BMW Group Uses Blockchain To Drive Supply Chain Transparency
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, the 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.