General Motors

Continually increasing the quality and safety of its vehicles while reducing operational costs are critical goals for General Motors. While the company continues to improve quality and safety, winning several J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Initial Quality Study awards, reining in product warranty costs remains a major initiative at GM.

Specifically, GM has sought to significantly reduce warranty costs by computing and communicating the latest performance metrics on components, sub-systems and suppliers to the employees making important product development and purchasing decisions. While automobile production, sales and warranty repairs generate valuable data that may reveal problematic parts and processes, this data cannot be fully leveraged because it is simply too large and complex to be cost-effectively analyzed by GM's current business intelligence investments.

To get the operational and performance metrics it needed -- without having to spend millions on new hardware and software -- GM turned to PDQ for the development of a hosted analytical application that could handle complex queries against GM's huge data sets. Having worked with PDQ on a back-up reporting initiative for its NHTSA TREAD reporting in 2003, GM knew the power and speed that PDQ-Explore offered.

PDQ's team of automotive industry and data management experts worked in consultation with GM's Quality, Engineering and Purchasing personnel to develop the business rules for the new GM North America Warranty Analysis application. The application is now hosted at PDQ, and GM employees can access the Web-based application and quickly perform detailed analyses and reporting on part and supplier data at the most basic level through to complete corporate aggregates. Prior to this effort, getting such detailed information - so quickly and cost-effectively - was impractical and cost-prohibitive.

With the PDQ hosted application, GM has been able to generate complex part level warranty metrics for thousands of specific part applications in a fraction of the time and cost it would have taken with its internal database, storage and analytical applications. Its Quality, Engineering, and Purchasing groups now have more timely and relevant information, improving decision-making at the operational level and helping GM maintain its tradition of quality and excellence while substantially reducing costs.