Wireless Solution helps Car Manufacturer's Logistics Management reduce Inventory Levels and keep more Accurate Stock Records

This case history about BMW comes courtesy of Psion Teklogix. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content and style.

The Challenge
BMW South Africa (SA), based in Rosslyn Pretoria produces most of the 3 series BMW’s (right and left hand drive) at a volume of approximately 200 units per day. A large percentage of these vehicles (over 70%) are exported to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the UK, Singapore, Taiwan, and Germany. BMW needed to expand their supply chain capabilities to ensure an effective and efficient system used in the receipt, picking, goods movement and scrap processes.

The Solution
In January 1999, BMW commissioned its new Logistics system using the SAP R/3™ platform in order to improve the management of their supply chain. In addition to the planned SAP R/3™ installation they implemented a Psion Teklogix wireless system which enabled BMW SA to completely re-engineer their processes. Requests for parts supply are performed by scanning a barcode at line-side. These requests print in the appropriate warehouse, components are picked and the request ticket itself is scanned for confirmation that the movement has taken place. With the new wireless solution the operators in all areas are able to use the hand-held scanners to perform stock and other enquiries, directly on the SAP system using wireless functionality.

The Benefits
The wireless system and its seamless interface with SAP R/3™ allows BMW to prioritize its logistics operations. Each part of the motor car now arrives only when it is needed by production. As a result, inventory levels on the production line have been reduced and stock records of this inventory are now far more accurate. “Our management of the logistics processes has become significantly more efficient. This is due to the fact that the system is very easy to use. The systems’ full integration with SAP provides instant inventory and financial record updates occurring simultaneously with the wireless transactions”, said Salome Thiart, Project manager for the Inventory and Warehousing at BMW SA.

MHMonline.com welcomes relevant, exclusive case histories that explain in specific detail the business benefits that new software and material-handling equipment has provided to specific users. Send submissions to Clyde Witt([email protected]), MHM Editor-in-Cheif. All submissions will be edited for clarity, content and style.

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