Challange

Over the years the satisfaction of customer requirements had lead to a multitude of variants of the products. The client was struggling with the enormous complexity of its product components.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones won't go away nor will you ever be able to do any real computing on one. Texting, calling, light Internet browsing, email reading, video shooting, photo taking, and music listening, are what phones will be doing from now on. Phones, or rather smartphones, are toys/telecommunications devices that we love. They're lightweight and powerful but their small size limits their usefulness for higher level jobs.

Tablets

Tablets are thin and light. If you have a MacBook Air, or an ultrabook, the distinction may not seem as significant, but when it comes to most laptops, a tablet is thinner, lighter, and more portable by a long shot. When you’re carrying around a bag all day, the difference between one pound and five pounds adds up. Speaking of bags, most laptops require their own luggage to transport from Point A to Point B. The tablet may not be as versatile as a laptop in the functionality department, but it is significantly better than a smartphone. Tablets have larger displays that give you more real estate to get real work done. In fact, with larger tablets the display is on par with smaller laptops, allowing you to get more done. Of course, the virtual keyboard uses up half the display, so you have less screen to work with when you’re actually working. Regardless, though, tablets beat smartphones when it comes to being productive. A tablet sits somewhere between the smartphone and laptop in most areas, and flexibility is no exception. In many ways, a tablet can fill the role of a laptop and perform most, if not all, of the same functions. But, the tablet is also more versatile. Most can take photos, or shoot videos in addition to allowing video chat and conferencing. They also work nicely as e-readers (or in some cases the e-reader has evolved into a tablet) for accessing an entire library of books on the go. Some of these things are technically possible, but ridiculous in a practical sense with a notebook.

Retail

Gone are the days of the long checkout queues, the last-minute impulse buys and the ear-to-ear smiling sales assistant, as more and more retailers opt for in-store mobile payment options. Mobile checkouts are replacing traditional cash registers at US retailers including JC Penney, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Sears and Finish Line in a bid to offer in-store customers a more seamless and convenient shopping experience.
Timesaving convenience is a big focus for retailers these days with consumers now expecting more from an omni-channel shopping experience. It’s all about being customer-centric and offering service points of difference that can make a retailer stand out amongst competitors. Mobile phones are increasingly being used to marry up the various retail channels, offering consumers the ability to look up products and inventory information from a retailer’s website while in-store. Some retailers like Urban Outfitters, Macy’s and Sephora have even introduced iPads and interactive kiosks in-store as an added retail tool. A report from Pew Internet, The Future of Money in a Mobile Age found that by 2020 most Americans would be using mobile phones to make payments. The report predicts that cash and credit cards will have mostly dispersed for online and in-store transactions in advanced countries, with 65 percent of respondents expecting many people to have “embraced and fully adopted” smartphone purchases within the next six years. The rise of “T-Commerce” won’t kill of mobile commerce, but rather we expect we will see apps made to help us complete the shopping decision. We already have enough apps in the market that allows you to add a product while you are shopping and helps you compare prices when you get back home on your tablet or notebook. This is just the beginning of a marriage between our smartphones and our tablets.

Application Development

Microsoft (Windows), Google (Android) and Apple (IOS), are major players in mobile OS and technologies. Lions share of apps in the market are developed on these platforms. The front end technologies are common HTML, JavaScript and CSS. With all the companies leveraging the latest technologies and tools, development time has cut down drastically from 5 or 6 years ago. Whether a company chooses, XAML and C#, or XAML and Visual Basic .NET (for MS Platform) or Java for Android, Object-C for IOS, all of these technologies are Object Oriented and it is easy for companies/developers to switch between any of these technologies or develop applications for a variety of platforms. Whether developing Applications for Retail, Finance, Auto or even social media, the future of computing is increasingly gearing towards M-Commerce and T-Commerce.

Approach

The project was structured along three main parallel streams,Modularization of products based on detailed analysis of customers functional requirements and product design and structures. Standardization of purchased material and components to enable purchasing synergies. Developing product data management (PDM) support and organization.

Value

By improving modularization, standardisation and changing the way of working, a total product cost reduction of 10% was achieved, together with securing lead-time improvements of 20% through improved technology transfer capabilities.