Finding the right tech talents, crowdsourcing to an enlightened crowd, showing great signs of product development and outsourcing to the worldwide tech communities are some of the ways automobile companies stay aloft in this rapidly changing industry.
Automakers from across the world keep springing up new designs that would effectively benefit users of their automobiles. For a little over the edge, they are willing to take the next plunge into creating something unique that gives them an advantage over their competitors. Bear it in mind these competitors don't just exist locally, but on an International stage as well.
As a lot of companies like Intuition Robotics Ltd, Blue Frog Robotics, Moley Robotics, Rethink Robotics, Civil Maps have found out, it's not easy to create a great innovation and still maintain it. Innovation comes from applying something unique or distinct into an already existing platform. What happens if the same technology that kept you in business all these years becomes obsolete?
For this reason, companies continue to update themselves and their product in other to stay relevant to their loyal consumers as well seek new ways to convert passive followers into new ones. Tech giants who have had a big breakthrough in the past are not finding it easy maintaining that advantage that keeps giving them economies of scale and profitability.
Competition is biting harder by the minute as startups find new ways to cut cost and meet consumers at their point of need, unlike large corporations who are too rigid to make flexible decisions that will drive innovations to their automobile companies.
If growth and development are to be expected, quality must be put ahead of sentiment for the benefits of the consumers and it starts with:
Revamping an automobile tech talent search
In case you haven't noticed, it isn't about what people say they can do, but what they actually do that matters if you're hoping to find a talent. With so many graduates brandishing their certificate as engineers that specialize in certain aspects of auto engineering that you require, it will all bore down to what they can do at the end of the day.
If you're hoping to score a talent, the first step of finding one is that they are never idle. They are consistently working on something new for themselves or for others. So next time a tech guy walks into your office brandishing his or her curriculum vitae, look at their portfolio for what they are working on at the moment. It will give an advantage in spotting new tech talents.
Engage freelancers or specialist
If ChallengeRocket for example are looking for something new or need someone to expand an existing project, freelancers are the way to go. They save the stress of employing or finding an entirely new team that would take time to bond and work on your project.
Freelance engineers work independently and this gives them an advantage to hone skills that would take an employee to have in a very long time. If everything goes right, it would be the ideal situation for any company to source some ideas on an existing or new project from this freelancer. They exist in platforms like Upwork, gurus and on Fiverr.
Divide R&D into teams
It might seem like a lot if you start looking at the various ways dividing the R&D department is going to cost the company. Critically looking at it, you might just be placing members of the team in a place they are better suited to operate.
Dividing your research and development team also decentralizes authority, which makes new leaders emerge and innovative ideas to form. A low-level employee might see this as an opportunity to make his mark and the same thing go for anyone hoping to impress their boss with a great idea.
Embrace open innovation (crowdsourcing)
Often we get the idea a big automaker is throwing a competition open to get the best design for a particular car they are hoping to launch. And they are looking for tech talents to take the shine on this occasion and win for themselves mouthwatering gifts in cash and benefits. The money to be won can sometimes run into thousands of dollars.
An open innovation competition like that can steer up creativity from people looking to seize the opportunity of a lifetime. They know they don't have to be the most talented tech talent, they just have to produce the best output regarding what is needed to win the price.
If nothing can bring innovation to a company, this will. It has worked countless times for companies like ChallengeRocket who have gone on to use the prototypes on these platforms to build powerful product.
The automobile industry is frat with constant regulations locally and abroad, with the incessant taxes they pay to the authority in other to maintain a good road network where consumers’ cars can ply. For these reasons, automakers can choose to have micro-factories all over the world that cater to their loyal customers.
How does this all lead to innovation? Weather conditions on every continent are not the same. For people living in America and Europe, it's easy to see why we need our cars to heat up as quickly as possible because of our climatic condition. But for others, like in Africa, that amount of heat together with the hot climate might cause complications to an automobile. For this reason, innovation is required to target specific continents and their climatic conditions.
Engineers from the head office can be stationed at these places to cater for their specific needs before drawing up reports that would lead to a new product being produced.
Collaborating with customers
Customers have the best opinion about a product and it's because they use them every day. When a certain number of customers are complaining about the same thing in an automobile, it's important for the automakers to address them. We have had too many cases of complaint about a particular product and the next year a better version is produced that fixes those complaints.
All these go to show that customers are as important in the supply chain as anybody else. It only takes an automaker to create a platform and a very good customer service that takes record of these complaints, inquiries and suggestions as they are brought up.
If the data from them is pulled and sent to the right department, we might just be looking at another innovative product to come.
Pursuing external alliances
Everyone who has been in the automobile industry spanning 10 years can attest to the fact that it's an industry that thrives on sharing ideas. For all its worth, no company is an island unto itself. They belong to associations, including various leaders in the industry for some reasons. One of such reasons is drawn from the experiences of people or companies who have more experience.
An interactive symposium can showcase some new ideas a manager or a research & development employee never knew existed and this can spike new interest and creativity.
At such events most times, new ideas are brought out in the open about new ways of doing business, new technologies that can save cost and new government policies that could be beneficial if creating new product must be done.