I’ve just spent two years out of the industry as I was asked by Capgemini to work in another industry sector – Consumer Products & Retail. The first thing I must say is that I am delighted to be back in Automotive! Whilst the Consumer Products & Retail world is equally dynamic and vibrant (and I had the advantage of working with companies that produced drugs, beer and cigarettes!), there is something about the Automotive industry that has always fascinated me and set it apart from other industries.
There are many similarities between the industries, and many differences. Some positives – things that the Automotive industry does better, and some negatives – lessons to be learnt. Major positive for me is the industrialisation and automation that is prevalent in auto – Lean Manufacturing started in Automotive, and is still leading the way we work and think today. The major lesson to be learnt from the outside world? Consumer focus! Most auto companies like to think they are customer–centric, but very few are. Where can I get a consistent interaction between dealer and OEM, across internet and showroom, between pre-sales and service, when I’m 18 and when I’m 80? It makes me mad when I get instant recognition on the phone from my local pizza company, and get special discounts because I order so much (teenage children is my excuse!), and yet I get passed between departments in my local dealership as if I’m a stranger – surely there is something wrong there?

More about our perspectives on customer centricity in the Automotive industry