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Product Development

Digital Car

The times in which customers got excited with the first Connected Services, such as music or social media, have passed. Today customer demands are different. The customer expects a qualitatively high-class digital product experience. And against the background of fast cycles of innovation, this product should stay up-to-date over its lifetime. Regular “over the air” updates with new functions, for example in the area of autonomous driving and infotainment, are therefore obligatory for manufacturers in the premium segment. But besides the challenge of keeping up with these developments, this also opens up new business models for OEMs.

The development of components and services for the Digital Car has therefore rapidly evolved into a new key competence in manufacturing automobiles. It has become an essential competitive factor. This is leading OEMs and suppliers to invest more heavily in the development of digital products and position themselves in the field. At the same time, new collaborations and partnerships are being created with tech companies and start-ups. The previous division of roles and collaborative models between OEMs and suppliers is being reshaped. Challenges in this respect do not just lie in the area of software. The current lack of semiconductors illustrates how the entire automotive industry is facing enormous challenges.

OEMs and suppliers must keep up with fast-paced innovations and make full use of the potential of the digital revolution. To succeed, comprehensive transformations in software and hardware, and also with regard to processes and work practices within and outside the organisation are necessary. We will support you in all of these challenges.

Jakob le Claire

Project example: Organisational structure & development

Shape the transformation with the right positioning.

The high level of innovation and the fast tempo of development in the area of the Digital Car demands excellent organisational positioning and processes that work. The high level of networking of digital functions in a vehicle and beyond presents a particularly significant challenge.

Sample project results:

Development of an appropriate organisation design and shaping of a corresponding process landscape.

Creation of fast decision and information pathways via a streamlined committee and reporting structure.

Design of procedures in line with New Work principles incl. working models/methods and channels of communication.

Support, guidance and communication of the changes from planning to implementation.

Georg Huber
Senior Partner

Project example: Software quality

Preventative quality assurance in the case of bought-in E/E components for the successful development of scopes of software.

The increasing proportion of and value added by E/E components to the overall vehicle means that software quality has emerged as an essential competitive factor. As a result, the complex software development requires preventative methods of quality assurance that must already be taken into account when choosing and appointing suppliers.

Sample project results:

Consistent evaluation of suppliers before awarding contracts with defined criteria relating to software development and quality as a basis for the subsequent appointment.

Regular review of suppliers using defined sets of criteria and quality standards as part of supplier development and qualification.

Transparency on achievement of objectives and maturity of system and customer functions in the software scope at relevant project milestones and up to the start of production.

Marc Perbix
Senior Partner

Project example: Key Performance Indicators

Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to achieve a transparent and targeted development of E/E systems for the “Digital Car”.

Whether for management or operational work: transparency on the status quo with regard to the targets set is indispensable in today’s development and integration of E/E systems. A “Digital Car” KPI system provides the foundation for a rigorous management of development and policy.

Sample project results:

Integrated view of available E/E systems, process and data landscapes in the company.

Tailored measurement parameters in an automated KPI dashboard as a core management instrument on the basis of centralised data pools.

User-oriented visualisation of results depending on requirements in “real time”.

Jakob le Claire

Project example: Modular strategy

Reduction of manufacturing and development costs for a new generation of Digital Cars using commonality.

The strategic importance of digital product offerings in the automotive industry is causing a swift increase in development and manufacturing costs. By standardising components and software across architectures and brands, a competitive offering at a reasonable cost can be realised.

Sample project results:

Definition of an innovative and market-oriented product offering and iterative optimisation cycles for optimum economic outcomes.

Identification of components and software that can and must be standardised from a technical and economic point of view.  

Top management decision in favour of a modular profile spanning architecture and brand to ensure a stable framework.

Maximilian Klee
Senior Partner

Project example: Supply of electronic and semiconductor components

Responsive increase of security of supplies through short and medium term measures of procurement organisations.

Complexity in global supply chains leads to delays in reporting shortages to OEMs and affects all areas of procurement. As a “supply chain specialist”, KBC supports specialised purchasing departments in quickly identifying and sustainably de-escalating critical topics in the N-tier supply chain.

Sample project results:

Systematic transparency of N-tier supply chains and at a parts level (parts list).

Tracking und prioritisation of critical 1st-tier suppliers and components according to defined measurements/parameters. 

Traceability of flows of goods in N-tier supply chain and increase of storage intervals and safety margins.

De-escalating measures carried out and tracked (escalation discussions with X-tier, allocation, deployment of alternative materials/components, etc.)

Georg Huber
Senior Partner

Project example: Testing strategy electricity / electronics

Optimisation of depth and quality of assurance across all integration levels using a continuous testing strategy.

The rising complexity in development and fast-changing product requirements present the Testing and Assurance area with new challenges. A continuous, coordinated testing strategy for everything from individual components up to the overall system enables a targeted and efficient quality assurance.

Sample project results:

Concept development for continuous orientation of quality assurance with a focus on function and customer.

Selection of suitable criteria for the handover of software artefacts to downstream integration levels to ensure system stability in assurance.

Building & executing continuous reporting to create transparency on the test coverage of several assurance levels.

Philipp Berger

Project example: Data Analytics and Data Governance

Use vehicle and usage data to achieve better decisions and more customer focus in development.

For the optimum use of high quantities of data, pragmatic Data Governance and an innovative Data Analytics function are necessary. Coordinating these two organisational units well ensures a shift to data-based decisions.

Sample project results:

Increase in availability of vehicle and usage data as well as improved structuring.

Implementation of Analytics as a service for fast & competent answers to question of analysis.

Improvement of decision quality using a sound Analytics basis of assessment.

Maximilian Klee
Senior Partner

Project example: Management von Elektronik- und Halbleiterlieferketten

Präventive Erhöhung der Versorgungssicherheit mit mittel- und lang-fristigen Maßnahmen von Einkaufsorganisationen.

The sharp increase in demand for resources in supply management leads to overloading specialist purchasing departments and thus to other core tasks being neglected. As a “supply chain specialist”, KBC relieves professional buyers at different levels of the hierarchy both internally and with suppliers.

Sample project results:

Systematic transparency of N-tier supply chains and at a parts level (parts list).

Binding order processes and/or long-term planning.

Evaluation, clustering and prioritisation of potential problem areas for series phases as well as review and inference of relevant implications for PEP (strategy, concept, series development).

Technological competence in the procurement area started for the strategic focus of commercial groups.