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Importance Of Design Thinking In Auto Industry

Design thinking means keeping the customer in mind all the time while driving innovations which are technologically feasible and economically viable

Photo Credit : Bloomberg

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We are living in an automotive world where customers are seeking for the best vehicles, equipped with more information that has been collected from more sources than ever before. Customers today are becoming increasingly sophisticated and impatient. Adding to this is the prevalence of social networks and the internet that has led on to an increased customer-to- customer interaction. Hence the customers know what they want and they know how and where to get it.

To cater to this increased expectations of vehicle quality, reliability, safety and utility and survive the hyper-competitive business environment, the auto industry is determined to ensure a steady stream of product and technology options that is developed on the basis of the company’s sense of where the market is headed.

A large part of it is driven by the customers as the ‘social currency’ is changing the face of the automobile industry.

Design thinking means keeping the customer in mind all the time while driving innovations which are technologically feasible and economically viable. Manufacturers around the world have drawn their attention to design thinking as a concept of innovation management as the organizations have opened their minds to learn from designers in being creative and innovative.

A design thinker sets the customer at the heart of thinking, is collaborative by integrating different point of views, and focuses on the future instead of considering how things work today. A design process model includes four vital steps: the analysis of the problem, designing the solution, the implementation, and the evaluation of the solution.

It is imperative to start, by deeply understanding the customer, defining solution success in customer words and then continuously looking to improve. Leaders need to drive the change by maintaining a customer-focused mindset in every communication and decision made. Leading organizations today are using open and collaborative approach to innovation. The collaboration here is not just within the design thinking team members but also with the customers - to deepen the customer understanding and increase the odds of success of the solution. An amalgamation of diverse perspectives is the thumb rule here.

In conclusion, I would say that design thinking is as much about mind shift as it is about innovation. And even though implementation might take a couple of years to find its ground, the solutions brought about by design thinking shall prove to strengthen relevance, application and most importantly sustainability in the coming days.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Kinjal Choudhary

The author is the Sr. VP & CHRO of Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV). With over 2 decades of experience, Kinjal is a veteran HR professional.

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