In an industry known for its traditional practices, the automotive sector is increasingly recognizing the need for digital transformation. Process automation is an integral part of this. The integration of process automation solutions can revolutionize the way your automotive retail and manufacturing business operates, providing numerous benefits and addressing obstacles that you face in the current digital landscape.
Let’s take a deeper look at how automation and digitalization in the automotive industry can enable your business to reap enormous benefits, streamline broken processes, and steer your revenue in the right direction.
Why the automotive industry needs process automation
The automotive industry right now is facing various challenges that are difficult to swerve away from, including fluctuating economic conditions, increasing interest rates, seasonal dips, transitioning to sustainable models, and evolving regulations. And that’s only the start of it. Deep inside manufacturing assembly lines and dealerships, there are complex operational processes that can be time-consuming, error-prone, and resource-intensive. Then there’s legacy systems that can no longer keep up with the demands of the digital era, as well as a lack of IT and development capabilities in-house.
By embracing process automation and digitalization in the automotive industry, you can streamline operations, reduce manual labor, gain visibility on all tasks, and improve overall efficiency to focus on high-priority tasks that make a long-term difference e.g. improving customer service, enhancing sales strategies, and driving innovation. In short, the automotive industry needs to embrace process automation to face the new digital landscape with confidence.
Benefits of digitalization in the automotive industry
Implementing process automation in the automotive industry offers a wide range of advantages:
Mundane and manual tasks are time-consuming, wasting resources that could be applied to more vital areas. Across every department, streamlining your operations is the first step to being more efficient. Take your financial operations, as an example. From financial reporting to purchase order management, there are many manual processes that take time away from long-term strategic planning and leave you vulnerable to human errors. Not only that, but high-level employees are performing low value tasks. Automation reduces the risk of human error and ensures consistent and accurate data entry, while freeing your senior team to focus on what really matters. In fact, you could save over 6,000 hours (about 8 months) per year in admin tasks.
Reduce operational costs
Automating processes in the automotive industry can result in significant cost savings. By reducing the need for manual labor, you can save on expenses and put the new source of income into another area. But that’s not all. By eradicating legacy systems and simplifying technology stacks, that can be a drain on expenditure, operational costs can still go down further. By using the right automation tools, you can save over $100k (£80,000) or more per significant process.
Boost scalability and flexibility
You want to grow, don’t you? Digitalization allows you to scale your operations more easily as you expand. Automated processes can handle increased volumes of transactions and data without compromising efficiency. Additionally, digital systems can be easily customized and adapted to meet your evolving business needs and industry-specific trends. Plus, with the right process automation tool, you can integrate it seamlessly with other key solutions. When you harness the top automation solutions, you can deploy processes 5X faster.
Gain competitive advantage
Implementing process automation gives you a competitive edge in the market. By embracing digitalization in the automotive industry, you can differentiate yourself from competitors, attract more customers, and improve your overall market position. Automation also enables faster response times and agility, allowing you to adapt to market changes and customer demands more effectively. Once you’ve fully embraced process automation, you can achieve ROI 2X faster than competitors.
10 processes that can be automated in the automotive industry
By automating these processes, you can achieve higher levels of accuracy, reduce administrative burdens, enhance overall productivity, and deliver better customer service:
1. Pre-service recall checks
Vehicles often get recalled each year for safety issues. Identifying any outstanding recalls before vehicles undergo routine maintenance or service is essential for maintaining the safety of your customers and your fleet. Automated systems can quickly cross-reference vehicle identification numbers (VINs) with manufacturer databases to identify any outstanding recalls, ensuring that the necessary repairs or replacements are scheduled promptly.
By automating the process, you can efficiently identify and notify customers affected by recalls. FlowForma Process Automation can enable easy tracking of recall completion with document generation and workflow management to ensure a swift resolution and compliance with safety regulations.
2. HR processes
Your HR team is the core of your business. They manage the onboarding of new talent, while ensuring that your work culture is maintained at every level. But HR departments can be burdened by administrative work like chasing managers for updates on performance appraisals, annual leave, and induction week mania.
Process automation alleviates recurring challenges in your HR team. Automated workflows can clear bottlenecks and help your HR department add greater value to your workplace. By utilizing the right tools, your HR team can shift focus from administrative tasks to strategic initiatives, thereby enhancing the overall effectiveness and efficiency of your business operations.
3. Stock warranty recall process
FlowForma can simplify and expedite the stock warranty recall process, where manufacturers address and rectify any issues or defects in vehicles that are still under warranty. Essential as this process is, it can be long and tiresome:
- Identification: A manufacturer identifies the affected vehicles by their VINs and determines which components or systems need to be addressed.
- Notification: The manufacturer sends out recall notices to vehicle owners, informing them of the recall and providing instructions on how to proceed.
- Repair or replacement: Owners are instructed to take their vehicles to an authorized dealership or service center to have the necessary repairs or replacements carried out.
- Documentation: The dealership or service center records the completion of the recall, repair or replacement. They also update the manufacturer's database accordingly.
- Verification: Manufacturer conducts follow-up checks or inspections to ensure that the recall repairs are completed correctly.
Automated workflows can streamline the whole process, helping you to quickly identify vehicles under warranty, initiate recall procedures, and efficiently coordinate repairs.
4. Stock and inventory management
Efficient stock and inventory management is crucial for automotive companies. From forecasting and demand planning, procurement, storage and inventory tracking, stock control and sales analysis...there’s a lot to juggle.
Process automation can fully optimize stock tracking, automate your replenishment processes, and enable real-time visibility into inventory levels. You’ll have a single source of truth for reporting and analytics to make data-driven decisions in real-time. By reducing manual effort and human error, minimizing stockouts, and improving accuracy, automation will enhance your supply chain efficiency and maximize profitability.
5. Online test drive and service bookings
In the digital age, customers need convenient, flexible online test drives and service booking options. Successful test drives lead to more sales, so making the whole process as smooth as possible cannot be underestimated.
By automating the booking process through online platforms or mobile applications, you can enable customers to schedule test drives or service appointments at their preferred date and time. This eliminates the need for phone calls or in-person visits, streamlining the process and reducing wait times. Automated systems can also send reminders and notifications to customers through automated workflows for a positive overall experience.
6. Quality checks
Vehicle safety is paramount. If your fleet doesn’t tick all the boxes, then you’re going to have a problem. Many processes help to maintain vehicle safety, but quality checks are essential.
Quality checks in your sector include many aspects like Incoming Quality Control (IPC), In-process Quality Control (IPQC), Quality Assurance (QA) and more. FlowForma's process automation solutions facilitate efficient quality checks by automating inspection workflows that can help capture data to generate real-time reports. This enables better visibility into your quality metrics, ensures faster issue resolution, and continuous improvement that meets customer satisfaction and compliance.
7. Fleet maintenance
Managing a fleet of vehicles efficiently is a complex task, but FlowForma simplifies fleet maintenance processes.
With automated workflows for scheduling maintenance, tracking repairs, and managing service records, you can optimize fleet operations, minimize downtime, and extend vehicle lifecycles. This results in improved fleet performance, reduced costs, and enhanced operational efficiency that is a plus for you and your customers.
8. Incident management
One of the most critical aspects of the automotive industry is incident management. These incidents can range from safety-related incidents, product defects, recalls, accidents, to service disruptions. Effective incident management minimizes the impact on customers, ensuring safety, and maintaining your reputation.
By automating incident tracking, assigning tasks, and providing real-time updates, you can improve response times, ensure compliance with safety regulations, and minimize disruptions. FlowForma's automation solutions facilitate streamlined incident reporting, escalation, and resolution processes through automated workflows and document generation.
Automated risk assessment systems can also help to analyze historical data, identify patterns, and generate risk profiles to provide insights into potential vulnerabilities and threats so you can prioritize risk mitigation efforts.
9. Customer and supplier onboarding
Onboarding customers and suppliers can be a slog. You want to build long-term and trustworthy relationships, not fiddle around with forms and data entry all day long.
FlowForma Process Automation enables document generation and approval workflows that eliminate manual effort, improve accuracy, and enhance communication between your customers and suppliers.
10. Sales process
Sales. The bread and butter of automotive retailers. Whether it’s customers selling their used car to your fleet, making a direct purchase, or vehicle transfers between fellow dealerships, getting that initial interest before signing on the dotted line can be a long journey.
FlowForma can handle some of the weight by helping your sales teams optimize lead management, quoting, and contract approval workflows. By digitizing and automating these processes, you can accelerate sales cycles, improve accuracy, and enhance collaboration between sales teams and other departments.
Automation also simplifies the administrative tasks associated with vehicle transfers. FlowForma’s automated document generation can reduce the paperwork involved in transferring ownership and registration, cutting the time and effort required to complete these processes.
Still need convincing...?
If you’re still unsure how FlowForma’s process automation tool can enhance your automotive business, then take a look at Jacksons CI Ltd. who have seen unprecedented levels of change in their business processes since automation. Among many things, Jacksons replaced outdated legacy systems, fully automated pre-service recall checks for each manufacturer, and digitalized processes across all departments.
Accelerate efficiency with digitalization in the automotive industry
As the demand for digitalization in the automotive sector continues to grow, forward-thinking companies are leveraging no code process automation solutions like FlowForma to revolutionize their operations, train their staff to digitize at speed, and stay ahead in this highly competitive landscape.
By digitalizing business operations, automotive retail and manufacturing businesses like yours can unlock new levels of efficiency, reduce costs, enhance customer experiences, and address industry-specific challenges.
Embrace automation today with FlowForma to drive success in your automotive business.