Nicola Heider, Senior consultant

Technology is our home advantage

Expertise

Technology inspires us

Automotive Consulting is in our DNA – but we are more than just car guys. We are at home wherever there is a need for technological enthusiasm, totally committed to the core optimisation challenges faced by technological companies. We bring in-depth expertise to the table, leaving a lasting impact with the insights and solutions our clients really need – in automotive and beyond. And with our strong focus on implementation, we make sure things actually happen.

Quality

we leave no room for errors

Identifying errors and their root causes is essential for those looking to reduce cost and improve quality.  Our focus is on designing, implementing and continuously improving both reactive and preventive quality management in products, processes and across the entire organisation.

Sustainable organisation optimisation

Each and every employee is responsible for quality. We therefore analyse the organisation of quality throughout the entire product development process, from development, procurement and production all the way to after sales.
We show you organisational alternatives and create your new organisational chart including its newly defined roles. In this case we think it important to achieve the highest possible quality not only reactively, but also preventively, i.e. already during product development and production, in order to sustainably increase the efficiency of your company and to reduce your total quality costs.
more less

Quantification of quality performance

We distinguish between internal (e.g. comparison of identical products produced at different locations) and external benchmarks (comparison of two similar products from different companies).
To make quality characteristics measurable, we orient ourselves towards the best in the data analysis we have developed and from previously defined product and process characteristics (incl. KPIs). With the aim of achieving the highest possible product and process quality, we recommend actions which we then implement together with you.
more less

Total Cost of Quality Reduction

Thanks to our expertise gained from numerous quality projects, we have developed a system with which we can record the sum of all quality-related costs throughout the entire product life cycle in order to identify the right levers.
We apply our system to create transparency regarding the sum of all your quality-related costs. In this regard, our objective is not only to reduce your non-conformity costs (error costs incurred by the customer, e.g. warranty costs), but also to sustainably reduce your conformity costs (all costs for preventive quality measures, e.g. design changes in the advanced stage of development projects).
more less

Detection and long-term avoidance of product recalls

We use publicly accessible information on recalls in the automotive industry for the early identification of components that could potentially be affected by a recall in the future.
We then evaluate the collected data and define measures from development to procurement to production in order to avoid and eradicate recall causes in the long term.
more less

Quality performance assessment (Q-Scan)

To assess the quality situation in your company and improve it in a further step, we conduct interviews using detailed questionnaires.
We then evaluate the performance of your quality management against benchmarks from mobility industries and derive a set of measures. This will quickly show you where you stand in comparison to your competitors and which optimisation could be sensibly implemented.
more less

Detection of process inefficiencies

Every product problem is based on a process problem. With the help of our own developed methods and a root cause analysis, we can identify any process weaknesses that may lead to product defects along the entire value chain.
By uncovering and sustainably eliminating the “real” procedural problems, repetitive errors can be avoided, and reliable and robust products can be developed in the future. In the event of product defects affecting ongoing development projects, we resort to quick-win measures to achieve short-term improvements.
more less

Product Development

We adress problems at their source

Only those who understand product development processes in detail can improve them. We use our expertise and experience to get right to the heart of the issue. Our deep technical insights and robust methods enable us to support you from ideation through to realisation.

Development of competitive product characteristics profiles

We first create an objective evaluation of the characteristics of your current product portfolio and its competitive situation on the basis of internal technical discussions with your employees and customer surveys.
We look at whether and to what extent your products differ from similar ones, how they are positioned and analyse whether they meet current and future customer requirements on the basis of trend studies. In a further step, we will suggest improvements if necessary, so that your products will differentiate more clearly in the future and you will sharpen your product property profile, which in turn will lead to more sales and better market and brand positioning.
more less

Modular R&D systems and product architectures

We shorten the development project cycles and thereby reduce development and, above all, subsequent costs in production by means of identical part production using kits (e.g. identical window levers for different vehicle models) and upstream development of product architectures.
An additional advantage is that the kits and architectures customised for you help us to achieve higher product quality.
more less

R&D weakness assessments

Based on data and event analyses, we can identify weaknesses in your product development processes and make concrete suggestions for future improvements.
Among other things, we analyse whether the development costs you had planned in the past were realistic, whether your products meet the quality standards and whether an excessive number of changes had to be made to your products in the past due to defects before market launch.
more less

Development of R&D cost forecasts

To provide a reliable cost forecast for the development of your products at an early stage, we have designed scaling models and calculation algorithms with which we can calculate and reduce the total cost of development from the initial idea to the production-ready product.
Here, the aim is to avoid bad investments, to create early control and transparency over development costs and therefore to reduce cost variances so that the target margin set at the start of the project is achieved.
more less

Procurement & Production

We deliver optimal results

Our mission is to strengthen and secure the entire supply chain throughout a product’s entire life cycle, while always managing the balance between quality, flexibility, innovation and cost.

Supplier task forces

Short-term, massive supply problems or crises usually originate in the production, quality and logistics departments or in the financial instability of your suppliers.
They may also be due to changes in the market, such as legal requirements. To ensure supply in your company in one or more of these cases, we work closely with the relevant departments of your company and the suppliers (up to the N-tier level). In this regard, we distinguish ourselves through flexibility, analytical procedures and speed as well as technical understanding and pragmatism, i.e. we are not only convincing at the top management level, but also at the shop floor level in the production halls.
more less

Supplier audits & assessments

We have a proven method, the technical know-how and the necessary experience to optimally audit your suppliers.
Beforehand, we analyse both logistical (e.g. adherence to delivery dates, number of special trips, etc.) and quality indicators (e.g. reworking). On site in Production, we immediately get to the bottom of the causes, deriving and following up any short-term and long-term measures. On average, we have already been able to reduce rework by 24 percent and improve delivery quality by 22 percent with this approach in around one hundred visits to supplier sites.
more less

Preventive supply chain management

In order to proactively avoid unnecessary obstacles during the start-up phase, we already identify the risk factors approximately one year before SOP (start of production).
These risk factors can be supplier-dependent, market-related (e.g. the market demands more products than planned), development-related (e.g. short-term product changes) or plant-related (e.g. a new, untested plant). Using a risk matrix, we assess the probability of occurrence of individual risks and their interdependencies as well as the resulting costs in order to develop and implement preventive measures, therefore ensuring robust production ramp-ups.
more less

Supplier performance controlling (Supplier Performance Cockpit)

To prevent interruptions in the supply chain, we have developed a cockpit with established key figures.
This enables us to measure the performance of all your suppliers throughout the entire product development cycle, i.e. from the confirmation of concept maturity, through the start-up phase all the way to series production. Thanks to our many years of project experience, we know the relevant key figures and control measures. We can therefore create complete transparency regarding the performance of your suppliers and improve your supply security and delivery quality, both sustainably and preventively.
more less

Plant availability and uptime optimisation

We actively support suppliers or OEMs in maximising plant availability in the long term and at the best possible cost.
In the ideal case, your production machines run continuously, both day and night, without interruption. To this end, we have developed methods and technical expertise to ensure the sustainable maintenance of your facilities as well as the lowest possible or perfect warehousing capacity.
more less

End-to-end supplier support (from RfP to awarding)

We support you as a supplier from the strategic alignment of your product portfolio and core competencies to the approach of OEMs, the preparation of enquiries and proposals all the way through to the negotiation process.
With the aim of expanding or maintaining your customer portfolio, we will show you how you can distinguish yourself from other competitors by means of a transparent and comprehensible cost breakdown, high quality and flexibility. In equally professional manner, we also take over the management of plant manufacturers and purchased parts and manage enquiries in good time and within budget during the proposal phase, including make-or-buy decisions. All this while never losing sight of future market developments or changes (e.g. combustion engines versus electromobility) for both parts and system suppliers.
more less

Integrated procurement strategy development

First, we analyse your current procurement situation. In a further step, we realign your target system with regard to costs, quality, flexibility and innovation and, depending on the objective, derive any need for action directly.
This enables us to define both the strategy scope (i.e. which components you need and to what extent in the long term) and the different levels of the procurement strategy (e.g. trading groups, technologies, raw materials and supplier deadlines). We apply our tried and tested tools to derive a holistic procurement strategy, whereby our goal is to establish procurement as a value driver in your company through strategically optimal orientation and transparent target contributions up to the retail group level.
more less

After Sales

We keep you on the road to success

Our secret for your success? We analyse in depth your after-market strategy, organisation and processes, extract the insights that matter and help you to raise customer satisfaction and revenue while keeping cost down. 

Conception, detailing and implementation of remanufacturing

From an economic and ecological perspective, we weigh up whether the remanufacture of certain spare parts makes sense for your company and serves to create a new, attractive product range.
If this is the case, we determine the appropriate product ranges and set prices in line with the market. If necessary, we also develop incentives for a return of old parts, e.g. deposits and chargebacks. We accompany and support you in the implementation of all processes – from the initial idea to the construction of your own remanufacturing plant.
more less

Spare parts optimisation and management

We have developed a procedure that creates transparency regarding stocks and the best possible procurement conditions for spare parts in order to guarantee you smooth and on-schedule maintenance and repair work.
Our aim is to ensure that the spare parts you need are delivered at the right time, with the required quality and at the lowest possible inventory value.
more less

Increase of supplier recovery

Are your recovery proceeds for the compensation of faulty parts deliveries and field failures too low? We analyse your entire “process chain of recovery” from the underlying contracts to damage part processes all the way to reporting and accounting.
Together with you, we define a set of actions to increase your suppliers’ compensation payments.
more less

Diagnosis process analysis and design

We can also actively support you, your mechanics and engineers during repair processes in the workshop with our technical know-how and the necessary passion for vehicles of all kinds.
We are happy to walk you through repair instructions, reduce repair times and, if necessary, develop new tools to optimise repair and diagnostic processes in order to reduce costs.
more less

Warranty cost assessments

We have developed methods to facilitate the identification and reduction of any conspicuous dealer statements and associated anomalies.
We apply our action set to analyse the current billing behaviour of dealers, identify billing errors and create rules for dealers and head-offices. This creates transparency and reduces costs.
more less

Service Engineering

We conduct market analyses to increase the attractiveness of your products and therefore to promote medium and long-term customer loyalty.
We closely examine your expectations regarding additional services from potential and existing customers and create a forecast of possible and future changes in market requirements. Here, we support you from the initial idea to conceptualisation to implementation, i.e. the sale of your new services.
more less

After sales strategy development and adaptation

The ongoing development and transformation of industries as well as the influence of new trends are posing new challenges for companies in After Sales.
This is why we develop and organise new strategies and processes for you on the basis of market analyses, so that you can continue to respond to the changing needs of and requests from your end customers in the future.
more less

Project Management & Digitalisation

We offer the best of both worlds

We understand digitalization as value creation with data. From knowing where you stand in the digital landscape and defining where you need to be, to delivering an effective transformation for your digital future, we are at your side. Data analysis and management is at the core of our project management philosophy, where we deploy classic, modern and agile tools – always based on what our client really needs.

Tailored project management

We offer tailor-made project management based on both proven and agile elements.
Our recommended solutions are based on methodical and technical expertise as well as years of experience and relationships with the automotive and engineering industries. We offer you pragmatic solutions that can help you quickly and easily. In addition to the traditional project management activities, we always address technical issues in our projects and contribute our expertise, especially when it comes to defining and tracking optimisation measures in change projects.
more less

Digitalisation (strategy and transformation)

We understand digitalisation as the creation of value from data. Within this framework, we support you in facing challenges and creating new potential, whereby we first analyse your initial situation, the starting point of your “digital journey”.
Building on this, we define measures to initiate the necessary change and support you in its implementation. This is based on data transparency, structured and standardised information processes and continuous analyses. The aim is to optimally exploit potentials on the basis of data analyses.
more less

KBC Academy for Project Management Training

To ensure that your employees are able to exploit our consultant skills fruitfully and sustainably, we conduct individual project management training courses – never off the peg, but always tailored to individual requirements.
To make projects more tangible, more comprehensible and therefore more controllable, we convey our proven project experience and our understanding of successful project management, depending on the objective. We are characterised by transparency in everything we do. We are therefore happy to give your employees deep insights into real project situations as well as into the tools we use. If required, we also coach you in real projects from start to finish.
more less