Introducing ER&D: Changing the Manufacturing and Servicing Paradigm
Today, most organizations are striving to improve customer experiences by adapting the latest trends and through efficient R&D investments. However, the market has seen a rapid shift in recent times. Consumers not only expect great products, they demand more in the form of better overall experiences. To keep pace with the increased consumer expectations and ensuing market complexities, manufacturers, and service providers must focus on the overall efficiency of their processes and procedures. From controlling costs, enabling software and hardware integration, and recalibrating processes to arrive at an information driven paradigm, the enterprises of today must strategize their business objectives as never before.
Engineering and R&D services optimize and manage production processes and yield augmentation processes for a product or a service. These services employ agile and efficient engineering to create customer-centric solutions and leverage product and services R&D to ultimately generate inspirational product experiences.
And this is where ER&D comes to the fore. ER&D service providers can assist organizations with an integrated strategy to optimize costs across their value chain, leverage innovation to accelerate growth, and match productivity targets. Services like virtual product designing, remote product management, virtual support and servicing, and R&D labs as a service, blend traditional engineering services with next gen technological solutions and help enterprises gain an edge in a highly volatile, and competitive environment. Although, the scope of ER&D has gone beyond helping organizations exert resilience, particularly, in these uncertain times.
ER&D Building Resilience through Crisis
The Scenario: Outlining the Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic, as a human crisis, has shaken the very basis of our world and the socio-political paradigm that was prevalent. It has altered the very foundations of our thought processes and made us change the way we approached and operated things. The business world has borne the impact due to the severity of disruptions as well as halting operations altogether.
Studies have indicated that different industries have shown various degrees of impact based on five distinct assessment factors, namely– consumer spending and sentiment, public health impact, industry fiscal health, digital adoption, and supply chain impact. Travel and Hospitality, Aerospace, and Energy and Utilities have registered a “very high” degree of impact with Travel and Hospitality being the most impacted, while sectors like Telecom, Software, and Medical Devices being moderately impacted, and media and tech showing the least impact.
ER&D Approach to Solutioning
ER&D service providers have stepped up to formulate effective multi-pronged strategies that has enabled the continuity of global enterprises in this crisis. Their assistance ranges from helping to formulate effective supply chain strategies, enabling agile adoption, and providing contextual tech offerings, elaborated below.
- Effective Supply Chain Strategies: The disruption caused due to the pandemic necessitated businesses to rethink and reuse their supply chain for better utilization and flexible outputs required at the time. From diligent repurposing of supply chains to redirecting business from brick and mortar stores to online platforms, ER&D service providers have helped enterprises adapt and, in some cases, completely recalibrate their supply chain strategies.
- Orchestrated Project Management: Establishing higher levels of collaboration and clear communication protocols to streamline operations in the current circumstances has been a necessity. Many ER&D service providers follow an offshore-onshore model catering to global businesses round the clock. With the pandemic caused disruption, the onus to ensure uninterrupted deliveries required these service providers to assist enterprises and leverage remote collaborative tools to maintain cohesiveness and ensure progress of critical deliverables. This agile approach toward project management enhanced overall employee productivity and ensured minimal disruption to business-critical deliveries.
- Contextual Tech Offerings: ER&D service providers also assisted enterprises with a slew of contextual tech offerings aimed at maintaining business continuity and growth during the pandemic. These included offerings like health tracking solutions, wearable-based social distancing, AR-based remote assistance, thermal scanning, and more through a focus on AI and wearables tech.
ER&D in the Post COVID Era
There are lessons to be learnt from the pandemic, especially for businesses that must invest to grow. Starting right from sourcing to supply chain to delivery, businesses must look at redundancies as much as they do at ROI. The pandemic has put into perspective the classic case of not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Businesses today have realized that a geographical spread of sourcing, manufacturing, and delivery makes them far more resilient in times of crisis. ER&D has shown the path of endurance by being flexible and innovative, adapting and conforming to new requirements. Innovations such as FRUGAL design, R&D as a service, and virtual support services can further pave the way for diligent business investment.
As mentioned earlier a lot of impacted industries, especially in the high to medium band, will curtail their investments to absorb the current impact. Hence ER&D service providers associated with these industry domains must also recalibrate their investment strategies and further innovate to align with the larger client business objectives as well as gauge tangible outcomes from these recalibrations.
As business evolves, ER&D services are constantly evolving to become more flexible and dynamic in their response to the changing needs across the full spectrum of product lifecycle. The knowledge intensive structure of the sub-sector makes it a mainstay of the information-oriented business landscape of today. As such, they are contributing value at every step to enable enterprises achieve performance efficiency today and with a firm gaze towards the future, at the same time.
Mr. Amit Chadha,
Deputy CEO & Whole-Time Director,
L&T Technology Services Limited