A Million Dollar Question: Where is BMW Going as its SAP PLM System Grows Old?
Here’s the million-dollar question in automotive: How should a best-in-class PLM system be configured for a best-in-class car maker?
One interesting answer comes from BMW. The iconic German car developer took the diversification path to PLM. By putting together bits and pieces of different commercial software, together with their own solutions, they created a system that is characterized by a variety of software from different vendors.
Generally, this may sound like a path that is far from smooth when it comes to PLM processes, but judging by what they produced with these all these systems—in terms of world leading cars and technology—it’s a success.
But today there are challenges, as BMW's SAP-based PLM system ages. In the long term the system will not be supported by SAP, especially in light of SAP's agreement and partnership with Siemens on the latter's PLM/PDM suite Teamcenter.
Add to this the effects and dramatic changes that the electrification trend brings to the entire transportation segment, and it becomes clear that BMW has good reasons to reassess its PLM solution and build a new platform that can meet the demands that come with development lines, such as less mechanics, more software, more electronics and autonomous vehicles.
This raises an interesting question: What do BMW's plans look like? It is clear that they are currently working on the matter. This is confirmed by Dieter Falkensteiner, spokesman for the BMW Group, although there is a limit to what he wants to reveal at the moment:
- Right, we are currently reassessing the strategic orientation of PLM, he says. In doing so, we are, of course, examining the entire market and for this reason we are unable to provide any information on this topic at present.
Can BMW's PLM history give any clues as to which direction they are leaning? In today's article, PLM&ERP News' editor, Verdi Ogewell takes a look at what has happened in PLM and sub-PLM in recent years in an article at our American sister site, engineering.com.
Click on the link below the intro to read his full article at engineering.com.