Information and intelligence

Date of publication: June 15, 1994

Author: Martin Clarke

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to describe how new methods based around information and geographical technology can be used to help auto manufacturers better understand the markets for their products, their performance within those markets and to assist in planning for the future. We shall support the argument through the development of a framework which both maximises the use of information by generating intelligence (used more in the military sense rather than the A.I. sense) through the use of mathematical models of markets. The need for such a framework in the auto industry is generated by a number of convergent trends that are taking place on a global scale. These are discussed in more detail below. However the simple truth is that when it comes to analysing markets and planning for future action manufacturers have to get smart by using the best available information technology to support their efforts. Then they have to get smarter by using tools that will allow them to accurately predict the consequences of alternative actions. Finally, there is the opportunity to become the smartest by developing approaches that will provide the best answers to strategic and tactical questions, for example how should the dealer network be organised in the future to maximise market share and profitability. Examples of hew these objectives can be achieved are provided later. One of the main aims of the paper is summarised in part of the title - eliminating the emotion from planning in areas surrounding the new car market. In the author's experience the careful use of information and intelligence can allow an understanding of how the market works and how best to respond to it based on hard evidence.

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