Most of the automotive parts manufacturers we work with have a pretty efficient shop floor. Lean manufacturing has its roots in the automotive industry and most OEMs and parts suppliers have been following lean practices for a long time.
Where we see the biggest area of improvement is in the sales and engineering processes. From responding to the bid to rolling the first manufactured piece off the assembly line, you might be grappling with hundreds of design and cost changes.
To compete in 2017, automotive supplier CEO’s need to:
- Win more RFPs – With short bid windows and complex requirements, you must be able to react quickly and accurately to bid requests. Using bid management software and bid response templates will enable you to keep track of parts, costs, vendors, and bid revisions. Being professional and efficient will help you win more bids.
- Improve sales forecasting – With production often far into the future, it’s critical to know when sales and payments will come. Multi-period forecasting can help you get a handle on cash flow and estimate accurate delivery dates to customers.
- Streamline the RFP bid response process – An over-reliance on spreadsheets and email communication creates a chaotic sales environment. “Which revision is the last revision? Has John reviewed this?” By building workflows with approval checkpoints and enforcing accountability in the process, you will be able to reduce the cost of sales.
- Create efficiencies in the post-sale engineering design process – The final product is often quite different than the original proposed concept. Keeping track of the myriad of design and cost changes is a challenge. Having a solution that will manage change requests and ensure quality control makes for a smooth process from beginning to end.
- Enforce standards from sales to production – Manufacturers understand standardization. But with every sales situation being a little different, and without software to manage the processes, it can be difficult to enforce consistency.
By being able to increase efficiencies and reduce costs in your sales and program management areas, you’ll be able to boost your bottom line numbers. mcaConnect offers a D365 for Automotive solution that covers all of these areas of automotive manufacturing – and more.
Written by: Doug Bulla