For another, MAHLE aims to develop new, alternative drive technologies, adding competencies and portfolio variety in the electric mobility field, creating a new business unit for mechatronic products and further expanding the thermal management segment. The latter already accounts for more than half of MAHLE’s sales and now boasts new solutions for the car of the future, e.g. battery cooling technology and panel heating for passenger compartments.
To make all this possible, the company has adopted the One PLM Program, a five-year plan to expand and streamline its PLM landscape. The overarching goal of the program is a maximum increase in efficiency and flexibility of MAHLE’s fundamental value-adding processes. Additionally, the plan is aimed at maximizing synergy effects and enhancing collaboration between the individual business units. Here the challenge is to address process and system heterogeneity, because PLM processes are currently confined to individual regions and mostly limited to the respective business units. MAHLE uses over half a dozen IT systems to map its processes. The company relies primarily on SAP PLM, but in very diverse permutations.
MAHLE’s definition of PLM goes a great deal beyond what many other enterprises take PLM to be, namely not much more than PDM or product data management. At MAHLE, PLM (and thus the place where One PLM comes in), begins with sales-related opportunity management, i.e. the processing of client queries, offer generation and release of (pre-) development projects. Above and beyond project and quality management, cost control and integrative product development, PLM at MAHLE also involves handover to production and support for the serial manufacturing process, lifecycle and disposal. This also makes change management important when it affects the serial production phase and is based on PLM processes.