How Automobile Industry can leverage paperless solutions

A paperless system has a significant role to play in enhancing manufacturing quality. The system collects varied data from multiple sources in a way that it’s beneficial for regulatory compliance and improved operational efficiency.

How Automobile Industry can leverage paperless solutions
Hyundai 'Click to Buy' (Image for representational purposes only)

India is the fourth largest vehicle market in the world and going by the projections, it is likely to emerge as the world’s third-largest automotive market in terms of volume by 2026. Though the numbers have dwindled a great deal owing to the pandemic – with Indian auto sales nosediving by 13% to a six-year low – a lot is being done by the stakeholders as well as the government to help the industry recover losses. For instance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government gave its nod to introduce a Production-Linked Incentive in the sector to boost manufacturing capabilities alongside exports. But there’s a lot more than the real stakeholders& pillars can do to boost the automotive industry’s growth story. To start with, they can replace their rigorous paper-based processes with smart document solutions.

Implementing a paperless system in varied operations with the help of technology will result in effective time management, better coordination and fewer errors, among other benefits. As a matter of fact, implementing a smart document solution has the power to skyrocket the automobile industry.

The foremost boon comes in the form of Electronic and Digital Signatures. Be it manufacturing & supply chain management, agreements, sales or service, the latest eSignature solutions can holistically transform these verticals to scale. Vehicle Quotation, Purchase Orders, Vehicle Service Requests, NDAs, Agreements with Distributors, Insurance Documents, Quality Check Documents, Warranty Check, Handover Documents and Repair & Maintenance Requests are just some of the paper parades that can be done away with the aforementioned signature solution.

This becomes possible because of the different forms of smart signature solutions, which meet specific requirements of different domains and work areas. To begin with, there’s Electronic Signature, which could allow a manufacturer or dealer to send documents for signing to any number of people, and then there’s Digital Signature wherein the KYC of the signer is pre-validated. For instance, the Aadhaar Signatures, which we introduced specifically to meet the needs in the Indian market, is a Digital Signature where a person can sign a document merely by entering the Aadhaar number and OTP received on a registered mobile number. Also, for the electronic correspondence between manufacturers and dealers, there is a Hybrid Signature solution in place. When a Hybrid Signature solution is implemented, the manufacturers can sign the documents internally via Electronic Signature, but the distributors, i.e. the external party, can sign the same via Digital Signature. This results in incoherence and seamless workflow.

Since almost all the automobile sales in India are done through the dealer networks, all companies need to get in a contract with these dealers annually. This whole process, which is a cumbersome paper-based practice, can be restructured with smart document solutions. Also, through the integration with the dealer management systems, companies can automate their invoicing journey for all dealer invoices, including vouchers for free services as well as invoices for goods and material. This history is a very time and paper-intensive process which generates more than 200,000 documents annually for a typical automobile manufacturer.

Also read: Maharashtra Covid restrictions to impact auto sales: Icra

The other most significant benefit of adopting a smart document solution is customer delight. In the existing format, customers are needed to spend hours signing a stack of documents before driving off their new cars. The paperless technology can enable a customer to go through the entire process remotely by using their mobile phone or laptops. Their KYC can also be updated in a similar manner and once approved, they can sign all documents, including insurance documents in the same session. The leader of an automotive giant had once said that he wanted a start-to-finish paperless system for a car deal, pointing that the current system wasn’t much different than what it used to be during the 1960s when customers had to sign almost 60 times on at least 30 documents.

A paperless system further has a significant role to play in enhancing manufacturing quality. The system collects varied data from multiple sources in a way that it’s beneficial with regard to regulatory compliance as well as improved operational efficiency. This automated route reduces human errors, leading to high product quality and operational flexibility. Also, the decisions taken are data-driven, hence more informed and based on deeper insights. Besides, you can send reports, which are contextualised to each person’s or division’s role, to different stakeholders. The manufacturers can also eye a better understanding of rework costs with efficient tracking of non-conformant products or scrap.

And last but not the least, going paperless can be a game-changer with regard to the supply chain and logistics. The movement of goods and vehicles requires tracking and monitoring, yet again leading to a lot of paperwork. The industry is already implementing real-time monitoring systems, but they can be enhanced significantly with digital documentation solutions to provide complete automation and transparency in the supply chain.

Author: Arjit Bhargava, VP-Global Business Development, MSB Docs

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.

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First published on: 20-04-2021 at 12:10 IST