In the dynamic world of manufacturing, effective Sales Planning is crucial for all aspects of the business, from revenue and cost planning to resource, capacity, and investment planning. Manufacturers face many challenges due to uncertain market dynamics, an evolving technology landscape and changing cost and price structures, which result in lengthy and repetitive evaluation loops and management alignments.
Pricing management in the automotive industry presents unique challenges for automotive suppliers, given the complex nature of pricing structures. Sales teams often face difficulties in maintaining and accurately tracking pricing information due to the multiple components contained in each price agreement.
In the fast-paced automotive industry, integrating external market data into suppliers’ systems has become crucial for success. Prominent sources like S&P IHS Markit, GlobalData LMC Automotive, BloombergNEF and Power Systems Research offer valuable insights and forecasts into vehicle, engine and powertrain production and sales. By harnessing this data effectively, automotive suppliers can anticipate market demand, enhance product development, optimize supply chain management, strengthen customer relationships, and drive sustainable growth.
Andreas founded Xotigo in 2017 after successfully implementing a Sales Management solution built on Salesforce for the German supplier HELLA, which was adopted by over 1000 users.
Change Management can mean many different things in different industries, but automotive suppliers know it best as the game that can make or break the profitability of any project. As product development both on the vehicle and the system components starts 2 to 3 years before the final production launch, technical, specification and scope changes during this phase are part of the daily exercises of the suppliers’ project teams. Despite this, managing such Changes remains a major headache for many suppliers and optimising the financial impact an even greater migraine.
Too often automotive suppliers consider Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Planning at opposite ends of their Sales spectrum. It is all too easy to categorise CRM as a customer, outfacing activity and consider Sales Planning as an administrative, internal task. However, this is a simplified, legacy-tainted view that ignores the transformation possible with digital tools and a new, efficient way of working.
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.
Successful digital transformations always focus on people over technology. Providing real benefits for the employees and motivating them to embrace the change are key factors in the development and execution of digital strategies.
Therefore, the size and extent of the transformation become critical considerations for how the people will be affected by and how well they will accept the result.