Advanced Engineering & OEMs

Managing the shift to software defined business propositions

Innovation is becoming a major driver of OEM brand perception. This is having a profound impact on the role of science and engineering-based businesses that supply into the OEMs.

Companies in the science and engineering fields are, themselves, going through a profound change. The digital era is transforming their world from the mechnical world to value found in software defined platforms and data. Data is king.

This creates multiple challenges.

One of the first challenges being the fight for talent to make the shift in focus possible. Does a bright young, female engineer (or male) want to work in the funky ecosystem at Google or Facebook, or an industrial state (even it is called a science park) on brown field site? I think we all know the answer.

The start-up culture of the titans in the tech space presents a very real challenge for companies whose roots have been in a traditional, heirarchical manufacturing culture. 

At the same time, OEMs making planes, cars, trains or products for our homes, are leaning on the engineering and science-based businesses, to serve up the innovations that the consumers expect from their brands. So, this accent on 'innovation' and business propositions, predicated on software defined platforms, is a very real, wake-up call. Brand positions and company culture needs to evolve in most engineering groups, be they behemoths or SMEs. 

This creates a very real need for engineering companies to engage OEMs in ways that allows collaborative innovation to flourish. And this is where we have focused our attention. We are helping venerable engineering brands connect in new ways with their customers. Immersive experiences can provide the platform for collaborative innovation and relationships to evolve. 

Consider engineering in transport and mobility. The seismic changes underway in these spaces requires intense collaboration. Example:  BMW, Daimler and Audi jointly acquire Nokia’s geo-mapping business – a rebuff to Silicon Valley’s giants, and a wink to the future of driverless transport?  Certainly the promise of more in-car entertainment and driver-assist systems.  Throw in hybrid and electric.

Mix in demand to make the existing mechanical beast more fuel-efficient, and regulation compliant. Electric or hydrogen, or both?  Vector-based energy, supplied from an e-Lane on motorways? Very little happens today that doesn’t demand intense collaboration. In the case of automotive and integrated transport systems, collaboration involves engaging systems developers, energy providers, the brand owners, public bodies and interest groups representing the end consumer.   

So, switch gear. Sorry, maybe that should be swipe gear, engineering brands need to focus on a positioning that amplifies techm AI and data credentials. They may need to show they're an enabler of a new lifestyle or a transformational force. Should the communication and engagement strategy be B2B or B2S (business to society)? Is the business about providing systems and solutions, or is the real story how to communicate an agile partnership and clever ways of looking at the world?

Our live event and digital-interactive solutions help engineering brands harness strategic opportunities like those above, and in the process creates the energy, capacity and motivation to confront Change

Further reading