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How to Optimise your OEM Automation Strategy

OEM Automation
OEM Automation

OEM automation is one of the most significant trends in manufacturing these days, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down soon. As more companies automate their business operations to improve quality control, maximize efficiency, and reduce waste and resource use, others see that there’s money to be made by partnering with such companies to ensure that the hardware and software work as expected from day one. To do this successfully, though, you’ll need to learn how to optimize your OEM automation strategy to best benefit both you and your clients.


Identify Your Short-Term Goals

With so many long-term goals in play, it’s sometimes hard to see where you need to start when it comes to building an OEM automation strategy. But there’s one thing that most automakers agree on: While technologies like advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), electrification, and autonomy present some of the biggest changes for OEMs, they also represent some of the biggest opportunities. If you can capitalize on these trends and create a solid OEM automation strategy, you may just become a leader in that industry instead of another victim of its ever-shifting landscape.


Evaluate Your Current Workflow

The first step in developing a successful OEM automation strategy is evaluating how you currently develop and deliver software products. This will help determine what you have now, and where improvement is necessary. It’s important not to skip this step, as it can save you money down the road by preventing an expensive retooling of current processes that could end up being unnecessary. For example, if you’ve been manually copying files from one location to another throughout your product development process, then automating that process may be overkill for your needs – provided there aren’t any other manual steps in that workflow.


Build a Defined Process Model

Defining a process allows you to consider what must be included in your OEM automation strategy. For example, if standardizing on particular APIs is an important goal for your organization, it’s helpful to know that upfront. Standardizing on a set of common APIs would allow you to interface more easily with partners and other players in your ecosystem. Defining processes also allows you to formalize roles and responsibilities within each step of a process; doing so helps make sure resources are appropriately allocated across teams and streamlines decision-making at each stage of a project.


Assess and Finalise Best Practices for All Processes

All processes should have some type of best practice that is used as a standard to optimize them, and OEM automation is no different. This can be a time-consuming process when trying to discover what best practices are already in place and what gaps exist. However, it will prove invaluable in helping optimize your automation strategy. Assess your current approaches and take stock of where they fail or if they haven’t been developed at all. Once you’ve figured out those areas, see how you can change them or develop new ones to be more effective—and then formalize those into best practices for others on your team. Doing so will ultimately help reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve overall customer satisfaction with product quality.


Begin with One Focus Area

Optimizing your OEM automation strategy isn’t a straightforward process. The first step is usually starting with one focus area, but that often leads you down multiple paths of related and unexpected challenges. Make sure you’re prepared for that and are ready to take it in stride when you encounter these challenges. If not, what starts as a simple focus could quickly become more than you bargained for—and more than you can manage in a short amount of time. While there are plenty of examples where things like that have worked out well, there are many others where they haven’t—but had things gone differently, they might have. This means it’s important to start by having realistic expectations about what will be involved and how long things might take. When everything goes right, an optimized OEM automation strategy will be something you don’t want to let go of because it helps create better product quality while also saving money and other resources. That doesn’t happen overnight, however: It takes time to get all those elements working together seamlessly while still keeping up with regular changes across the board—so don’t expect quick results.


Lay out the Next Steps

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for OEM automation. You should consider how you will use or enhance your existing systems, as well as what benefits you hope to achieve from outsourcing and how each proposal would achieve those goals. This is also a good time to set realistic expectations for exactly what OEM automation can deliver within your company and its impact on finances, workforce concerns, and other factors. To lay out an effective strategy, plan now by determining: which tasks must be automated and why? Which tasks should be accomplished manually in-house? What skills do you require among your staff? Are there existing systems that can help you accomplish objectives? Is it more cost-effective in the long run to automate current tasks or hire additional employees? What is your goal? What resources do you have available to reach these goals? Once you have answers to these questions, you can then determine if OEM automation is right for your business. The next step is deciding what type of OEM solution best suits your needs. The most common methods of OEM include partial integration and full integration. Partial integration allows customers to work with a vendor who handles all aspects of production except for part of it – such as assembly – while full integration covers all aspects of production including design, manufacturing, and testing of products. Full integration may not always be necessary depending on how much control customers want over their product design process; however, partial integration tends to work better when customers want less involvement in product development but still need assistance with manufacturing processes like assembly or packaging.



Even if you aren’t a developer, it’s important for you to understand how the software works and how it relates to OEM automation tools. If a developer says we have a bug or we need new features in your current system, but you don’t know what they mean, then talk with them and find out what it will take to get what they want. The more invested you are in understanding these tools and their benefits, the more likely they are going to get done quickly, efficiently, and (here’s that word again) cost-effectively. Plus, by better understanding your OEM partner’s needs and process flow through software development cycles—you might just be able to show them an alternative that could save time and money for both of you.


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