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Author: Venkat Nandikolla |12/10/18

Creating new engagement narratives for the Connected Customer

A vast array of technology advancements has quickly coalesced to create a smart and connected world. The advent of cutting edge digital technology including Big Data & Analytics, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Analytics and the cheap availability of bandwidth, reliable networks & storage are catalyzing an extraordinary revolution in how manufacturers can engage with their customers. Suddenly, by leveraging these technologies, manufacturers have the opportunity to move from producing low-margin products to creating highly personalized relationships with customer as well as exploring new revenue streams.

The change is acute in the automobile industry. Using connected systems, data analytics and automation, it is possible to achieve operational velocity that was unheard of before. Digital technologies are bringing the buyer, channel partner (dealer) and the auto manufacturer closer than ever before, providing a seamless personalized omni-channel experience to the customer across web and dealership channels.

A case in point is the Retail – Consumer transformation program that Mindtree is engaged with a large automobile manufacturer that has resulted in re-imagining the dealer sales and after-sales service operations. Today, an auto buyer can begin his search for a vehicle of his choice, say an SUV, on the web and get auto driven by an online ad to our customer’s website. Here the buyer can configure his/her SUV by specifying the model and color, as well as accessories and be directed to the nearest dealer based on current availability. Before heading to the dealer location, the buyer can choose specific offers (financing schemes, insurance and after sales service guarantees). When the buyer arrives at the showroom, the sales executive is equipped with every detail of the enquiry (on a tablet) including the offers and financing schemes. The sale can be closed within a few minutes of the buyer arriving at the dealership. Post purchase of the vehicle, real time information around various vehicle parameters (oil level, wear-and-tear, battery condition, service history, etc.) is passed to the service partner who can then send personalized offers for a specific service to the buyer. Simultaneously, a dedicated online owner site for the buyer is updated with the status of the car and alerts sent to the owner over the mobile device. This connection across the 3 ecosystems of the buyer (consumer), the dealer and the auto manufacturer in a real time data driven manner is what is going to drive the future of automotive buying and servicing.

The above mentioned Consumer Experience transformation is not only enabled by transformation of consumer engagement mechanisms like product owners sites, brand sites & dealer sites but also the integration of traditionally disparate functions like distribution & logistics, sales, marketing, after sales parts & service and finance divisions within the manufacturing enterprise. Many of these groups are often dictated by various regulatory guidelines besides having technology silos which result in significant challenges in communicating accurately and in a timely manner between each other. Those challenges can be solved through enterprise-wide digital transformation that embraces connected manufacturing operations, asset and product management, dealer operations, marketing, sales, after-sales and complex regulatory environments using big data, analytics and automation. In fact, some small scale manufacturers are already reporting such extreme levels of buyer-led customization that they don’t see orders for similar products for long periods.

This digital transformation in manufacturing is exciting and is the most significant since the Industrial revolution began many decades ago. The recent outcomes indicate that manufacturers are transforming their entire value chains from warehousing, supply chain management, logistics, distribution, customer engagement and new service creation for the connected customer in a B2B, B2B2C as well as a D2C manner This is happening with the active assistance of partners such as Mindtree that have a deep understanding of emerging digital technologies coupled with domain-specific experience. To understand how your manufacturing enterprise can approach digital transformation for customer engagement, click here

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