By Lahar Tahbildar, Chief Product Officer
Automotive component supply contracts are notoriously complex: in addition to fluctuating volumes, there are multi-component prices linked to time and volume, commodity material clauses, currency clauses, contracted capacities & flexibilities, etc. In my experience, the biggest challenge for companies is how to intelligently extract insights and take actions from such complex data.
Sales teams at automotive suppliers are always under pressure from various departments to maintain such data with maximum quality. This is especially true currently as companies search for all levers to recover margins. However, unfortunately, the consequence for Sales teams is multiple systems, usually out-dated tools and lots of Excel sheets with a huge administrative effort.
But what is done with this data? Is there a real value to offset the cost and effort to maintain it? Unfortunately, I have seen too many situations in which this is simply not the case.
As the data sits in multiple, disjointed systems, there is no efficient way to consolidate it or extract any meaningful insights from it. This is an issue that affects most of the companies, resulting in missed opportunities to equip their Sales team for re-negotiations of under-performing contacts.
Recently, I have started seeing examples of successful digital transformations at automotive suppliers which bring real benefits, and a value that is measured in actual increased margins. Bringing all their Sales data onto a single-source-of-truth platform is allowing them to get immediate insights into volume deviations, missed tooling payments, price gaps and raw material cost increases, which their Sales teams can act on to improve their commercial performance.
Instead of being slaves to data, we can finally become the masters and let the data work for us.