If you are in the automotive industry, you understand the love for our market, as well as the highs and lows we all face. Our industry has experienced a lot of evolution, and we expect to see significant changes in the months and years to come. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for automotive businesses to look at adopting and implementing a Master Data Management (MDM) system into their business structure.
A Changing Auto Market
I learned at a young age about the automotive industry. Being the eldest son of a single mother, it was up to me to keep our lone means of transportation running. More times than I can count, I was hitting up one of the neighborhood ‘father’ figures for guidance as I self-taught myself along the way. Being the tinkering type of guy, I was always interested in how things worked, which typically involved taking things apart that weren’t broken to begin with, trying to see how they worked, and then reassembling with the hopes of it still working. Thus began my love for gas-powered engines and anything mechanical.
Since then, I’ve seen the auto industry hits good times and hard times. Fast forward to our current world issues, COVID-19 for example, and for many people the world seems to be on pause or just not the same. Right now, as reported by HIS Markit, we are facing forecasts globally for light vehicle sales to be down 22 percent to roughly 70.3 million units this year alone. The bigger picture is the ripple effect these strains will have on our industry from parts manufacturers to aftermarket wholesalers.
With most states and countries starting to relax lockdowns, we will slowly begin to see our patrons and neighbors getting back to work and our cities showing signs of life again. Demand for parts and car purchases may come back to life as well, but what we need to keep in mind is that production lines for parts and automobiles have been slowed or even shut down in some cases.
One thing to expect will be the boost to eCommerce, as the ever-growing Amazon presence and mobile shopping continues to get stronger footholds across markets. Adding to the complexity are evolving automotive technology, electric car designs, and self-driving technology.
With so many changes coming, now is the time to act. Take this opportunity to streamline your data – make digital transformation a priority and continue to grow your business for the future. Most of the companies in our industry have some flavor of electronic footprint by now, but many are still living in chaos with multiple IT systems spread amongst business users.
MDM for automotive enterprises can help by providing the foundational backbone behind a company’s infrastructure, and establishing the ‘single source of truth’ that auto businesses need to evolve and grow.
Key Benefits to Adopting Automotive MDM
Let’s take a look at some key benefits of adopting an MDM platform for the auto industry.
Centralize Multiple Domains
MDM platforms give us the ability to model multiple domains in one system. A few primary examples of these domains would be Product Data, Vehicle Fitment Data, Customer Data, and Location Data. These domains are important individually, but in cases of Multi-Domain MDM, they become even more powerful when you can view data in relation to other domains for deeper insights.
Focus on Fitment Data
Those in the auto industry all know how important fitment data is in relation to the products provided or manufactured for sellers. When implementing an MDM platform, it’s essential to keep this data point a focus of your efforts. From a data creation point of view, you are defining the vehicle configurations that fit the products you are manufacturing; or, if you are a wholesale business, you need to take in fitment data in order to populate your downstream systems with accurate information for your customers to use in their buying decisions. Being able to create accurate data and export that information in a useable format to your customers is key to your success and theirs.
Streamline Business Processes
For manufacturing and wholesale businesses, the ability to minimize the complexity behind your company’s data generation is key. From PLM to fitment data creation and managing customer relationships, it all requires clearly defined structures and processes. MDM platforms give your business the ability to define these structures and gather the information from multiple downstream systems. By making use of workflow tools, the business can implement workstreams specific to their task, and the MDM tool will provide a way of capturing and cleansing any data being migrated from other systems.
Successful Data Syndication
Most MDM tools provide the ability to send data out to any system you dictate, from eCommerce and ERP and even customers, depending on the specific use case at hand. This is critical for automotive businesses when it comes to sharing consistent and up-to-date information on parts and products. Syndications to your downstream and upstream channels are often scheduled for specific times and configured for automation, which allows your users to focus on other important business tasks.
Get the Help You Need
Now that we’ve provided clarity into why an auto business benefits from MDM, as well as its impact in the digital age, let’s look at how you can get the help you need to start your journey.
There are aspects of the automotive industry – for example, PIES and ACES standards – that must be considered when implementing your MDM solution. Therefore, along with ensuring your key business stakeholder agreements and alignments are in place, you will need a partner that can help you along the path from business use case discovery to a successful implementation. The right partner can also provide the support you need when it comes to formatting and cleansing your data to meet unique auto business and industry requirements.
At Amplifi, we draw from deep experience across all of the major software systems in the MDM sphere, as well as best practices in system development and business process. With our knowledge of data management and the requirements of your industry, we help bridge the gap between what your company requires and how to leverage and configure your MDM solution for success.