The BMW Group is using blockchain and other innovative technologies to bring more traceability to its international supply chain. The Munich-based luxury car company recently announced that it’s planning to expand PartChain, a project it launched last year to optimize tracking of multiple components “at the click of a button”.
Supply chains in the auto industry are complex. They involve suppliers from glass manufacturing for windshields and doors and rubber fabrication businesses for tires, wiper blades, belts and hoses to components such as brakes, parking lights, clutches and filters. All of these suppliers need to communicate seamlessly with the auto manufacturer.
According to Andreas Wendt, member of the board of management of BMW AG,
“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.”
The auto giant will use the blockchain to optimize several processes, simultaneously tracking a component’s origin or supply route, for example, across multiple partners who typically track their own data separately. The blockchain-based system will allow buyers, suppliers and other partners to interface more efficiently, reduce manual reporting and improve transparency without any risk of data manipulation.
By expanding tracking from “mine to smelter”, the company plans to take digitalization of purchasing to the next level.
“Our vision is to create an open platform that will allow data within supply chains to be exchanged and shared safely and anonymized across the industry.”
Last year BMV and DHL, one of its largest logistics partners, collaborated on a blockchain proof of concept for the automaker’s Asia Pacific supply chain operations to improve traceability for parts shipped from Malaysia.