Lec­tra to sup­port In­dian au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try’s ex­pan­sion plans

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Lec­tra, the world leader in in­te­grated tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions—soft­ware, CAD/CAM equip­ment, and as­so­ci­ated ser­vices—specif­i­cally de­signed for in­dus­tries us­ing fab­rics, leather, tech­ni­cal tex­tiles, and com­pos­ite ma­te­ri­als to man­u­fac­ture their prod­ucts. It serves ma­jor world mar­kets: Fash­ion and ap­parel, au­to­mo­tive, and fur­ni­ture as well as a broad ar­ray of other in­dus­tries. For the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try it pro­vides soft ma­te­ri­als like car seats, in­te­ri­ors and airbags. In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­ac­tion, BT Nagesh, In­dia Sub­sidiary Head, Lec­tra Tech­nolo­gies In­dia told Bhar­gav TS that, “Lec­tra also de­vel­ops the most ad­vanced spe­cialised soft­ware, cut­ting sys­tems and pro­vides as­so­ci­ated ser­vices. We are well geared up to sup­port the ex­pan­sion of the In­dian au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try and to pro­vide the best-in-class so­lu­tions.” The ex­cerpts:- Q: How do you find In­dia emerg­ing as an au­to­mo­tive hub in terms of vol­ume and in­vest­ments?

Nagesh: In­dia has been a de­vel­op­ing coun­try for the last 2 decades with au­to­mo­tive be­ing one of the or­gan­ised con­trib­u­tors to its growth. In­dia is emerg­ing as a global hub for small cars. Re­ports that In­dia man­u­fac­tures about 31% of the small cars glob­ally sold re­in­force this fact. In­vest­ments made by OEMs to en­hance ca­pac­ity see In­dia as an at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion. Cur­rently In­dia has both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional play­ers hav­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing and de­vel­op­ment cen­tres as a hub for au­to­mo­tive in­vest­ments and de­vel­op­ment.

Q: How does Lec­tra plan to lever­age the In­dian au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try in its growth plans?

Nagesh: Lec­tra is an in­dus­trylead­ing com­pany in in­te­grated tech­nol­ogy for in­dus­tries us­ing soft ma­te­ri­als like au­to­mo­tive - car seats, in­te­ri­ors and airbags. Lec­tra so­lu­tions have been de­ployed at over 23,000 clients in over 100 coun­tries. Our so­lu­tions help to au­to­mate, stream­line and ac­cel­er­ate prod­uct de­sign, de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses. Lec­tra de­vel­ops the most ad­vanced spe­cialised soft­ware, cut­ting sys­tems and pro­vides as­so­ci­ated ser­vices. We are well geared up to sup­port the ex­pan­sion of the In­dian au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try and pro­vide the best-in­class so­lu­tions

Q: How can dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion in­flu­ence the buy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of the cus­tomer?

Nagesh: With the chang­ing de­mog­ra­phy and mil­len­ni­als, dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion in to­day’s world im­pacts the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process. Cus­tomers look for in­ter­con­nected so­lu­tions and smart ser­vices to aid their de­ci­sions with read­ily avail­able data. Man­u­fac­tur­ers as cus­tomers are look­ing for up­time over down­time and trans­parency in in­for­ma­tion with dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion at the cen­tre of their de­ci­sion-mak­ing process.

Q: How does Lec­tra de­fine dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try?

Nagesh: Lec­tra is able to be more pre­dic­tive, pro-ac­tive, and an­a­lyt­i­cal than re­ac­tive in tech­nolo­gies in­vested by man­u­fac­tur­ers. We can pro­vide real-time in­te­grated so­lu­tions and smart ser­vices to many stake­hold­ers across the prod­uct life­cy­cle. Our sys­tems have the abil­ity to sup­port th­ese stake­hold­ers in mak­ing de­ci­sions or solv­ing prob­lems. With over a decade of ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­trial In­ter­net of Things com­bined with our soft­ware and hard­ware ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence to au­to­mate de­sign, de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing, Lec­tra stands out as a front run­ner in defin­ing dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion to the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try.

Q: What are the so­lu­tions Lec­tra can of­fer to the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try in terms of In­dus­try 4.0?

Nagesh: In­dus­try 4.0 is cre­at­ing fac­to­ries with their ecosys­tems rooted to the dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion of in­dus­trial pro­cesses, from cre­ation to pro­duc­tion. Man­u­fac­tur­ers are look­ing at dig­i­tal life­cy­cle of prod­ucts ben­e­fit­ing their cus­tomers in an in­creas­ingly flex­i­ble en­vi­ron­ment with op­ti­mised re­sources. With in­creas­ingly im­pa­tient and de­mand­ing cus­tomers, mass pro­duc­tion is leav­ing a big­ger room for largescale cus­tomised pro­duc­tion,

as well as pro­vid­ing quick-tomar­ket, qual­ity prod­ucts. In such a chang­ing sce­nario, dig­i­tal value chain is es­sen­tial to pro­vide re­al­time con­nec­tions among cre­ative teams, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment teams, smart fac­to­ries, sup­pli­ers and con­sumers.

The Lec­tra In­dus­try 4.0 strat­egy is framed to sup­port cus­tomers as they face th­ese pro­found changes trig­gered by the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion. Re­flect­ing Lec­tra’s new strat­egy is the launch of a Soft­ware as a Ser­vice (SaaS) of­fer, re­in­forced by cloud since 2015. This of­fer, cap­i­tal­is­ing on data anal­y­sis and ex­ploita­tion, will trans­late into even smarter, con­nected equip­ment and finely-tuned in­te­gra­tion among equip­ment, soft­ware and ser­vices. New in­dus­try-spe­cific ser­vices will re­in­force the of­fer, en­abling Lec­tra to im­prove cus­tomer pro­cesses. Ini­tially tested in 2017 with se­lect cus­tomers, some of whom have been in­volved with the of­fer since the be­gin­ning of the de­sign, the new of­fer will be pro­gres­sively of­fered and de­ployed to all our cus­tomers.

Q: Can you elab­o­rate on global trends and how are re­quire­ments chang­ing in In­dia? How dif­fer­ent are they from those world­wide?

Nagesh: The global trends are on safety and re­li­a­bil­ity due to the in­crease in num­ber of road ac­ci­dents vis-a-vis those im­ple­mented in In­dia. Though the process is slower, com­pared to other na­tions world­wide In­dia is pick­ing up pace. The pric­ing sen­si­tiv­ity of buy­ers still sees cars with­out airbags and other safety sys­tems be­ing man­u­fac­tured. With the govern­ment mak­ing safety de­vices like airbags, ABS and speed-warn­ing sys­tem manda­tory, com­pa­nies are mov­ing to­wards plac­ing a min­i­mum 2 airbags in each car man­u­fac­tured in In­dia.

Q: Is Lec­tra pre­pared for the next in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion?

Nagesh: Lec­tra’s con­tin­u­ous ef­forts in R&D helps to fore­see the new ad­vances re­quired by the in­dus­try and can of­fer best to its cus­tomers that op­ti­mises their pro­duc­tiv­ity. By the time, the in­dus­try en­ters the next in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion we have al­ready had our hands rubbed onto it to pro­vide the best out of those new so­lu­tions. Lec­tra is the only player in its in­dus­try to pro­pose a com­plete In­dus­try 4.0-ready added­value of­fer.

Q: How is Lec­tra’s In­dus­try 4.0 strat­egy be­ing de­vel­oped and im­ple­mented across the com­pany?

Nagesh: I would like to quote our CEO-Daniel Hararri on this: “Bring­ing in­creas­ing value to our cus­tomers, Lec­tra will in­crease the share of rev­enues ded­i­cated to R&D to 10% from 2017 to 2019, rep­re­sent­ing a rise of about 50% be­tween 2016 and 2019. This way we can sup­port our cus­tomers on their path to­wards op­er­a­tional ex­cel­lence, in­dis­pens­able if they are to suc­ceed in the con­text of the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion.”

Q: Will the grow­ing pres­sure to ra­tio­nalise and im­ple­ment In­dus­try 4.0 con­cepts re­sult in more job losses?

Nagesh: Lec­tra is a grow­ing com­pany and with reg­u­lar in­vest­ments in R&D we con­stantly drive on innovations and bet­ter­ment of ex­ist­ing tech­nolo­gies. With tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances on one side, where we help com­pa­nies in au­tomat­ing the pro­cesses, we par­al­lely work with our cus­tomers for re­de­ploy­ment of work­force in labour-in­ten­sive ar­eas. I would say In­dus­try 4.0 aug­ments and com­pli­ments the ex­ist­ing work­force to ex­cel and in­no­vate.

Q: What are all the soft­ware so­lu­tions that Lec­tra of­fers to its cus­tomers?

Nagesh: Lec­tra has de­signed spe­cific soft­ware for au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try keep­ing in mind the in­tri­ca­cies re­quired for au­to­mo­tive seat­ing and airbags in de­sign, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and test­ing. Our soft­ware so­lu­tions are built to ac­cel­er­ate de­vel­op­ment, im­prove the RFQ re­sponse process, re­duce costs and ma­te­rial use with vir­tual pro­to­types, har­monise de­sign and pro­duc­tion op­er­a­tions, shorten in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion time with the most ef­fi­cient use of fab­ric or leather and to fa­cil­i­tate change.

Q: What is your strat­egy to of­fer Soft­ware as a Ser­vice (SaaS)?

Nagesh: We will pro­gres­sively de­liver our soft­ware in SaaS start­ing 2017 and of­fer it to all our cus­tomers in 2018. They will be based on ei­ther a sub­scrip­tion or a pay-per-use pric­ing and will in­clude the ac­cess to soft­ware, new up­grades, cus­tomer care cen­tre, e-learn­ing, ac­cess to in­cen­tives, such as sup­ply chain pro­gramme. More­over, our cloud ser­vices will be in­cluded in SaaS of­fers only. We will also pro­vide cus­tomers with flex­i­bil­ity to be able to sub­scribe to Lec­tra’s soft­ware.

Q: Owing to the up­com­ing in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion, will you be en­hanc­ing the spends on R&D?

Nagesh: As men­tioned ear­lier Lec­tra will in­crease the share of rev­enues ded­i­cated to R&D to 10% for the pe­riod from 2017 to 2019 that rep­re­sents a 50% rise be­tween 2016 and 2019. ACI

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