BMW 7-Series Project A Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

BMW 7-Series Project A Case Study Solution

Problem(s) statement

How could BMW reduce the lead time with improved quality, and production model throughout the plants? Meanwhile, how could it compete with the increasing influence of the competitors in the luxury care market segment, and how could it furthermore strengthen its operations to control the quality, and provide reliability to the customers, and how should it deal with the 7-series cockpit production, and design decision to outsource it with vendor or produce into the plant?


BMW & Its Plants

The BMW Company has expertise in producing cars in the luxury market. Indeed, the company is known for quality and reliability. But, the increasing competition in the market has emphasized over the improving the quality of cars with reduced lead time. Because, the average lead time of the company to produce the prototype is six years which is much higher. Because, the company is spending about two years on the design and style of the car as compared to the Japanese manufacturers such as the Toyota, Honda.

Similarly, there is huge competition in the market that company has to compete with the other market players. Indeed, the company has to ensure that each part in the car is fit with the tooling. Because, if the parts do not fit with the tools, then the whole production process would be affected in the process due to the assembly line. However, it is also important to know that quality depends on the two major contributors the tools, and the employees. Meanwhile, if the tools do not fit with the parts, then whole process would stop, and it could not be finished.

Quality, Reliability and lead time

On the other hand, it can be determined that company has to be very predictive in the processes to understand the complex production process for the prototypes. Since, the pilot production also aims at encountering the problems, issues identified during the prototype assembly. Indeed, this process could help company to improve issues, and problems in the parts, tools, and assembly process as well. Consequently, the company could control over the quality and reliability of the cars because pilot production is also designed to troubleshoot the problems, and discover any problem either minor or critical.

Furthermore, the company could improve the quality of cars along with the reliability by experiencing in the pilot production to find the loop holes in the processes, and gaps in the production processes that could undermine the quality or the reliability. Meanwhile, the company has been providing the customizable services to the customers such as the design, color, style, and many other specifications could also be ordered by the customers.

So, it is also possible that company might face problems in the commercial production. Because, the BMW  has mostly customized orders. So, it is important for the company to ensure that its tools do meet with the specific parts and customer’s possible customizations. However, if it could not be solved earlier, then these issues would be encountered in the commercial production that would create disturbance in the assembly line, and would affect the whole production process.

Production Processes

Similarly, the production process could be improved, and would result in the improved lead time as well. On the other hand, the workers would be more satisfied with the processes since they would have understood the processes in depth, and due to the improved tools, processes the workers would have flexibility, so they would be able to focus on the quality of cars, and stop the assembly over encountering any possible issue in assembly line.

BMW 7-Series Project A Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


But, it is also anticipated more flexibility might also undermine the quality of cars, because the worker would get much flexibility, so they might also loose the attention from the assembly lines, and could not work attentively in the line. Because, they would know that the tools are flexible to carry and apply on the parts, and due to their habits they could perform that task in the less attention then it were usually required before...................

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