Digital technology transforming the delivery of two-wheelers – Times of India

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Co-founder, OTO
The era of digital transformation is here!
The pandemic had indeed adversely affected every industry across the globe. The automobile industry for instance was subjected to the wrath of the outbreak. Manufacturing plants were shut down, the supply chain systems were affected and sales for two-wheelers declined due to the shortage of semi-conductor chips. 
However, in the year 2021, INR 98,800 crore investment was recorded by auto OEM’s in India. This had worked in favor for the auto industry for the smooth implementation of digital transformation into their business. Companies resorted to new and modern solutions – online dealerships, digital bookings, home test drive and vehicle delivery for customers; application of AI and machine learning, blockchain technology and better inventory management systems for OEM’s.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 
AI powered applications like time series forecasting can facilitate. OEM’s to predict or anticipate the demand for two-wheelers accurately. In simple terms, forecasting is performed by analysing the past data on sales history, economic conditions, product reviews, and competitors. With the help of AI, one of the primary pain points in global supply chain crisis i.e., delayed vehicle delivery by months due to inadequate supply of semi-conductor chips can be solved and it can result in 5-10% increase of efficiency in operations. For example, Hero Motocorp has signed up with Accenture lately to leverage the data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning services of the latter and digitise the supply chain platform to get a deeper insight into the operations. 
Additionally, new age inventory management systems are enabling the retailers and manufacturers with real time availability of inventory and upcoming shipments across different channels, hence allowing them with better delivery estimates leading to customer satisfaction.
RTO digitisation
Consumers have always been complaining about delayed two-wheeler delivery owing to the cumbersome and time-consuming manual RTO registration process. The process starts with the vehicle owner visiting their nearest RTO office, filling up forms, submitting documents and then waiting for seven days or above to get their RC. Also, the status of their application can be known only if they visit the office in person. Hence, to tackle this challenge, the government of India has launched a website (VAHAN) for a seamless and faster delivery experience for the customers. With this approach, one can easily access the website for information pertaining to vehicle Registration, taxes and fitness, among others. 
Digitisation of RC transfer process by the Delhi Government is another initiative that has been implemented to remove the bottlenecks in the automobile registration process. This would eliminate the agents and third parties involved in the buying and selling of vehicles and the seller would have a clear cut idea on who the actual buyer is.
Blockchain technology
From a holistic perspective, the automotive industry comprises of complex processes with multiple stakeholders. Hence, the adoption of the blockchain technology can help OEM’s in assessing the  safety and efficiency of the processes right from the stage production to the post-delivery of two-wheelers as it can track down the vehicle parts, warranties, maintenance history, carbon emissions, EV battery life and black boxes among others.
Furthermore, manufacturers can get the invoicing, negotiation contracts, purchases, warehouse management and receipts, all done thoroughly using blockchain technology. 
E-commerce and virtual experience centres
India’s internet user base crossed 830 million as in 2021 based on a statistics report and is anticipated to reach 1.5 billion by 2040.  India’s population majorly consists of Gen Z’s and millennials who are accustomed to the digital means of buying things owing to the convenience and promptness. Nine in ten users who are planning to buy a two-wheeler starts their journey online by reading reviews, watching video content and researching about vehicles. Hence, technology has been accelerating like never before. Metaverse showrooms are set up through an automated e-commerce platform – all brands in one place.  Consumers are now in a position to experience the look and feel of the vehicle sitting at home, compare between brands and make a rational decision. According to a survey as many as 20-25% users are looking for a doorstep delivery of the vehicle. Therefore, companies are enabling the doorstep delivery model to their system and the vehicle is being delivered at the doorstep of the buyer. Some brands went on with e-commerce model and have received an overwhelming response which in turn has encouraged legacy brands to move into the bandwagon.
Sum up
Trailblazing developments are taking place in the two-wheeler industry. India is a developing nation and is gradually growing accustomed to the advanced and novel technologies onto becoming one of the strongest digital economies in the world.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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