier development programs can too easily deviate from the original OEM objectives.  While nearly every supplier now has some sort of Program Management Office, the white paper argues convincingly that typical project management software tools and certifications still fall far short of expectations because they are disconnected from the actual work being performed.

The latest PLM solutions are breaking barriers between functional roles and enterprise systems that often hinder winning new business and successfully executing its program.  A new approach is possible characterized by the following best practices:

Best Practices for

Winning New Business

Best Practices for

Optimally Executing the Program

·   Balance data security with the need for effective collaboration so customer data is not compromised, but stakeholders can contribute to win the business.

·   Understand and utilize historical methodologies and data from past programs.

·   Leverage common technology platforms that satisfy the unique needs of multiple customers.

·   Coordinate requirement scope with a project’s schedule and resources to meet business targets.

·   Update development progress in real-time to take corrective action before it is too late.

·   Mitigate project risks based upon real-time data – designs, change orders, manufacturing defects, supplier part delivery, etc. – in order to stay on schedule and within budget.

Implementing best practices like this for Sales and Program Management Offices can often be challenging given how entrenched current systems and methodologies may be.  However, if this broader application of PLM can lead to higher proposal win rates and more on-time/on-budget program deliveries, then even the biggest skeptics will be open to using the new approaches (see white paper for more details).