Strategic collaboration in product development

The client: The customer is an international automotive group. They own several brands and producers within the same industry and need to achieve economies of scale.

The client's challenge: Some time ago, the customer decided to sell part of the business to a competitor and then enter into a partnership with the competitor to develop joint products. The customer was faced with different challenges in different phases of the collaboration:

  • The customer needed to quickly gain an overview of what needed to be in place to enable joint product development; processes, documentation and organization.
  • The two competing companies needed to get a common IT solution in place in a short time to manage the administrative parts of the partnership (meetings, documents, cases and delivery follow-up)
  • The customer wanted to carry out a preliminary study together with a system supplier linked to the introduction of a new system solution for the exchange of product data.

Our solution: With Ekan's broad competence and specialists in various fields, we were able to help the customer in various phases of the collaboration. In brief, our methodological approach involved:

  • Prepare: A preliminary study focusing on different scenarios to describe product changes where the starting point was a number of questions: How is the change initiated? Which processes must be followed? What documentation is required? Which organizations are affected?
  • Start-ups: An implementation project where Ekan contributed with definition of use cases and requirements, to act as a bridge between the business and the development team, production of manuals and training materials, testing and training of end users.
  • Collaboration: A feasibility study that resulted in a roadmap for commissioning a new system solution in several stages and detailed specification of stage 1 (MVP – Minimum Viable Product)

The result: The scenario descriptions that were developed in the preparation phase meant that the customer was well prepared and had a good overview of the situations that could arise. The administrative solution developed in the start-up phase proved to be applicable in other collaborations as well, so the customer decided to take a comprehensive approach to all ongoing and future collaborations and started a strategic project. The roadmap and specification that was developed became the basis for an implementation project together with the system supplier.