Published on April 28th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Case Study: Industrial AR Isn’t a Silver Bullet
It should be no surprise that the most important component of an emergent technology launch is not the technology itself. It’s really the strategy to smoothly implement the solution within your workforce. That’s the focus of this post by Mike Boland at AR Insider who shares a case study from Porsche and their AR tool for technicians. It’s really a lesson in knowing and understanding the target audience. When a tool is introduced it is critical that it is useful to their daily work tasks. It sounds logical but this requirement is often not met. Got an AR/VR idea for your company? Don’t forget to ask your users what they think.
Photo Source: Microsoft
Early stages of industrial AR have given us plenty of glowing case studies from pilot projects. But the dreaded “pilot purgatory” often stalls deployment and makes long-term adoption relatively rare. It also makes those real deployments valuable in their scarcity and learnings.
One of the exemplars on that shortlist (more to come in this series) is Atheer‘s work with Porsche to drive 40 percent faster maintenance using AR. This says a lot according to Atheer’s Amar Dhaliwal at AWE Europe, given that Porsche was already operating at an elite level.
“These are some of the most trained, certified and competent auto technicians in the world,” he said. “It can take ten years to actually become a gold-certified technician. Yet when Porsche rolled out AR, it was able to achieve a 40 percent reduction in service resolution time.”
In fairness, this isn’t a new figure. In fact, Dhaliwal is first to admit that Porsche has already publicized the 40 percent stat, and for good reason. It’s a subtle message that they’re investing in AR so that customers are in good hands. This makes AR part operational and part marketing.
“When somebody’s going into a Porsche dealership they probably came from a Mercedes dealership and going to BMW next,” he said. “Porsche wants to be able to tell customers ‘Not only are you buying the best technology, but we’ll look after you once we’ve sold you.”
This message makes sense because Porsche’s point of deployment for AR is at the dealer level. It’s the dealer-centered technicians that are using AR to fix cars that Porsche owners bring in locally. So AR’s presence and value can be that much more apparent to the end customer.
As for how it achieved that 40 percent, the first step is planning and needs-assessment. AR is only successful when applied in the right places. As explored elsewhere in this report, it’s not a silver bullet: It can only be successful when used to solve specific problems in specific job roles.
Training Versus Guidance
Here, one important distinction according to Dhaliwal is training versus guidance. AR doesn’t do much for jobs that require training (repetitive, simple tasks). But it can have lots of impact in jobs that need guidance (complex, non-repetitive tasks). Pinpointing this should be step one.
“We’ll start by saying ‘what is it that you’re trying to do?’” he said. “If they’re trying to do something that sounds better for training, we’ll say ‘we’re not the right partner for you, because deploying this technology to solve this problem will not have the ROI that you’re looking for’.”