Tackling Document, Quality Management at Continental Automotive Systems

German automotive supplier extending deployment of SupplyOn solutions in quest for new process efficiencies

German automotive supplier extending deployment of SupplyOn solutions in quest for new process efficiencies

Hallbergmoos, Germany — October 20, 2004 — German auto industry supplier Continental Automotive Systems (CAS), a division of the Continental AG, is extending its deployment of software from solution provider SupplyOn as part of an initiative to gain new process efficiencies in the areas of document and quality management.

CAS has been working with SupplyOn for about three years, and last year the automotive supplier's work with the solution provider focused on handling requests for quotation and logistics processes. Now the emphasis is shifting increasingly towards the SupplyOn solutions in document and quality management.

For example, in a recent document management initiative, CAS fully integrated its in-house product lifecycle management (PLM) system into the SupplyOn Document Manager, resulting in process improvements for CAS, as well as for its 400 suppliers, according to SupplyOn.

An electronic request for quotation issued via SupplyOn already provides suppliers with access to all the documents necessary for their further processing, such as standards, parts lists and drawings. In addition, the suppliers are immediately informed about any changes of relevant documents during the quotation request period as well as after orders have been placed.

CAS is also relying on SupplyOn solutions in advancing its quality management activities. The company currently is implementing the SupplyOn Performance Monitor, a solution enabling the efficient communication of supplier rating data, such as product quality and schedule efficiency.

In the future CAS will be making targeted use of the SupplyOn Business Directory in order to track the certification status of its suppliers. By the end of 2004, all CAS suppliers that are already listed in the SupplyOn Business Directory will have access to the Performance Monitor. The company plans to link all additional CAS suppliers to the SupplyOn Performance Monitor by 2005.

Rolf Klamann, head of the MCAD operations and external tasks competence center at CAS, noted that the company has been working with SupplyOn in purchasing and logistics for around three years. "We expect that the linking of our PLM system to SupplyOn and the utilization of the SupplyOn Performance Monitor will deliver further process improvements," Klamann said. "In addition to time and cost savings, this will above all result in considerable quality enhancements. In the final instance both sides will benefit: our company as well as our suppliers."

The introduction of a SupplyOn solution for advanced product quality planning (APQP) is on next year's agenda at CAS. This additional quality management solution is currently in the pilot phase, but the solution is intended to increase the planning efficiency of development projects and to create a high level of transparency for all parties involved. In this way, delays can be identified — and often averted — at an early stage, according to SupplyOn.

Continental AG is a leading supplier of tires, brake systems, chassis components, vehicle electronics and technical elastomers. In 2003, the company generated sales of $14.5 billion and currently employs a worldwide workforce of around 73,000.

SupplyOn, headquartered in Hallbergmoos near Munich, positions itself as the world's leading provider of Internet services for the automotive industry. The company offers a portfolio of solutions to enable such inter-company business processes as purchasing, sales, logistics, product development and quality management. SupplyOn currently employs about 65 people.