Certain companies in the aerospace and defence, automotive and manufacturing industries have already harnessed the potential of crowdsourcing to spectacular effect. An aerospace organisation created an iPhone-controlled augmented reality game which allowed the public to attempt dockings with a simulated international space station – in the process, helping to improve robotic rendezvous methods in a way which would be almost impossible otherwise.
In the automotive industry, a leading car manufacturer launched a project to create the first crowdsourcing-designed car. It invited people to submit ideas through a website and more than two million people from 160 countries visited, 17,000 people registered and more than 10,000 ideas were posted. In manufacturing, a US business introduced a crowdsourcing approach to product development. From the ideas submitted thus far, they've launched six signature products and sales are said to be up by 30 percent (source: http://www.crowdsourcing.org/document/joint-effort/10319).
‘Crowd Connection’ is KPMG’s global crowdsourcing tool and we use this most commonly with clients in two ways. First, to tap into key customer segments or desired customer groups to better understand the voice of the customer and what is most important to them in terms of customer experience. Secondly, to help engage with employees to better understand issues and highlight where barriers to change may exist when implementing change programmes.
What really excites businesses about crowdsourcing when used in these ways, is the fact that it provides an ‘always-on’ channel that enables ongoing conversations with stakeholders to be maintained, providing rich insights over a period of time. The use of devices such as PCs and smartphones to interact with stakeholders also means that studies can be deployed and completed quickly, with participant contributions instantly available for review. This technology-led approach is also very cost effective and allows a global community to be assembled easily and without incurring expensive travel costs.
In addition, hard-to-recruit or low-incidence consumer groups are less of a challenge to secure feedback from – you just need to be able to invite them to participate via e-mail and contribute at a time that suits them. We also find that participants are very comfortable with interactive communication and may embrace the opportunity to participate in research using online techniques that seem less intrusive than traditional methods such as telephone interviews or face-to-face focus group meetings.
To discuss crowdsourcing for the aerospace & defence, automotive & manufacturing industries further, please contact Mark Guinibert, who leads our Customer & Channel Management team.