Friday, July 31, 2009

IBM Rolls Out New Branch Management System

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has completed a two-year design, implementation and training project for BMW. IBM's system integration will centralize customer service and retail processes for 19 branches across Germany, which will reduce costs and improve efficiencies.

Based on SAP Automotive, the new system will enable BMW to further integrate vehicle and motorcycle sales processes, after sales and parts distribution processes. The implementation also includes an integrated finance solution. The new ERP system is intended to give employees at all BMW branches a uniform view of customers, vehicles and transaction processes. It improves internal networking of branches and ensures additional transparency.

BMW's branches which employ 6,000 professionals now use an advanced enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to support vehicle and motorcycle sales processes, after sales, spare parts distribution and financial processes.

"In all, the new system was intended to support a little over 80 processes and to be able to communicate with 36 partner systems. That required around 500 specific SAP extensions, 64 interfaces, and over two million lines of code," said Stefan Lutz, an Associate Partner at IBM's consulting arm Global Business Services, summarizing the solution's complexity.

Training more than 6,000 users, including over 1,500 in Munich alone, was the work of a dedicated team of IBM trainers with industrialized training sessions. A standardized rollout template contained reusable documents and tools such as presentations, checklists, test cases and data migration dashboards. IBM thereby ensured identical processes and constant quality of rollouts at every branch.

At the beginning of May 2009 the BMW Group and IBM went live at the last and largest branch in Munich. In addition to IBM's technical expertise the process know-how of IBM project employees was a decisive success factor, enabling the project to be completed six months ahead of schedule.

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