To gain competitive advantage, automotive tier suppliers are building smart, connected manufacturing infrastructures. And they are demanding data-centric machines to serve as the foundation for this Connected Enterprise.
More suppliers are specifying material genealogy capabilities as standard for assembly equipment. Others have ramped up requirements for remote connectivity.
Still others are imposing more aggressive Takt times for tightly integrated machines and processing lines.
But these are just a few examples.
No matter what the application, tier suppliers increasingly require equipment that is both information-enabled and aligned with industry imperatives.
Machine builders have always faced challenging specifications, of course.
But simply addressing the requirements on a request for proposal (RFP) often goes only so far toward truly understanding – and meeting – customer needs.
An RFP-limited mindset also minimizes a machine builder’s opportunity to create differentiation – and may even hinder innovative thinking and the adoption of smarter technologies.
So, if you’re an automotive machine builder – how do you change this paradigm? Here are two questions to consider:
1. What are my customers’ real requirements – beyond the RFP?
Customers have difficulty articulating their true needs at times.
While a typical equipment RFP may appear complete, a closer look usually reveals limited information regarding actual business objectives.
Although each tier supplier faces specific challenges, most share these objectives and require equipment that:
- Optimizes operational efficiencies
- Mitigates safety risks
- Integrates easily with other systems
- Improves data access and analysis
The more you approach an RFP within the context of this “hidden agenda,” the better you can position yourself as the expert in the field.
And as a partner focused on smart, innovative solutions that extend value beyond specified requirements.