The backbone of the retail industry of the future

Mercedes-Benz shared the inner workings of its main ROTF deployment. Prateek Pardeshi verifies the direct impact on the manufacturer’s production and middleware as the backbone of future retail.

Buying a vehicle has been a task until now! It includes multiple layers requiring face-to-face meetings to cover quote, vehicle availability, limitation of choice, waiting periods, road tests to determine choice and so on. The last fiscal year saw Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) adopt a one-stop-shop model and digitize the entire experience. Mercedes-Benz has gone one step further. Sensing changing customer needs, the company in India rolled out its highly anticipated Retail Of The Future (ROTF) platform. Globally tested in markets like Sweden, Austria and South Africa, it aims to spark a digital revolution with the support of a well-oiled backend making India the fourth such market. . For those who need some time to get used to, ROTF is also available offline with the processes unchanged, regardless of the medium. According to Martin Schwenk, Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India, the ultimate goal is to provide the customer with an integrated digital experience. “We are proud to implement ROTF in India after successfully establishing a strong digital backbone, which will support this important transition in our retail business,” said Schwenk.

The pillars of ROTF

India is the first country in the world to obtain the ROTF for a Completely Overturned Market (CKD). The five pillars of ROTF consist of “quote”, “order reservation”, “order finalization”, “invoicing” and “delivery”. The backbone of the front-end of offering a quote to the customer and the interface to reserve the vehicle depends on the “Order Reservation”, “Finalization” and “Invoicing” at the end of this. gigantic retail sales exercise. When a customer connects to the ROTF interface, at the time of booking, during the finalization of the model of his choice, the interface requests a reservation amount of Rs 50,000 (fully refundable at any time without fees. cancellation) and blocks the vehicle for 14 days on behalf of the customer based on the vehicle identification number (VIN). The customer is free to take advantage of loyalty programs and / or choose the franchise partner.

A one-time password (OTP) is generated at the time of booking called a Declaration of Consent (DOC). Customer privacy is at the forefront of this process and the customer is offered a grip at every step. The process is further sealed with an additional layer of security of a digital signature for verification and validation. Notably, at the backend level, “order finalization” requires the customer to produce valid documents for the same digitally. At this point, the customer is synchronized with the production status with a provisional release date locked in the system. With demand expected to exceed supply at present, it is said to streamline the process using the tools of software-defined production systems under the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). In addition to providing financial flexibility, at the backend level, the OEM at the “transfer” stage involves the registration of the VAHAN portal prior to the customer transfer. This is also synchronized with the “Handover” application. The discount is followed in person by a Mercedes-Benz India executive to help familiarize the customer with their new purchase.

Link to the workshop

A major initiative in their 27-year legacy of Mercedes-Benz business in India, the ROTF directly impacts the workshop process at the Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant. With the localization of AMG and the S-Class, this has accelerated the pace of activity at the workshop level. Additionally, the ROTF actually connected the manufacturing plant at the backend level with the front end of the customer’s entire retail experience. Thanks to the IIoT, Mercedes-Benz India was able to generate a V-shaped recovery and strong Q32022 performance. While disrupting luxury auto retail, he was able to re-imagine the role of the production-driven background. Building on the known online sales success of account for over 20% of all sales, the OEM would have built a transparent system that not only avoids shortcomings such as price discrepancies, but critically helps to avoid delayed delivery times. Confident of increasing sales through this means, Mercedes-Benz launched 13 new products in India, made from the Chakan plant in Pune, known for being at the cutting edge of technology. New technological innovations include the use of robots and training modules based on AR / VR.

Schwenk revealed that the company has invested 600 million rupees in the most comprehensive cross-functional project. This involved 99,210 hours of work with a staff of 175 and more from India. The intense exercise spanned a 24-month period in three countries. Besides India, Mercedes-Benz Germany and Singapore were part of the overall exercise. Mercedes-Benz India’s production facility is backed by an investment of Rs 2,200 crore with the largest installed production capacity. Suppliers play a crucial role here. The material comes from different parts of the world in synchronization with the ROTF. It is known to be directed to the production network and the finished vehicle. For example, the supply of components to factories is coordinated by an inbound logistics planner. For example, there is a logistics planner for engines only. This involves optimal planning of the entire supply chain, including control of supply flows and compliance with inbound logistics costs.

Compared to the traditional model, the business should be able to overcome high inventory costs, high cost structure, limitations in vehicle availability, and overcome the high risks associated with the nature of the business. It also reduces the risk quotient for partner dealers. Mercedes-Benz India is able to maintain a centralized national stock and to work with a central order management system in full transparency. ACI

Also read, Mercedes-Benz presents G350d in India


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