BMW is preparing to enter another “era” called “post-just-in-time” manufacturing. The idea driving this new era is a new focus on the importance of suppliers of BMW.
This focus is designed to make ordering BMWs as easy as possible for new BMW owners. This plan involves everything from redesigning the body shop in the South Carolina plant to tools ordering for dealerships. The body shop changes involve redesigning car models such that, differences in body structures is minimal.
Other changes involve the manner in which VIN numbers are assigned such that customers have more time to make changes to their orders and add production flexibility. European dealerships are using a new streamlined computer ordering system. The South Carolina plant is also doubling capacity for the way in which it manages built cars production scheduling. This change will reduce issues that arise in order scheduling.
The “don’t forget the suppliers” idea will be present at all levels of the supply chain. The computer system that will drive it is in testing and will be in production by the fall of 2002. The idea behind this change to a supplier-centric idea is to improve the accuracy of production. BMW will reduce the lead time needed for a production change. Reducing the lead time improves production accuracy. This reduction in lead time and the accuracy that result will free suppliers to produce parts ahead of time and will more confidence. An additional benefit will be to allow suppliers to make changes to deal with customer requests without significantly altering production. This computer system will update nightly.
A new position has been created to deal with issues that arise in production. This new position has authority to make production decision across multiple departments in an effort to keep things running smoothly. This new position is called “indicator champion.”
The driving force behind the idea of all the improvements BMW is making in the South... [continues]
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