BMW Group uses Blockchain to drive supply chain transparency: “PartChain”

The BMW Group is using Blockchain technology in purchasing to ensure the traceability of components and raw materials in multi-stage international supply chains.

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.

—Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network

The automotive industry’s international supply chains are highly complex. They generally involve numerous players at different delivery stages and often undergo rapid changes. For this reason, considerable effort can be needed to clearly track a component’s origin or supply route, for instance.

Up until now, it has been customary for the many partners to manage their own data separately. The companies’ respective IT systems have not always been able to communicate consistently with one another. For the BMW Group’s purchasing experts and its suppliers, ensuring transparency therefore involved considerable manual effort.

The BMW Group initiated the PartChain project to ensure seamless traceability of components—more or less “at the push of a button”—and to provide immediate data transparency in complex supply chains for all partners involved going forward.

PartChain enables tamper-proof and consistently verifiable collection and transaction of data in our supply chain, said Wendt. 2019 the pilot project focused solely on part tracking. In the long term, the BMW Group also expects the project to enable complete traceability of critical raw materials—all the way from mine to smelter.

This move is designed to take the digitalisation of purchasing at the BMW Group 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.

—Andreas Wendt

PartChain uses Cloud technologies (e.g. Amazon Web…

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