Munich – Recalls of automotive manufacturers are not a phenomenon solely among lower cost volume car-manufacturers; quite the contrary: In 2018, almost 30 percent of all recalls were attributable to German premium manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and VW). What’s interesting is that recall campaigns are usually caused by poor product quality. This is accompanied not only by rising warranty costs the manufacturers, but new regulatory requirements may also be introduced by the governing bodies. Although automotive manufacturers have the know-how to efficiently solve the problem through technical solutions, they often lack approaches for the prevention of recalls.
In order to reduce costs, image loss and fines from public authorities in the long term and therefore avoid losses for one’s own company, existing field data on past recall campaigns in the entire industry can be analysed and used preventively. In this context, KBC has developed an early warning radar, with the help of which publicly available findings from recalls are analysed in a competitive comparison and evaluated with regard to their concrete probability of occurrence. The use of this radar facilitates learning from the mistakes of competitors in good time. It can also help to identify and eliminate potential problems with the company’s own products before they occur.
Application of the KBC Early Warning Radar
For the application of the early warning radar, KBC has developed a process for the systematic analysis and use of field data for recall campaigns, which can be adapted to specific company requirements. This process involves two main steps.
1.) The first step is to collect and process data from national and international sources, such as those from the ADAC for Germany. Due to the vast number of data records, the recall issues are clustered and consolidated according to fault patterns. In preparation for the second step, these data can be enriched with additional information such as concept, suppliers or production technologies. This facilitates the subsequent assessment of the issues for the technical experts and makes the assessment of the potential risk more precise.
2.) In the second step, the identified issues are distributed to internal experts. As the entire value chain is responsible for quality, the experts are selected from the Development, Purchasing and Production departments to evaluate the issues. These experts test the products and processes for similar weaknesses to those encountered in the competition, identifying the risk for their own business. This is followed by defining concrete needs for action and anchoring control processes in the organisation.
By using an early warning radar, it is possible to obtain information from the recalls and quality deficiencies of other manufacturers. In turn, this knowledge can serve to prevent own recall campaigns.
Please feel free to contact us to talk about our experience on “Identification and prevention of recall campaigns” or on our “Method for the systematic prevention of repetitive faults”.