IT to Create Business Intelligence that Boosts PerformanceBy Alejandro Salas | Mon, 07/13/2020 - 05:00
The automotive sector has been quicker to adopt new technologies than others but many companies still lag behind because of lingering doubts, not so much about the technology but the process. “One of the problems facing companies in the automotive sector is making technological transitions,” says Rafael Funes, Executive Chairman of LOVIS. “Often, there are doubts about how to make the transition, which technologies can help the company grow and who can help them in this process.”
According to Gustavo Moya, CEO and Research Director of Ixaya, the automotive industry has welcomed Big Data principles because they provide significant opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs. “Collecting and processing all the information generated on the production floor allows companies to predict future issues such as maintenance needs,” says Moya. “A small volume of data will not often make sense when analyzed on its own, but processing large amounts of data and correlating it with information from other sources will generate interesting results.”
While the use of new technologies and data analytics offer significant opportunities for gathering business intelligence, Moya says the true potential of Big Data for applications for the automotive industry is often not properly explored. “The term ‘Big Data’ is very broad and frequently not used in the appropriate context. The term refers to the collection of large volumes of nonstructured information and their processing,” says Moya. Properly analyzing information, however, requires broad knowledge of several areas, such as statistics and information technology, and the ability to intersect multiple functions and teams.
Particularly, small local automotive companies that are still too green to fully enter the supply chain of major players in the sector face problems in the technology transition process. “There are certain obstacles that companies face when they want to introduce or change a technology. The first problem is not having the tool that meets the needs of the company in a timely manner,” Funes says. The primary issue lies in the reality that, due to ignorance of other products, businesses employ technologies that end up unable to meet the company’s requirements. This can be the result of quick decisions where company leaders do not take into consideration the full extent of their needs and how the chosen tool can impact performance.
Funes suggests that businesses invest in and employ techniques that reflect how the company functions to provide a tailor-made solution. Otherwise, these companies risk turning technology into an expense rather than an investment. “We have noted that manufacturers in the automotive industry tend to have gray technological areas in their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Some of their procedures are digitalized and others are not. This is because ERP technologies tend to be general and will not always satisfy the requirements of customers, unlike adaptable EOS systems, for example,” says Funes.
Technology advancements have allowed for the development of tools that cater to the specific needs of businesses. LOVIS has developed blockchain-based EOS technology that allows the host to create the procedures of its company in a decentralized and scalable manner. “EOS technology adapts to any company regardless of the sector in which it operates, its size, geographical location, language or otherwise. It is a completely configurable and adaptable technology that can help meet a company’s needs with the precision that companies require to grow,” Funes says. For its part, Ixaya develops many different software solutions for automotive and aerospace companies and aims to be the Top IT provider for these sectors, working specifically with local companies to improve their operations through the incorporation of technology. Ixaya also adapts foreign work models to Mexico because local workers tend to have different workplace cultures. “We have had to implement several poka-yoke measures in manufacturing processes to avoid damaging parts,” says Moya.
In addition to helping companies boost their performance, Funes says that the next step is connecting companies. “LOVIS technology can escalate beyond one company. Our technology can help connect a company’s entire supply chain, a region or a state into a single platform,” he says. Interconnecting companies in the automotive sector can result in greater development of the industry. “LOVIS can support different companies when integrating and working together by using anonymous data related to production. This allows companies to know how much and when to produce their products, based on demand from the supply chain. Interconnected digitalization will arrive to the whole sector; it is just a matter of time,” he says.