Due to a new supply-management system, BMW, the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars, is struggling to deliver spare parts on time thus forcing customers to wait for repairs.
According to Manfred Grunert, spokesmen for the Munich-based company, about 10 percent of the parts are not immediately available in the central warehouse in Dingolfing, Germany, due to the changeover. The company has workers on extra shifts to help shorten the wait, and aims to have the new system working properly by early September.
Still, the delays started over two months ago with the switch to the new logistics system and have caused ripple effects globally because orders for BMW’s 40 parts-distribution centers originate at the Dingolfing facility. The warehouse also directly supplies about 300 repair shops in Germany.
“We have to disappoint about 180 customers per month; that means 20 percent of our customers with major repair work,” said Burkhard Weller, owner of Osnabrueck-based Weller Gruppe, one of the two biggest BMW dealers in Germany. “The problem is present at all 16 of our locations. It is impossible to appease a customer who can’t use his car.”
The logistics project – named ATLAS for Advanced parTs Logistics in After Sales – was started in Dingolfing in 2009, with a target to complete the new system within three years, according to a press release at the time.
For cases where parts supplies are not arriving on time, BMW is providing replacement vehicles for customers but for big dealers this is not a solution, as the biggest problem is the company can’t provide a time estimate for the part and thus the dealer can’t tell the customer when the repair will be ready.