Creating a Modern and Seamless Automotive Supply Chain with Autotrace

Date:February 29, 2024

Author name: Raghavendra Kulkarni

Date:February 29, 2024

Author designation: Head Innovation Strategies and Business Ecosystem

Automotive supply chains are extremely complex. A car is made up of thousands of components and involves an elaborate network of individuals, organizations, resources and tasks. In an otherwise well-connected world, the industry continues to grapple with issues like lack of supply chain visibility, counterfeit products entering the value chain and excessive financial losses due to inefficient recall management.

Financial losses attributed to counterfeit auto parts are estimated to be around USD 45 billion annually. Additionally, reports suggest that industry losses because of recalls are as high as USD 22 billion annually. Blockchain in convergence with technologies like IoT and AI can underpin the transformation that is coming in the automotive sector. We call this convergence as the “Economy of Things”.


Blockchain for digitizing the automotive supply chain

Blockchain for digitizing the automotive supply chain

The auto sector has always been on a lookout for novel technologies that can help streamline operations, introduce new end-user functionalities, save costs and propel revenues. There are multiple ways blockchain can help automotive industries to transform their products, services and processes.

Leveraging blockchain in the automotive supply chain setup allows creating part provenance wherein the information about vehicle parts (like name of the manufacturer, date of manufacturing etc.) can be mapped to the corresponding automobile VIN. This information is stored immutably on a decentralized network and is updated every time parts exchange hands in the supply chain.

Part provenance also helps establish the authenticity of the product by enabling the members of the value chain to trace and verify the origin of the vehicle parts with ease. Creating an immutable record for a product from the time it leaves a manufacturing unit to the point when the end customer buys it, helps identify the exact point where a counterfeit product could have entered in the supply chain. Part provenance can also help OEMs perform much targeted recalls instead of blanket recalls thereby helping them save valuable dollars.

Blockchain allows automation of shared business processes thereby reducing manual interventions across the supply chain bring about operational efficiencies. While procuring parts from suppliers, automotive manufacturers can save time and cost with the help of streamlined certificate management and automated inventory management through a digital proof of delivery.

As the information silos get eliminated bringing about transparency, logistics firms can optimize their core operations. Blockchain forms the cornerstone for building an intelligent supply chain that is both highly responsive and resilient. Service centers may use provenance to effectively manage product warranty and improve the service quality for their customers.

Empowering customers with access to all warranty-related information on blockchain enables them to track the health of their vehicle and enforce warranty whenever necessary. Through smart contracts and automation, warranty claims can be executed much faster and with ease resulting in customer delight.

Regulatory Bodies

Government and Regulatory bodies can also be a member to the blockchain network and get access to critical supply chain information in real-time. This would result in faster approvals and timely reporting in case of recalls. Discard of vehicles and extraction of hazardous elements also remain reasons of concern for regulatory bodies. The complete traceability provided by blockchain could help in the identification of parts meant for safe disposal or reuse of hazardous components.

Ensuring public safety is prime for any Government. Information streamlining with blockchain could play a big role in contributing to safety and environment sustainability.

Bosch’s Autotrace: An end-to-end solution

Bosch’s Autotrace: An end-to-end solution

Autotrace is a blockchain-based track and trace solution for both physical and virtual car components. The solution encompasses the entire ecosystem- thereby providing a robust support layer for automotive companies to save valuable dollars by shared process automation and efficient recall management. Implementing Autotrace offerings for the entire lifecycle of a vehicle, companies can build a robust mechanism to track all the vehicle components from the day they are produced to being shipped as the final product to being finally discarded.

For manufacturers, Autotrace creates supplier transparency and introduces part provenance. Automotive after-market players can leverage Autotrace for spurious parts detection and faster FOTA/SOTA updates. Further, for the environment, it brings sustainability solutions by helping identify and recycle expensive or environmentally hazardous elements. Autotrace not only creates a robust system for transparent data reporting and compliance but also helps reduce carbon footprints of the automotive industry.

Bosch Autotrace ensures data interoperability, transparency as well as multiparty trust in the system. Autotrace also provides easy integration capabilities with the existing IT infrastructure which not only helps to safeguard the existing investments made by enterprises but also reduces the implementation time and effort required in the change management process.

To learn what how exactly blockchain technology work, click here.

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