Fun and Delightful: BMW Supply Chain Management

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Fun and Delightful: BMW Supply Chain Management. Is it possible?

Most logistics and supply chain professionals are primarily concerned with time, efficiency, and in reducing defects.  Some are concerned with the events necessary for a proper supply chain diagram. This makes sense.  After all, the end-customer wants their product or service quickly and with the highest quality possible.

But, what if a dimension of delight and fun could be had in a supply chain?  What if we are able to compress click-to-ship-to-receive, satisfy the requirements of traceability and visibility, make the wait time feel shorter, no longer make the supply chain a black hole to the customer, and make it fun and delightful?  For me, watching how donuts are made is fun and made the experience better.  We know the supply chain of the Apple iPhone, which is minimally interesting.  But, is fun and delight congruent with traceability and visibility?

Yes, I’m describing Kano’s model.  Practice over theory.

BMW has done it – not completely, but through the good work of a BMW enthusiast, he provided this hack, which you can view below.

The pictures below show the steps from placing his order for a BMW, through manufacturing, oversea shipping, arrival at port, over land logistics, arrival at car lot.  Being able to track the movement of material – in this case – a BMW, is both fun and delightful.  And, it makes the wait time or queueing time feel shorter 1.  In many ways, it’s more interesting too than knowing the supply chain of Giordano’s Pizza, though their pizza’s are the best I’ve ever had.

As operations professionals, we sometimes get caught-up in our own world.  Again, for good reasons – at the end of that supply chain is a customer who wants their product or service with high quality immediately.  But, there are ways in which we can also delight the customer.

supply chain of bmw, order fulfillment of bmw





It’s Your Turn

What do you think?  Are there applications for this type of thinking in other supply chain context?  Could eCommerce do this?  What about restaurants?  Would you be interested in viewing and knowing the supply chain journey of that hamburger you are about to order from McDonald’s?  Or view and know the journey that shirt you are wearing made over geography, touches, manufacturing steps?



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