Case Study: Daimler AG
Daimler revs up vehicle quality measures
Since deploying EFS Panel for internal customer satisfaction surveys, Daimler has reduced the time it takes to generate its first usable survey feedback from five months to just eight weeks after market launch.
”Daimler sets great store by ongoing quality management. EFS Panel gives us rapid,
informative feedback from key user groups. The information obtained in this way is used
in the further development of our products. Consequently, web-based quality management helps our market position.”
TOBIAS BIRKHOLZ, QUALITY MANAGEMENT MERCEDES-BENZ CARS, QUALITY MARKET AND PRODUCT
Since deploying EFS Panel for internal customer satisfaction surveys, Daimler has reduced the time it takes to generate its first usable survey feedback from five months to just eight weeks after market launch. This gives Daimler an edge over the competition by enabling it to incorporate new ideas more quickly into its vehicles, plus it can correct faults far earlier, thus improving customer satisfaction.
In order to obtain informative feedback on vehicle quality, Daimler involves its employees in the quality management process. Surveys of internal user groups benefit the company in two ways. Firstly, a large number of the group’s employees get to drive the latest vehicle models soon after they are launched. Secondly, feedback on the latest series can be obtained straight away and any changes required can be implemented without delay. Daimler staff are also very interested in cars and often have in-depth technical expertise. They are “Daimler experts” who are well qualified to give a realistic vehicle assessment.
An online questionnaire enables Daimler staff to report on their experiences and indicate their opinion of the vehicle’s quality along with any proposed improvements. They are automatically invited to complete this questionnaire 45 to 75 days after receiving their new vehicle. The survey is based on a combination of data from the Daimler ERP system and information on the vehicle being driven. The data is automatically transferred to EFS Panel using EFS Web Services integration and interface technology. The system identifies all current models, engines and transmissions and adds to the assessment options within the questionnaire, if necessary.
Due to the large number of different models in the group’s product portfolio and the wide range of equipment options, there is a huge amount of data for each survey. Consequently, the questionnaire has a modular structure. The vehicle user can provide feedback on a total of nine assessment modules, including driving performance, extra equipment and engine and transmission types. Selecting one of these categories brings up typical types of faults. On the next level, these faults can be narrowed down in greater detail. Drivers can also add their own views in the comments boxes. The modular structure allows users to navigate quickly around the questionnaire. This also reduces the time required to complete it and thus minimizes the resultant costs for those taking part in the survey in terms of lost productivity. Once each survey has been completed, EFS Panel automatically synchronizes the results with a reporting tool. This makes the results available to just under 600 development, production, quality management and after-sales staff on the Daimler intranet.
The software allows flexible assessment of the respondents data. Any combination of assessment criteria can be used. For example, it is possible to establish whether points that arise apply exclusively to certain models or to the components from a particular supplier. This enables Daimler’s quality management team to identify key issues that require particular attention at an early stage. Using this system provides a lasting solution to cutting the time between identifying a fault and rectifying it. The questionnaire, reporting and interface technology have been extended and improved throughout the project for this purpose. EFS Panel has a further advantage for the Daimler quality management team – even after the data is exported to the reporting system, all the information obtained remains available in the software for further analysis. For example, it is possible to specifically select drivers of vehicle models in particular series and carry out a separate survey on key issues. With its participant management, questionnaire administration and e-mail dispatch systems, EFS Panel provides the entire infrastructure required.
Before Daimler used EFS Panel, it used to take an average five months from the market launch of a model to obtain the first usable survey feedback; initial assessments are now possible within 8 weeks. The Daimler quality management team’s surveys benefit from high response rates. Over 75% of the employees contacted took part in the evaluations and helped the company with valuable suggestions for product improvements. The internal customer satisfaction of employees now serves as an official indicator of the perceived quality of Daimler’s products. Based on the information generated, the company can rectify faults more quickly and thus improve end customer satisfaction.
What’s more, the suggestions made also help gain a vital edge over the competition. Daimler’s web-based quality management system is an outstanding example of how software solutions from QuestBack can serve as a basis for complex special developements.
The project demonstrates that the software can be integrated in heterogeneous IT landscapes and that it can be used to set up automated survey processes. It will come as no surprise that Daimler is planning to expand the system. Being discussed are additional surveys after longer periods of vehicle use and an extension to other divisions in the group.
Daimler AG with its businesses Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Daimler Financial Services, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Buses is a global leading producer of premium passenger cars and the largest manufacturer of commercial
vehicles in the world. The Daimler Financial Services division has a broad offering of financial services relating to automobiles.