Bosch Improves Engineering Coordination to Achieve Product Leadership

By Eric

You could say the library is the brain of our development. All the information our developers need for their work is stored centrally, so they know, for instance, whether they can use a component for a new development or when it has been discontinued

explains Lutz Napiwotzky, responsible for Engineering Applications Corporate IT at Bosch.

When the Bosch Group’s Automotive Technology Division, one of the world’s leading suppliers to the automotive industry, analyzed their development processes, they quickly identified areas for improvement, including consistent data management. Each division structured data differently and stored it in different systems. As a result, tasks like tracing component use were inefficient and sometimes impossible. The company really wanted to increase the efficiency of these processes by simplifying and standardizing them. The only solution for Bosch was to install a component supplier management solution.

After implementing Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform Bosch engineers understand exactly which components were installed in which devices, including all configuration and material information. In particular, the component library structuring and versioning capabilities bring significant value to the Stuttgart-based company.

If you would like to know more, please read the full customer case.


Hi-Tech Trade Wars

By Robert

With the global recession in full swing we see some cracks appearing within the global movement towards ‘free trade’ (the trade between nations without protective customs tariffs), and these cracks appear to be moving towards a more regulated environment. Governments are increasingly adding regulation to favor locally manufactured products as a way to support local economy growth.

This is nothing new when you look at the BAA, NAFTA, G7, and the ‘China Government Procurement Program’ as good examples of ‘free trade’ with some regulations, restrictions, or down-right favoritism. What is new is the pace at which changes are being proposed and in some cases forced upon the global enterprise in terms of compliance as a way to push for localized growth in a recessionary environment.

What does this mean for the future of compliance?

Well, we can see from our experience with materials and substance compliancy that software solutions are often needed in order to comply efficiently. The tracking of compliance to numerous and varying government mandates from different regions becomes overwhelming on an ad-hoc or manual basis. Compliancy roll-ups related to trade compliance will require the right schema, good business processes, and a scalable platform.

PLM may be the right place to start such an endeavor since the ability to manage rolled-up data from items to assemblies, and the tracking of engineered, planned, and manufactured BOMs are capabilities that already exist today.

Extensions to allow for end-to-end trade compliance tracking by country-of-origin/trade region, commodity spend and other parameters are also capabilities that fit well within the context of PLM, and allow for the possibility of a single version of the truth for trade compliance reporting and analysis.

Of course, this becomes a complex topic based upon the complexity of today’s hi-tech supply chains. One only has to ‘look under the hood’ of any mobile device or laptop to see the global nature of technologies and components that are involved in any single product.

We should all keep our eyes out on the opportunities and risks presented by the slippery slope of ‘free trade’ into ‘regulated trade’. What is clear is that the landscape is changing.

Please feel free to comment on this thread with your thoughts and opinions on trade compliance, and the opportunities and threats this topic to offers the hi-tech enterprise and supply-chain.


PLM as the Enterprise Backbone Part 3: Working Smart with the Supply Chain

By Brian

Hi, last time you heard from me I blogged about the link between Product Portfolio and Program Management and PLM as the enterprise backbone. Today I’d like to focus on another “vertebrae,” issues tied to the supply chain. There are two points I’d like to present:

1. PLM establishes supplier leverage and gives visibility to all part volumes by supplier.

When integrated to the product development system, direct materials sourcing and extended enterprise collaboration enhances a manufacturer’s negotiation leverage for new and existing supplier contracts, and helps resolve supplier and partner performance and design issues. Sourcing, commodity and acquisition integration programs can be globally managed to the latest product attributes and designs. Spend can be more effectively aggregated to the preferred suppliers, optimizing volume pricing, reducing both parts proliferation and material and service costs. By identifying sourced components based on part-reuse and product and manufacturing platform alignment, manufacturers can reduce inventory levels and respond with greater agility to shifts in demand. It streamlines the process of identifying alternate or functionally equivalent parts when standard parts are not available.

There are other benefits such as standardization, allowing every participant in the quoting process (the manufacturer, customer, suppliers and partners) to manage the same version of the product definition, including revisions and program changes. PLM also facilitates cost analysis and supplier negotiations.

Negotiations with preferred suppliers go beyond obtaining best prices and favorable terms. When run on a PLM backbone these otherwise standardized processes become avenues for harnessing supplier innovation and design alternatives, allowing manufacturers to address market needs quickly and efficiently. Suppliers become true partners by not just providing components and services, but by also proposing new technologies and solutions to meet market requirements.

2. You can employ PLM to manage a global dispersed set of engineering centers and partners.

Oftentimes corporations not only have globally dispersed engineering, research and development centers, but equally dispersed partners, alliances and supply-chains. Maintaining a single system of record in a PLM architecture provides the means for a company to maintain visibility, flexibility and real-time 24/7 management of its global strategies and business development initiatives.

Supplier Collaboration on a Global Network

Supplier Collaboration on a Global Network

Establishing PLM as a key enterprise backbone sets competitive capabilities for new product programs by assuring the alignment of engineering to established platform and sourcing strategies. The cost and quality advantages of reusing existing and standard parts, coupled with the ability to negotiate new program costs, based on a manufacturer’s total purchasing volume with a supplier, increases the ability to control cost, quality and timing requirements of the new product programs. These sourcing and supplier collaboration competencies are critical for companies to establish and maintain performance improvements capabilities. This helps companies to apply their engineering resources more uniquely on resolving market requirements and revenue opportunities, and less time on resolving design and quality issues with their suppliers.

So leveraged these ways, PLM gives visibility to a company’s total spend exposure by supplier, and identifies the preferred parts by supplier, as well as enhances the ability to collaborate and resolve design issues in key areas of new technologies.

In my next article in this PLM as the Enterprise Backbone series, I will address the ability of PLM to mitigate the risks of regulatory compliance and environmental challenges.



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