Johannesburg, 22 Feb 2022
The vehicle manufacturing industry is fiercely competitive. It’s a market that requires intelligence and insights to align sales and vehicle investment to match market and demand. The client wanted to transform how it leveraged its data and insights to drive its competitive stance and long-term growth by automating its marketing intelligence reporting. The goal was to alleviate the ongoing reporting burden, to ensure accuracy and to extract the full value within its data. The client asked Decision Inc. to develop a solution that would meet these requirements, resolve legacy issues and give them far greater insights into strategic business decisions.
“Every vehicle and brand shares data with platforms such as NAAMSA or Autostats,” explains Peter Gardner, Engagement Manager at Decision Inc. “These platforms contain high level data on sales across multiple brands and companies – Ford, Nissan, Toyota and other manufacturers. This data includes new vehicle sales, data in terms of units sold and pricing for each model, along with other relevant information. This information can be accessed by any organisation that participates in data sharing. The client was using the data for basic analytics, including insights into vehicle sales trends, year-on-year sales and performance. However, they were struggling to pull together the higher value analytics such as price positioning and pricing strategy from the data.”
The client wanted to deep dive into the data so that they could fully realise tactical decision-making, leveraging market insights and trends such as the growing demand for automatic gearboxes and the ability to better establish price positioning.
“We recognised the potential that existed within the data they were already using and designed a solution to leverage this data to enrich their existing reporting while also adding advanced analytics to improve their tactical and strategic decision-making,” says Gardner. “They needed to see not only how many units of each model was sold, but also how many units their competitors were selling and at what price points. We also included analysis of pricing strategies and configuration trends across all segments, to enable them to plan their market strategies more effectively.”
The solution requirements
The solution had to embody specific characteristics. It needed to take the requirements of performance, vehicle type, market and competitor and apply this to reporting that could determine forward applied price increases across the different vehicle ranges that are aligned with market and customer demand. This was particularly important in light of the company’s recent investment into its local manufacturing plant. The plant aims to produce 12 000 additional vehicles annually, which made insight into customer, market and pricing critical.
“We empowered our client to look at the leading players in the market segment and to see how they performed when compared to them,” says Gardner. “They could immediately see where the pricing gaps were, at what intervals they could apply price increases and so much more. The platform has allowed them to drastically change how they position their models at the right price and at the right time, a functionality they didn’t have before.”
The client now has access to market intelligence and automated reporting functionality and dashboards that analyse revenue, volumes, pricing, market share and segment trends. The dashboards can be customised to provide decision-makers with relevant insights that form strategy and planning.
“The system allows users to combine different vehicle characteristics like fuel, gear type and engine size to identify trends in buying behaviour that are either emerging or waning,” says Gardner. “For example, in the past, the manual 4x2 configuration was dominant across most segments, but that has now changed, and the data shows significant growth in the automatic 4x2 market. These types of insights can inform the manufacturer’s production planning and enable holistic pricing strategies across model variants.”
Decision Inc. worked with the data providers used by the automotive industry to design data extract formats and automate data delivery in order to create an automated solution. Initially, the team presented the client with a proof of concept (POC) that not only showed them what was possible but allowed Decision Inc. to identify potential insights within the datasets.
The final result of the project is a comprehensive market intelligence model that provides the client with insights into its competitive position across all market segments. It not only offers them insight into competitor performance, but for comprehensive enhancement of pricing strategies, market share, average revenue per unit and to adjust accordingly.
“The solution is a superb example of how Decision Inc. can enhance analytics and reporting using data that’s readily available to anyone,” says Gardner. “The solution is easy to replicate for other automotive clients as well, because they have access to the same datasets.”
The benefits were:
- Guided production planning. The client used the data to increase the production of SUVs to meet market demand.
- Insights into consumer buying trends. The client detected the trend for automatic gearboxes and adapted accordingly.
- Price positioning. The client moved production locally to drop the price per unit and increase profits.
“We’ve created a platform that offers this leading manufacturer significantly improved insights, lifetime cost of ownership, warranties and finance figures that allow them to closely manage costs and strategy, and we have transformed everyday data into extraordinary insights for the business,” concludes Gardner.
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Decision Inc. is a global leader in information-driven transformation with a core focus on data, digital, and performance intelligence. Our expertise in technology and industry specialisations have enabled us to help companies around the world make better decisions faster.
Our emphasis on local excellence and global scale enables us to bring clients best of breed technology solutions that enable significant improvement whilst leveraging our Global Research and Innovation teams to accelerate the time to insight. Our local consulting teams are experts in the implementation, support and execution of these solutions and work with our clients to deliver real results and improvement.