Integration into BMW Group Processes and Systems
e-Sourcing in the BMW Group – The first contacts with Allocation Network and other IT service providers resulted in 2003 in the first auctions in the non-production material area. At the end of 2004 the internal development in the eRFX area was discontinued and focus began on four partners with externally hosted ASP systems and commodity-specific solutions. In 2007 the first interface of an eRFX software for the BMW-own supplier database and document storage systems was implemented with ASTRAS. A year later the final decision was made to consolidate the systems and operate ASTRAS in-house as the system of choice.
Since 2009 ASTRAS 6 has been the sole international eRFX solution, both in direct and indirect procurement. ASTRAS is fully integrated via the B2B portal into the BMW Group systems and processes, and into the M portal in particular.
The biggest challenge in selecting the eRFx tool involved the need to find an application that can optimally map the different quote templates in the production and non-production material.
In production material the request process is based on a selected number of BMW quotation analysis forms. The cost components of the procuring parts are presented in detail by the supplier in these QAFs. The database can be drawn from pre-systems and a KPI reporting is firmly established.
The requests in the non-production material, however, are characterized by strong product group-specific detail requirements. A standardization can only be achieved here when the application creates the connection between flexibility on one hand and usability on the other.
This was successful in the case of the BMW Group. ASTRAS runs as an international application in the B2B portal of the BMW Group, and is also completely integrated into the M portal, the BMW Group´s buyer cockpit.
Auctions at the BMW Group are monitored in accordance with strict guidelines by Allocation Network as full service provider. Negotiated as final in the conventional way (the more frequent variant) or per auction, the results are read back into the M portal, documented, and the bidder recommendation is created using an award group template.
The M portal – centerpiece of the BMW Group procurement systems
The M portal is the central interface that maps and controls all processes in BMW Group’s Purchasing. All users involved in the process in the BMW Group work in all phases of the process, role-based in one system. The M portal also ensures the seamless transfer of all relevant data here, across and beyond application boundaries.
In phase 1, the request preparation, after the purchase requisition in various pre-systems in the M portal, the interdisciplinary cooperation between Cost Engineering, R&D, Logistics, Quality and Purchasing starts with the revision of existing contracts, coordination of the award methods, the creation of request documents and specifications, as well as the bidder group coordination for the respective process.
After the process release, all request-relevant data for phase 2, performance of the request, is transferred into the ASTRAS eRFx system. The suppliers invited to submit a bid can see the specifications in the portal and provide their quotes online. The quotes are detailed by the supplier in different product group-specific request and cost analysis structures and automatically inserted by ASTRAS into the comparison sheets.
In the third phase, the award decision, after the technical and specialist release by all process participants, the quotes are also rated and negotiated in several rounds under the guidance of Purchasing. In special cases, procurement auctions can also be selected by the buyers as a negotiating mechanism.
According to the template and the decision of the M award committee, in the fourth phase, the award tracking, the order can then be created in the M portal and the service/supplier confirmation can be posted. The evaluation of the supplier´s performance rounds off the supplier selection process in the M portal and closes the process.