Automotive Industry

More efficient cost control and forecasting of manufacturer warranties and warranty extensions in the automotive industry.

Generous warranties are an integral part of the brand image of many large automobile manufacturers. The sale of warranty extensions can also be a lucrative source of additional business. However, this only works when underlying forecast models are applied correctly and if reliable data is collected for cost control and price calculations.

On behalf of a German automobile manufacturer, our colleagues from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM were able to work with a team on revising calculation models used within the company and transform them into a web-based user interface.

Display complexity more clearly!

In a second step, we, the Fraunhofer Design Thinking Factory at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, were commissioned to convert the provided data and calculation models into a clearer and more intuitive form.

In order to get to know the end-user perspective, we first conducted semi-structured contextual interviews with four employees of the automobile manufacturer. From the insights we gathered, we were able to define the different user groups and write "as-is scenarios" to reflect the user's perspective. The interviews revealed how the end-user performs typical tasks and provided information on their procedures, context, obstacles and needs. The information collected also helped us better understand users, their requirements, and goals for all project participants. Furthermore, we derived requirements and user needs for the respective user groups from the interviews conducted.

Following the employee interviews, we conducted an expert evaluation. Here, we tested the prototype using various usage scenarios and examined the usability of the prototype web application based on the principles of dialogue design according to ISO 9241-110.

From these two analyses, we developed a list of concrete suggestions for a more intuitive presentation of data visualization, filter options and calculation models. For the first time, employees of the automotive group were able to see the potential offered by the available data, which provided further ideas for data visualization and analysis. Overall, the solution was evaluated positively well-received by employees.