With the gradual realization of a new sales and production
system the BMW Group, being a build-to-order manufacturer, once again sets
a new benchmark. This system sets the foundation for an optimum
interaction of production and distribution for the full benefit of the
customer, whereby the main focus is on the customer-oriented sales and production process KOVP. The main prerequisites for the
realization of KOVP are a flexible production system and a suitable
Quantum leap in flexibility and a dramatic cut in processing
times. The introduction of KOVP represents a quantum leap in
flexibility for the benefit of the customers. Simple online ordering processes at
the dealers, the prompt receipt of a binding confirmation of order,
flexibility when altering individual customer orders, information on the
order status and, last but not least, quick and punctual delivery.
KOVP was introduced with the commencement of the new 7 Series model’s production and is to be gradually extended to the entire network
with the start of production of future models.
Just a few seconds away from owning a dream car.
Back in 1998 BMW introduced the online ordering system in
Germany. With this system the dealer is in a position to order directly
the individually configured from an order data base. After the
desired car has passed a plausibility check, a reservation is made for
production and the production logistics dept. is informed about the new order. The
entire process only takes a few seconds. The customer is immediately informed on the exact date when the desired car will be
Another achievement of KOVP is the dramatic reduction of the processing time to currently 12 weekdays in the case of the new
BMW 7 Series model. For comparison: Until two years ago the order
processing time in Germany was up to 28 days. Tight organization opened up
new dimensions in terms of customer flexibility. The system allows
the customer to alter his order of the respective body variant with
respect to the engine, colour and equipment up to about one week before the commencement of assembly without having an adverse effect on the delivery date. This is of great importance as already today the BMW brand records and realizes up to 40,000 requests for
changes in features such as engines, special equipment, colours and
upholstery per month.
Thus requests for changes are made for every second vehicle
after the placement of order and prior to delivery. This flexibility when
it comes to altering orders is mainly attributable to KOVP, which ranks
unique the world over.
Reengineering of processes.
As far as production is concerned, the rigid production sequence
from the body-in-white construction, the application of paint all the
way to final assembly has been loosened in the interest of the
customeroriented sales and production process KOVP. The automobile is now allocated to a specific customer order only at the beginning of
The painted body is treated as a vendor part and placed in
intermediate storage in high-rise warehouses. The respective body variants
can be called in from the storage as required. Only four different
bodies-inwhite are produced for the new 7 Series model: a left-hand drive
version, a right-hand drive version, one variant with and one variant
without sunroof. With the introduction of the stretched version the
number of variants will increase to eight. If the number of body-in-white
variants had not been limited, KOVP could not have been realized and the
logistic management of the high-rise warehouses would hardly be possible.
For comparison: There were up to hundred different underbody
structures for the previous 7 Series model. With KOVP the vehicle is
provided with the identification number and completed according to the
customer order no earlier than at the beginning of the assembly process.
The current processing time of twelve work-days in the case of
the new BMW 7 Series model is summed up as follows: one day for the "freezing" of the binding order, six days for preliminary planning and two
days for assembly. The automobile is at the dealer’s disposal another
three days later and ready for delivery to the customer, provided the
dealer is located in Germany. It goes without saying that the delivery
periods for vehicles produced abroad or delivered to foreign countries are
longer due to longer ways of transport.
The customer-oriented sales and production process KOVP is
mainly based on the following principle: It is not the vehicle planned
by BMW which determines the process, but the automobile desired and
ordered by the customer.