BMW:BMW Group uses Blockchain to drive supply chain transparency
Munich. The BMW Group is using innovative digital
technologies to optimise its processes. A good example of this is
Blockchain, a technology that enables tamper-proof data sharing, with
potential applications throughout the entire automotive value chain.
The BMW Group is using this technology in purchasing to ensure the
traceability of components and raw materials in multi-stage
international supply chains. “In 2019, we conducted a successful pilot
project for purchasing front lights. This year, we want to expand the
project to a large number of other suppliers,” said Andreas Wendt,
member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing
and Supplier Network.
The automotive industry’s international supply chains are highly
complex. They generally involve numerous players at different delivery
stages and often undergo rapid changes. For this reason, considerable
effort can be needed to clearly track a component’s origin or supply
route, for instance. Up until now, it has been customary for the many
partners to manage their own data separately. The companies’
respective IT systems have not always been able to communicate
consistently with one another. For the BMW Group’s purchasing experts
and its suppliers, ensuring transparency therefore involved
considerable manual effort. The BMW Group initiated the PartChain
project to ensure seamless traceability of components – more or less
“at the push of a button” – and provide immediate data transparency in
complex supply chains for all partners involved going forward.
“PartChain enables tamper-proof and consistently verifiable
collection and transaction of data in our supply chain,” said Wendt.
2019 the pilot project focused solely on part tracking. In the long
term, the BMW Group also expects the project to enable complete
traceability of critical raw materials – all the way from mine to
smelter. Wendt: “This move is designed to take the digitalisation of
purchasing at the BMW Group to the next level. Our vision is to create
an open platform that will allow data within supply chains to be
exchanged and shared safely and anonymised across the industry.”
PartChain uses Cloud technologies (e. g. Amazon Web Services,
Microsoft Azure) in addition to Blockchain solutions. This allows the
origin of components to be tracked between all participating partners
without any risk of manipulation. The 2019 pilot project already
involved two of the BMW Group’s total 31 plants (Spartanburg/US and
Dingolfing), as well as three locations of the supplier Automotive
Lighting. This year, the platform will be rolled out to about ten suppliers.
BMW Group co-founded Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative
(MOBI) in 2018
An industry-wide solution would enable all partners participating to
link their business processes more closely and coordinate between
companies. However, common standards and control models are needed to
leverage the full potential of an open platform. The BMW Group
therefore co-founded the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) in
2018, a cross-industry initiative comprising 120 leading automotive,
mobility and technology companies. Within MOBI, the company heads a
working group on supply chain issues. The MOBI members’ shared
objective is to help Blockchain technology break through in the
mobility sector. “We want to share our PartChain approach with the
initiative and invite interested companies to join the initiative,”
Further information on the MOBI initiative can be found at www.dlt.mobi.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Saskia Eßbauer, Corporate Communications
Saskia.Essbauer@bmw.de, Telephone: +49 89 382 18364
Mathias Schmidt, head of Corporate and Culture Communications
Mathias.M.Schmidt@bmwgroup.com, Telephone: +49 89 382 24544
Media website: www.press.bmwgroup.com
The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW
Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and
motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services.
The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly
facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in
more than 140 countries.
In 2019, the BMW Group sold over 2.5 million passenger vehicles and
more than 175,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the
financial year 2019 was € 7.118 billion on revenues amounting to
€ 104.210 billion. As of 31 December 2019, the BMW Group had a
workforce of 133,778 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term
thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established
ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain,
comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to
conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.