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C-Level conversations

Interview with
Faurecia

Digitizing the Five Star Customer Experience

When it comes to driving the transformation, for Faurecia, a global leader in automotive technology, the destination is total customer satisfaction.

Faurecia has built a company culture centered on its customers and focused on continually improving how it serves them – with the goal of being their preferred supplier and partner. The foundation from which this culture has been built is the Faurecia Excellence System (FES), recently renamed FES X.0.

Based on the lean management approach, FES X.0 involves all functions and aims to understand, anticipate and exceed customer expectations – something it does via a combination of technology and people. For example, Faurecia launched an app that allows customers to provide feedback anywhere, anytime. In 2022, it received over 3,260 customer responses from over 1,500 unique users, with an average rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5).

Digitalization gives us flexibility, meaning we can react to customer and market changes and switch from one product to another in near-real time – which is one of our key competitive advantages.

Frederic Moret,
Worldwide Industrial Director at Faurecia.

Confident customers

“The confidence of Faurecia’s customers in our strategy is expressed both through its record order intake over the past few years and the numerous awards that customers give to the Group for global performance, manufacturing excellence, cost savings and innovation” says Frederic Moret, Worldwide Industrial Director at Faurecia.

But this feedback isn’t just a pat on the back – all concerns and issues are proactively addressed. “Achieving that coveted five star customer experience requires a near-perfect match between our customers’ expectations and our capacity to deliver on those expectations” notes Moret.

Digitalization is Flexibility

When it comes to achieving this match, Faurecia can leverage its high level of digitalization. In fact, following a comprehensive transformation project launched in 2016 that saw the integration of a wide range of Industry 4.0 technologies into its processes, Faurecia is today considered one of the most modern factories in France and beyond.

“This digitalization gives us flexibility, meaning we can react to customer and market changes and switch from one product to another in near-real time – which is one of our key competitive advantages” explains Moret.

The importance of data

Moret particularly notes the important role data plays. “With the right algorithms, when a change needs to be made, we can quickly analyze all the data on what has been produced and use that to accurately forecast our capacity to manufacture the new product” he says. “Without digitalization, such flexibility would be impossible.”

Whenever Faurecia purchases a new machine, it gives the supplier a list of data they expect the machine to provide and in what format it must be provided. Thus, every machine should provide the same type of data – adding an important layer of consistency across all the company’s sites.

The same goes for reacting to a customer concern or issue. “When digitalization is done right, everything is transparent – you can look at the data, identify the problem – even predict the problem – and then act” remarks Moret.

Problem Solving Starts on the Shop Floor

Data and digitalization also ensure that issues can be addressed not from the top down, but directly where they happen: the shop floor. “A critical feature of our FES strategy is that it places the bulk of our problem solving with our shop floor people” says Moret.

To secure its long-term customer centric transformation, Faurecia has rolled out a five-star certification program focused on enhancing the service mindset and skills of its people.

As Moret explains, whenever there is an issue, it first goes to the shop floor, ensuring that the operator immediately sees the issue and can react. If the issue cannot be fully addressed by the operator, the FES includes a hierarchy of action, meaning the operator is always clear about who they should escalate the issue to.

This approach has proven to be very efficient, with about 99% of all issues being handled by the company’s shop floor employees.“By involving everybody – from the shop floor to the top floor – and providing them with the right digital tools, we are well on our way to delivering a five star customer experience” concludes Moret.

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