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CLIENT CASE STUDY


EMBEDDED SOFTWARE REDUCES ANNUAL COSTS BY $9 MILLION

Accenture's high-quality, low-cost embedded software development support puts a Japanese auto parts manufacturer in pole position for growth.

Overview

The average new car now has as much embedded software as a rocket, and that’s only likely to grow as connected car technologies take hold. To meet increasing demand, a leading Japanese auto parts manufacturer struggled to find cost-effective resources with scarce embedded software development skills and commitment to high quality standards—paramount when defects could cause costly recalls or life-threatening situations.

The company collaborated with Accenture to support embedded software development, employing highly skilled, cost-efficient professionals in Accenture’s Philippines Delivery Centers.

The team focuses on three downstream R&D areas (software development, testing services and inspection services) to meet country-specific requirements including those of Japan—the world’s most stringent. The robust processes and management structure in place allow the offshore team to work independently while delivering quality services.

With approximately 130 Accenture professionals providing specialized, flexible and cost-effective services, the company has been able to quickly scale its business, respond nimbly to software changes and new requirements, and reduce embedded software development costs by US$9 million annually. The efficient, high-quality services enable the automotive company’s R&D division to focus time and resources on high-value product development to drive competitiveness.

Opportunity

In a connected world, vehicles are becoming more like moving computers, with a growing number of electronically controlled automobile parts to support telematics, in-vehicle entertainment, security, safety systems, and other developing technology. To take advantage of the increasing volume of embedded software development work and meet customer needs for greater innovation, the auto parts company sought help in scaling its business rapidly. It also needed to quickly find scarce skills at the right price to provide embedded software development services. Locating cost-effective professionals with highly specialized R&D skills and a commitment to quality—essential in an industry where defects could be life-threatening—proved difficult. The company tapped Accenture’s industry knowledge and highly skilled professionals from the Philippines Delivery Centers to work in sync with its new offshore R&D center and provide outsourcing services in this area over a five-year contract.

Solution

Accenture is supporting the company’s mass production embedded software development, focusing on three downstream R&D areas: software development, testing services and inspection services. The Accenture team meets country-specific regulatory and safety requirements, including those of Japan—which are some of the strictest in the world. The team can also process detailed country requests in native languages. Accenture put a robust local management framework in place that upholds quality testing. Once the Philippines team receives instructions and specifications, the automotive company and onshore Accenture resources do not need to intervene to run the services. Accenture has expanded the number of professionals to 130 and also extended its support to the company’s powertrain control systems area.

Results

With Accenture’s specialized, flexible services, the company has been able to quickly scale its business and reduce embedded software development costs by US$9 million annually. The highly skilled, cost-effective resources can respond nimbly to software changes and new requirements. The robust processes and management structure allow the offshore team to work independently while meeting high quality standards. Given the need for 100 percent accuracy in automotive embedded software, the team’s quality control has been able to satisfy customer demands and stringent safety requirements in Japan. The efficient system enables the automotive company’s R&D division to focus time and resources on high-value product development to drive competitiveness.