FIELD INTELLIGENCE: Smart Processes, Solutions & Strategies
Honda has a long history of corporate excellence driven by an enduring philosophy of “joy.” It believes in creating joy for its customers when they buy, for its dealers when they sell, and for its associates and suppliers when they create. The automobile maker has always invested in solutions to ensure that it never has to compromise on quality, compliance and security. It believes this helps the company expand its work beyond making cars to bringing life-enriching values to its stakeholders.
Honda began its partnership with Infosys in 2008 when it wanted to reinvent its sales-planning process. The association has fueled several innovative projects that have spanned across functions, such as marketing analysis, procurement and logistics. So, when Honda began to explore digital technologies and smart manufacturing in 2013 with the launch of its second manufacturing unit in India, it partnered with Infosys.
Masahiro Honda, part of the Global Honda team, said, “With the introduction of our second factory, we decided to commit to smart manufacturing using digital technologies. As Honda progresses on its digital transformation journey, Infosys remains a trusted partner.”
Infosys worked with Honda to design and implement systems that helped it deliver joyful experiences. Our solutions around optimizing export processes, parts traceability, and production planning helped bring harmony in the creation process. And our dealer-management system brought the joy of selling to Honda dealers.
Take, for instance, the export function of Honda in India, which supplies various car parts to its units in other international locations. The function requires integration of information and automation of the process flows such that all the parts are packed and shipped on time as per customer requirement. The Honda export management system was built to provide a multi-model, multi-order, multi-destination solution, helping the company to enhance delivery lead time for its customers.
Also, each vehicle is handled by different departments as it passes through the assembly line. As production volumes and manufacturing capacity grew, it was important to continue to maintain the expected quality benchmarks and standard operating processes. Honda implemented a quality-control information system to identify the defects on a real-time basis and ensure quality delivery of vehicles to its customers.
A single automobile can have as many as 20,000 different parts. It is critical to keep track of each of these to ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards. Infosys implemented an IoT-enabled part traceability system for the ferrous shop floor, thereby reducing manual efforts significantly.
Infosys also helped Honda with a dealer-planning system focused on on-time car delivery.
“The biggest change has been in the way that these platforms have brought digital technology to the shop floor,” Honda Car India VP Hilal Isar Khan said. “Right from the management, to the employee actually assembling the automobile, these systems have changed the way Honda employees interact with, and respond to, technology.”
Digitization in automobile manufacturing will only grow. Companies will adopt blockchain technology for part traceability, build completely automated manufacturing plants and invest in manufacturing execution systems.
It is clear Honda will continue traveling along on its digital transformation journey in a post-COVID world—to ensure it continues to build high-quality cars and deliver joy to all its stakeholders.