The automotive industry spans the process of designing, manufacturing, selling motor vehicles as well as supplying aftermarket parts and service for motor vehicles. In addition to the internal complexity of these processes, all are integrally dependent on supply chain partners.

To increase the efficiency, quality and cost effectiveness of their operations, industry leaders are relying more heavily on collaborative efforts with end-to-end supply chain partners, including material and sub-assembly suppliers, logistics partners and distributors.

The automotive industry has been significantly impacted by the global financial economic crisis, growing economies in Asia as well as fluctuations in energy costs and increased pressure for environmentally friendly vehicles. As a result, the industry has been adapting to the changing economic and social climate by making adjustments to product designs, consolidating suppliers and modifying their supply chain and distribution networks.

To be competitive, automotive manufacturers are extending lean and six sigma process improvements across the extended enterprise and throughout the product lifecycle. By increasing visibility and communications up and down the supply chain, companies can more easily adjust production to meet demand during the growth, product maturity and decline phase for each product line. Finally, efficiently supporting the dealerships as well as the aftermarket providers is critical to the success and brand reputation of the automotive manufacturer.

Technologies that support the collaboration and synchronization of information result in more profitable operations.