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“Use tech to convert a pain area into an opportunity”

Jayant Magar, Vice President – IT and Group CIO, AMW Motors Ltd, on using digital transformation to address traditional problem areas in manufacturing and create a competitive advantage.
By Shweta Gandhi

“There are many emerging technologies today and we can label them as IoT or digital transformation or IT enablement—but what we do with them and the processes we follow is the only way to convert a pain area into an opportunity,” says Jayant Magar, Vice President – IT and Group CIO, AMW Motors Ltd. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Jayant focuses on using digital transformation to create a strategic impact.

“In digital transformation we attend to each and every business function at regular intervals and then identify the scope of areas that can be controlled by IT. After analysing that requirement, we convert it into business objectives that can be fed into IT solutions, and we then get into project planning,” he says. Jayant has played a major role in starting digital initiatives in areas related to mobility, analytics, big data, IoT, product lifecycle management, cloud, infrastructure up gradation, dealer management, CRM, ERP, SAP and business transformation. He was recently recognised as a SaaS Icon at CIO Power List 2016. He talks to us about how AMW Motors Ltd is using technology to stay ahead of the curve and map the future.

Digital transformation through MES
“Very recently we initiated Manufacturing Execution System (MES) implementation in the Auto component division. MES is a control system for managing and monitoring work-in-process on a factory floor. An MES keeps track of all manufacturing information in real time, receiving up-to-the-minute data from robots, machine monitors and employees. Earlier, data punching and production punching was a manual activity; we’ve now converted all of that through PLC programming. From MES, data is straightaway integrated with SAP, and is now available on the dashboards. This entire change in capturing data, processing it, and presenting it in a meaningful manner is a digital transformation. The respective stakeholder can remotely sit at any location and analyse what’s happening while taking decisions based on the information he’s receiving through the dashboard. We have notices three advantageous by-products—enhanced productivity of the operator, reliability of the data, and efficiency of the machine, which is known as original equipment efficiency.”

Enhanced mobile apps
“In pre-sale activity, the pain area was tracking our sales and field officers visits to customers and automation of pre-sale data. So we recently implemented a mobile app that captures typical inputs from potential customers.  Our officers can punch in all this data online from the customer’s location itself. This data goes straightaway to a DMS system, where there’s an acknowledgement of the pre-sale enquiry, which ensures the enquiry data has reached the server. Thanks to this, duplication of tasks has stopped. Secondly, processes have become easier and user-friendly, as apps are available on any operating system. Thirdly, we can see if our officers are actually visiting customers. We can see the employee’s entire history, which was the core objective. So we achieved two objectives with this app—capturing online data and tracking field officers.”

Savvy e-commerce platform
“We recently developed an e-commerce platform for dealers to order spare parts of our vehicles. All the parts and related information is uploaded online, detailers select what they require and place an order. They can even view the product in 3D and if they’re frequent customers they can also get discounts online. All this is based on our customer profiles that our in-built algorithms pick up.”

Introducing smart vehicles
“The world of connected vehicles or smart vehicles is next—the evaluation phase is over and we are now at the piloting stage. So we are integrating all the stakeholders—from the fleet operator to the service engineer to the dealer and mechanic. We analysed how they would benefit from it and integrated the GPRS and GPS system with all the aggregates so that we will get all the value-added services. We have a B2B business model, so our fleet owner should get all the information and insights on the vehicle. We are also integrating an electronic engine with the system so that we can remotely diagnose a vehicle when it is off road. This is in its pilot stage.”

Implementing business, social and sentiment analysis
“Business analytics is another achievement where we have dashboards for all the company functions. We are running a process called GCC (Global Command Centre) that gives automatic insights to all decision makers—basically the entire financial and operational data in a one-page summary. We are also introducing a concept called sentiment analysis, wherein we can get the real voice of the customer, their thoughts and their feelings from social media, which will further improve our services.” 

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