New industry study reveals digital transformational roadmap for India Auto Inc

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 08 Feb 2019

The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) together with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has released the findings of the study ‘Digital Transformation Roadmap for India’s Automotive Industry’, by A.T. Kearney, a leading global management consulting firm. The study focuses on developing a transformational roadmap to adopt digital technologies in the automotive industry across the value chain, products and the industry ecosystem.

The report identifies 11 technologies relevant to the automotive industry in terms of their applications and the scale of impact on the automotive value chain and products. The report also presents specific short, mid and long-term action points for companies, industry bodies, government as well as the entire automotive ecosystem.

Rajan Wadhera, president, SIAM and president – Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra, said, “To continue our effort towards global prominence, SIAM and ACMA partnered with A.T. Kearney to launch this first-of-its-kind industry level digital transformation roadmap. This is the first step towards a globally competitive industry.”

"The coming years will be ruled by the fourth industrial revolution - Digital Economy. I'm glad that we, along with ACMA, have taken the initiative to define the footsteps to digital manufacturing in the automobile industry," said Wadhera. 

Commenting on the findings of the study, Ram Venkataramani, president, ACMA and director, India Pistons, said, “The disruptive changes facing the automotive sector, accompanied by shorter product lifecycles and rise of electric content, are forcing the auto components industry to become agile and digitise. The study recommendations will help the sector stay relevant to our customer and maintain our competitiveness.”

"The component industry needs to adopt Industry 4.0 to stay closer to the OEM customers. To continue our effort towards global prominence and help our members adhere to Industry 4.0, ACMA will form a mentor group; run improvement programmes via the ACMA Centre for Technology (ACT); and launch a digital transformation cluster," added Venkataramani.

Vinnie Mehta, director general, ACMA, said: “It’s imperative that the automotive industry moves hand in hand with other industries in the digital transformation. The brick and mortar has to move towards digital. The association needs to work hard and bring the industry together. One of the recommendations suggested by the report talks about Centres of Excellence towards better mobility solutions and we have already started setting up such institutions.”

“From the industry body perspective, ACMA and SIAM are facilitators and we will need to drive standardisation, initiate industry-wide blockchain network, launch pilots in collaboration with other industries," added Mehta. 

"IoT, Predictive Analytics, AI, AR, Advanced Robotics are some of the disruptions that are blurring the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres of production," said Sri Karumbati, chairman, ACMA - IT Group. "IoT, Predictive Analytics, AI, AR, Advanced Robotics are some of the disruptions that are blurring the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres of production," said Sri Karumbati, chairman, ACMA - IT Group. 

Manish Mathur, Partner and Asia Pacific Leader, Automotive practice, A.T. Kearney said, “This was a bold and strategic initiative taken at the industry level to ensure there is a widespread common understanding of emerging digital technologies and the opportunities they present.”

The study highlights global best practices and relevant case studies to help develop a cohesive roadmap that charts out clear action items for individual companies, industry bodies, associated industries and government bodies.

- Organisations should start with the development of a clear digital roadmap relevant to their long-term strategy, budget allocation as well as appointing a dedicated digital team in place responsible for end-to-end implementation of digital initiatives.

- In terms of technologies to adopt, the industry in short term can start with the implementation of big data and advanced analytics for supply chain planning, IoT for connected factory, workforce training through AR/VR platforms, analytics, apps and APIs to improve customer engagement and 3D printing, AR and VR for rapid prototyping.

- To make the digital transformation successful, the organizations will need to develop technology expertise, deployment internal capabilities as well as update its business processes to align with new technologies.

- Industry bodies ACMA and SIAM will need to drive standardization, initiate industry wide blockchain network, launch pilots in collaboration with other industries as well as create a digital knowledge management platform and a centre of excellence to conduct digital benchmarking and share best practices among the industry.

- The industry will also seek government’s support in skill development through upgradation and adoption of relevant skill development institutes, setting up digital infrastructure, ensuring connectivity and data sharing as well as regulating the finance and insurance industry.