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The fascinating power of production.
Production of the BMW 7series in Dingolfing (Germany)

The fascinating power of production

The BMW Plant in Dingolfing: Flexible manufacture of automobiles at its finest.

From the steel roll to the body-in-white.

Throwing a glance at colours.

Customized for the customer.

Making available superior comfort – The production of seats exemplified.

Quick processes: Punctual, prompt, appropriate.

The BMW Plant in Dingolfing: A survey – Milestones on the way to success.

General conspectus: Pictures from the BMW Plant in Dingolfing

 

Punctual, prompt, appropriate.

With the gradual realization of a new sales and production system the BMW Group, being a build-to-order manufacturer, once again sets a new benchmark. This system sets the foundation for an optimum interaction of production and distribution for the full benefit of the customer, whereby the main focus is on the customer-oriented sales and production process KOVP. The main prerequisites for the realization of KOVP are a flexible production system and a suitable IT-environment.

Quantum leap in flexibility and a dramatic cut in processing times. The introduction of KOVP represents a quantum leap in flexibility for the benefit of the customers. Simple online ordering processes at the dealers, the prompt receipt of a binding confirmation of order, flexibility when altering individual customer orders, information on the order status and, last but not least, quick and punctual delivery. KOVP was introduced with the commencement of the new 7 Series model’s production and is to be gradually extended to the entire network with the start of production of future models.

Just a few seconds away from owning a dream car.

Back in 1998 BMW introduced the online ordering system in Germany. With this system the dealer is in a position to order directly the individually configured from an order data base. After the desired car has passed a plausibility check, a reservation is made for production and the production logistics dept. is informed about the new order. The entire process only takes a few seconds. The customer is immediately informed on the exact date when the desired car will be delivered.

Another achievement of KOVP is the dramatic reduction of the processing time to currently 12 weekdays in the case of the new BMW 7 Series model. For comparison: Until two years ago the order processing time in Germany was up to 28 days. Tight organization opened up new dimensions in terms of customer flexibility. The system allows the customer to alter his order of the respective body variant with respect to the engine, colour and equipment up to about one week before the commencement of assembly without having an adverse effect on the delivery date. This is of great importance as already today the BMW brand records and realizes up to 40,000 requests for changes in features such as engines, special equipment, colours and upholstery per month.

Thus requests for changes are made for every second vehicle after the placement of order and prior to delivery. This flexibility when it comes to altering orders is mainly attributable to KOVP, which ranks unique the world over.

Reengineering of processes.

As far as production is concerned, the rigid production sequence from the body-in-white construction, the application of paint all the way to final assembly has been loosened in the interest of the customeroriented sales and production process KOVP. The automobile is now allocated to a specific customer order only at the beginning of assembly.

The painted body is treated as a vendor part and placed in intermediate storage in high-rise warehouses. The respective body variants can be called in from the storage as required. Only four different bodies-inwhite are produced for the new 7 Series model: a left-hand drive version, a right-hand drive version, one variant with and one variant without sunroof. With the introduction of the stretched version the number of variants will increase to eight. If the number of body-in-white variants had not been limited, KOVP could not have been realized and the logistic management of the high-rise warehouses would hardly be possible. For comparison: There were up to hundred different underbody structures for the previous 7 Series model. With KOVP the vehicle is provided with the identification number and completed according to the customer order no earlier than at the beginning of the assembly process.

The current processing time of twelve work-days in the case of the new BMW 7 Series model is summed up as follows: one day for the "freezing" of the binding order, six days for preliminary planning and two days for assembly. The automobile is at the dealer’s disposal another three days later and ready for delivery to the customer, provided the dealer is located in Germany. It goes without saying that the delivery periods for vehicles produced abroad or delivered to foreign countries are longer due to longer ways of transport.

The customer-oriented sales and production process KOVP is mainly based on the following principle: It is not the vehicle planned by BMW which determines the process, but the automobile desired and ordered by the customer.

 
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Source: BMW Group. March 2002.



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