A Look At Social Networking For The Automotive Industry

Social networking for the automotive industry seems a bit hard to fathom. With all of the sites out there doing it, but only concentrating on a couple of different sectors of the industry. The way I see it for this to work, it needs to be more all-inclusive.

The automotive a whole is having hard times right now, and believe me they are all looking for ways to make their businesses perform better. They go to the web because it’s one of the best places to push their businesses without having to spend more money then they can afford.

With all of the buzz on the net about social networking, you can bet they are looking in to it, just as I did. A lot of them are probably finding the exact same thing as I did, that there are no social networks that are directly related to their business.

Why on earth would you join a social network that doesn’t relate to your business? I know I wouldn’t do it, if they are looking to promote their business by the use of a social network, it just makes sense to look for like minded people in the social networks.

It stands to reason that a person who is looking to promote their auto restoration shop, doesn’t want to join an automotive social network that is aimed at new car dealers. What point is there to spend the time that it takes to network with people there.

Social networking takes a lot of time to do right. You need to figure out the best way to use it for your business. It takes hours of studying to get it right, you need to know demographics, and why the customers would respond to your as opposed to another person.

If you on the network that is aimed at you specific sector you increase you chances of it working for you greatly. Although a lot of the automotive industry still has no place to go for this, people are out there wondering why automotive social networking seems to be failing as a whole.

The bottom line is there is no such a thing as the idea of as a whole, it is just a few sectors of the industry that are covered in the social networking universe. I wonder how these people have come to a conclusion that it’s failing as a whole, when that doesn’t exist yet.

When you take a slice of pie, you can’t know the entire story of that pie. No I don’t think that automotive social networking as a whole has failed, I think that it need to have deeper exploration. The automotive industry is a tough way to make a living.

A lot of the people in the industry feel as if they got left out in the cold, if you give them a nice warm fuzzy place to call home, you can bet they will swoon right on it. They will attack like a pack of vultures, but they need to fell like they are getting something from it.

In the automotive industry we don’t have piles of money sitting around to experiment with, we need things to work the first time. I realize that most of these web sites don’t charge to join them, but it does take a person a lot of time to make them work.

How Is the Automotive Industry Handling the New Industrial Revolution?

Bill Gates is alleged to have once quipped that “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 MPG.” Even though the authenticity of this quote is questionable, it has been circulated throughout the internet for years because there is something about the sentiment that rings true to us. It certainly does not seem that the automotive industry has kept up with advancing technology the way that the computer industry has.

This may be due in part to the manufacturing infrastructure that has evolved over the years. Making sweeping upgrades to equipment and/or processes seems a very expensive and risky proposition. When you couple this with the fact that many automobile manufacturers today struggle to find enough demand for their current supply, it is easy to understand why keeping up with the latest technology isn’t always a top priority.

The problem with this reluctance, though, is that automobiles are not inexpensive consumables that people buy casually. Customers expect vehicles to come with the highest standards of safety and efficiency. Customers expect the latest technology possible. How can manufacturers keep up with this demand for innovation without changing their processes?

It seems that some manufacturers are beginning to embrace the ways of the modern industrial world, and are finding ways to align their business models with the current wave of interconnectivity and streamlined automation.

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama

Honda’s largest light truck production facility in the world – a 3.7 million square foot plant – was faced with a problem all too common to large manufacturing facilities. Over the years, a number of different automation systems were introduced to help streamline production. With operations including blanking, stamping, welding, painting, injection molding, and many other processes involved in producing up to 360,000 vehicles and engines per year, it is not surprising that they found themselves struggling to integrate PLCs from multiple manufacturers, multiple MES systems, analytic systems, and database software from different vendors.

Of course, on top of these legacy systems, Honda continued to layer an array of smart devices on the plant floor and embed IT devices in plant equipment. The complexity introduced by this array of automation systems turned out to be slowing down the operations they were intended to streamline.

After reorganizing their business structure to merge IT and plant floor operations into a single department, Honda proceeded to deploy a new automation software platform that enabled them to bring together PLC data with the data coming from MES and ERP systems into a common interface that allowed the entire enterprise to be managed through a single system. This also allowed Honda to manage and analyze much larger data sets that revealed new opportunities for further optimization. While this reorganization required a significant investment of resources, they were able realize benefits immediately, and ultimately positioned themselves to maintain a competitive edge through the next decade or more.

Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Company operates a global network of manufacturing operations, and have had difficulty when trying to promote collaboration and share best practices between their various plants. They found a solution using technology based on the Google Earth infrastructure.

Ford was able to develop a cloud-based application that stores 2D and 3D representations of Ford’s global manufacturing facilities, and allows users to navigate through these virtual environments, place pins, and upload video, images and documents to these pins that are shared throughout Ford’s global operations. Engineers and operators can share information about current plant conditions and procedures, which can be accessed in real time from anywhere in the world. The accumulated data can be used for training or to update standard procedures. By creating a global collaborative tool, Ford has created a means of ensuring that each and every one of their employees has the latest, most accurate information on how to best perform a particular task or how to avoid a problem that was encountered elsewhere.

We will have to see in coming years whether or not these innovations will lead to improved market performance for either of these manufacturers, but in the meantime it is probably safe to expect other companies to follow suit. With the advances in manufacturing technologies and machine-to-machine communication, it is becoming very difficult to remain competitive without playing by the same rules as everyone else. Industrial technology has advanced to the point that we are experiencing what people refer to as a new industrial era – or Industry 4.0. Reluctance is no longer a viable option.

Mobile Technology Meets the Automotive Industry

Mobile technology is not isolated to one particular sector. While tech-savvy individuals do put mobile technology to work everyday, it’s not solely them who enjoy the benefits of this important societal advancement.

More and more industries are learning that the future is mobile. Because of the growing ubiquity of mobile phones, there is no single industry that could not benefit in some way from implementing mobile technology. One such industry that can (and does) benefit from mobile technology is the automotive industry. If you’re involved in this competitive sector, then listen up: mobile technology can help you run your business more smoothly, and can also allow you to tackle problems with more creative and innovative solutions.

One of the most interesting aspects of mobile technology is the advent of QR codes. These codes are becoming more and more commonplace, and are by far the best way to get a consumer to a website landing page.

Here are just some of the ways by which QR technology can be put to good use in the automotive industry.

Custom-Designed QR Codes

QR codes are an excellent addition to any business. While they provide many ways for companies to get their target audience to a website landing page, the problem arises when you consider the sheer amount of QR codes that are bombarding consumers every single day. If you’re an automotive company who wishes to stand out, you’ll want a QR code that will be both iconic and memorable. That’s where custom QR codes come in. Now you don’t have to settle for a QR code that’s black, white, and mundane; custom-designed QR codes allow businesses to have codes that incorporate their logos, background imagery and chosen colors.

Specialty QR Codes

While fancy, aesthetically appealing QR codes are nice and flashy, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. That’s where specialty QR codes come in. This technology is not solely for bringing customers to a boring landing page – people need motivation to scan a QR code… And you need to provide them with a call to action to do just that.

Consider some of these innovative solutions that can be incorporated into the automotive industry.

Tag2pdf – You can use Tag2pdf to get vehicle information directly to a customer. QR codes can be placed on car windows; when scanned, the interested customer will have the option to be emailed all pertinent information about the car. This is easily the quickest and most efficient way to get comprehensive information about a product directly into the hands of a customer.

Tag2win – Customers can scan a Tag2win code to automatically be entered into a contest to win an automotive prize. This is a great way to spike consumer interest.

Tag2video – Tag2video provides an incredible opportunity for the automotive industry. These codes can be scanned to deliver a video right to your customers’ phones! The implications of this are obvious: instead of having a boring, static advertisement, you can bring things to life by showing them a video of one of your cars in action!

Together, specialty and custom-designed QR codes provide a comprehensive way of implementing mobile technology into the automotive industry. Make sure you take advantage of this cutting-edge technology and achieve your full potential in a world that is clearly going mobile. Don’t miss out.

Driving Data Analytics in the Automotive Industry

It’s interesting to see that the amount of companies using data is increasing. It’s also pretty cool to see some of the new and innovative ways that companies are doing so, especially with data analytics playing a big role in achieving new levels of success.

The automotive industry has been trying their hands at using data and they’re doing it well. The amount of data that can be gathered from cars is quite ridiculous, especially when you take into account that a lot of data is simply stored in the key which is then plugged in at the garage to view it.

Cars have been kitted inside and out with data. Yes, I bet that’s not one you’ve heard about as it’s not quite cream leather interiors or mud resistant trims. Data is so much better. It’s behind vehicle safety and quality and contributes to the driving experience.

Did you know, the average hybrid vehicle generates up to 25 gigabytes of data in just one hour? Car manufacturers and garages have been capturing telematics for many years however it’s becoming much more sophisticated. Using analytics and data has enabled technology to alert drivers of any hazards on the road, or if the conditions are particularly dangerous. Anti-locking systems, traction control and so much more have been created with the help of data.

IBM reported that Volvo, through using predictive analytics, repair instructions and identifying replacement parts before a vehicle arrives for a service has benefit from a reduction in diagnostic times by up to 70% and repair times of over 20%.

Furthermore, with recent years having cars being recalled, some companies like BMW are using data analytics to record errors reported by customers to identify any potential weakness in new models that could cause problems and then eliminating them before they even go into production. Now if this isn’t major cost savings, increased efficiency and keeping a good reputation then I don’t know what is.

Connected vehicles are becoming more popular. Services and experience can be constantly updated once the car has left the factory. They can have important updates and interactions without having to return and this has proven extremely useful through the connecting capability. Ford, for example have focused on more “consumer-based, more real-time interaction, real-time services, real-time experiences, contextualized experiences” rather than the storage capabilities of the cloud.

It’s not just information about faults that manufacturers use data for. Financial predictions means cars are priced according to the market and behind the prices are more realistic pricing plans and financial support. It goes without saying that car companies will use their contact data for marketing purposes and targeting their communications to ensure their messages stay relevant. They’ve proved that data can go far beyond the use of marketing and with the likes of BMW and Volvo showing that data is having a rather positive impact on business, it will be interesting to see where and how the market takes its usage of data.