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To Frank M. Rinderknecht, founder and CEO of Rinspeed, Inc., innovation is more than just a buzzword. Rinderknecht and Rinspeed have been pushing—or you could say, pulling—the automotive industry into the future for more than 40 years. The company’s newest project, a modular, fully automated vehicle called the “Snap,” is much more than pods on wheels. It’s a whole new way of thinking about transportation.

Pain Drives Change

Rinderknecht doesn’t hold back from proposing big ideas when it comes to the future of transportation—or mobility, as he prefers to describe it. But he isn’t out to dictate the future, he just wants to be part of making it.

ASUG research with SAP automotive clients suggests that many feel held back by the manufacturing systems of the past, despite all the talk of the future. Real change requires big thinking, but Rinderknecht has a practical perspective. “At the end of the day, what makes people change is basically pain,” he says. “It’s extremely difficult for an OEM to retune their employees to what we might call Mobility 2.0, because they’re all stuck in Mobility 1.0.”

How an Innovator Thinks About Mobility

To give you an idea of how Rinderknecht thinks, consider what pain means in the case of the “Snap” project. While he praises companies like Tesla and Apple for their ability to design with the consumer in mind, the “Snap” began with an engineering problem. Instead of asking how to make individual cars smarter or more efficient, Rinderknecht asked, “Where are the inefficiencies in the current system?”

One answer: parked cars. Another: replacement costs. The mechanical components of cars can last 20 or more years, but the digital components have a lifespan of only about three years. Rinderknecht asked how to collapse that lifespan gap, guessing that the answer could lead to a new sustainable, eco-friendly, and efficient transportation system.

What Is the “Snap”?

In its search for vehicles of the future, Rinspeed has teamed up with more than 30 countries across Europe and the U.S., including SAP, to reinvent the transportation market. Just what the “Snap” is and how it could reshape the future of mobility were central topics of a conversation between Rinderknecht and Ann Marie Gray, VP of content at ASUG.

Download the complete interview with Frank M. Rinderknecht by filling out the form below:



Register today for the Best Practices for Automotive conference to hear more on the innovation that’s taking place in the industry.

The post Imagining Innovation with Frank M. Rinderknecht of Rinspeed appeared first on Best Practices for Automotive.

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On Thursday, September 13, SAP announced the winners of the first annual Excellence in Automotive Awards at the Best Practices for Automotive conference. The three awards; Breaking the Mold, Digital Disruptor and Excellence in Operational Performance were hotly contested. Each nomination was evaluated by a panel of industry experts on how they meet and exceed the pre-defined standards listed in each category, as well as ranked against their competitors.

SAP’s Excellence in Automotive Awards honor organizations that have shown commitment to excellence in technology, operations and business process. Through public nominations, the SAP automotive community selected their peers, colleagues and leaders to be recognized. Then an expert panel of judges: Uli Muench, Global Vice President for the Automotive Business Unit at SAP; Aly Pinder, Program Director for Service Innovation and Connected Products at IDC; and Thomas Madonna, Lead Partner for SAP Retail, Consumer Products and Manufacturing at Infosys, worked together to review nominations and make final selections.

The 2018 award-winners have shown a commitment to excellence in technology, operations and business process. They are leveraging SAP technology solutions to improve performance, increase customer satisfaction and drive user adoption.

Breaking the Mold: Volkswagen Group of America

Volkswagen Group of America was challenged with significantly increased call volumes through their American Call Center due to business growth. They had to offer quicker response times in a way that was less intrusive to their dealers. With additional digital communications options, they were able to take on a higher volume of calls without the need to increase resources. This played an integral role in helping Volkswagen earn top rankings in the Carlisle Survey – assesses topics such as customer attitudes, satisfaction, purchase loyalty and price perceptions for global automotive companies. They were, and continue to be, the first OEM to implement this supporting Parts After Sales ordering support. Volkswagen truly Broke the Mold by rethinking traditional business process.

Digital Disruptor: General Motors

General Motors is automating their financial systems and processes to allow for real-time information to support critical business decisions. The company is in the final stages of implementing the SAP S/4 HANA Central Finance solution. This solution will coordinate (i.e. digitize) financial (GL) information from multiple sources to support accounting processes and real-time information. The digitization and harmonization of financial data will be a corporate asset leveraged globally. Their project embodies the essence of a Digital Disruptor who is embracing innovative technologies to enable business success.

Excellence in Operational Performance: BorgWarner

BorgWarner’s Business Unit was experiencing heavy growth around the world and were struggling to manage the output in an economic manner. They were experiencing challenges like inventory growth, special freights, low quality planning for suppliers, demand/capacity planning, SAP system utilization and poor data quality. Therefore they executed an Excellence Program – an education and business change program to help fully utilize the SAP ERP standard production and material planning functionality within SAP ERP. The results enabled significant reductions of inventory and dead stock, less overtime and premium freight, and overall higher data quality and smoother production flows. BorgWarner proves that tech and innovation aren’t just relegated to the back office.

Do you have an innovative story that deserves recognition?

Submit your game-changing business process, use case study or technology implementation for a chance to be honored in 2019.

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Registration Opens Soon!
Thursday, July 19, 2:00 PM ET

Andreas Mueller – Director IT & Innovation Management in Manufacturing, Robert Bosch GmbH

Join this webcast to hear how Robert Bosch GmbH is connecting the ideas and power of more than 50 plants to build a worldwide organization that creates opportunity and brings new ideas into realization. With an ecosystem of various partners and establishing a data-driven approach, BOSCH developed a roadmap for digitizing their manufacturing networks with a global implementation of solutions.

Join Andreas, Director of IT and Innovation Management for Manufacturing in BOSCH’s Powertrain Division and top-rated Best Practices for Automotive speaker, as he discusses:

  • Developing a global production network
  • Selecting technology partners to derive the best for the whole division
  • Driving change in three pillars strategy, cooperative environment and focusing on business results

Learn more from Bosch as they present on their journey of migrating data from multiple vertical systems into one at the 2018 Best Practices for Automotive conference, September 11-13 in Detroit, Michigan.

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“The auto industry will change more in the next five to 10 years than it has in the last 50,” General Motors CEO Mary Barra notably mentioned at the World Economic Forum two years ago.

The speed of change can certainly be seen with leaders like Tesla beginning to charge for their connected cars premium internet and therefore establishing a revenue stream. As well as outsiders like Waymo (Google’s autonomous car development company) making huge strides in producing reliable and safe driverless cars.

The steady success of established brands is threatened by disruptive technology. Automakers within the OEM space and tier 1 and 2 suppliers are trying to keep up in a world where driverless, connected cars and transportation as a service is becoming more real. The need to become agile, attract innovative talent and set the foundation for growth is more important than ever as the industry continues to be redefined. Don’t get left behind.

After extensive research, intricate vetting and the help of an expert panel, the Best Practices for Automotive team uncovered leading success stories and insights which proves the industry is reclaiming innovation. Here’s a look at the innovation occurring within automotive from the perspective of the practitioners who live and breathe the business on a day to day basis.

BMW’s Journey to an Integrated Standardized Invoicing & Inventory Management System

BMW is one of a select few organizations in the industry who has adopted SAP S/4HANA. The first go-live was on May 1 which set their strategy in motion to move all SAP systems to HANA. The project steers the worldwide inventory management of vehicles as well as the worldwide vehicle and motorcycle invoicing including distribution channels like direct sales, sales to dealers, importers and special customers. The system holds information on each vehicle–pricing, where it’s shipping from, the retail cost, etc.–generating an expected 400,000 vehicle updates per day and all fully automated. This project will allow BMW to easily view and track data for more informed decisions and to ultimately drive growth.

Gestamp’s Smart Shop Floor Connecting Employees, Departments & Data

An international group dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of metal automotive components, Gestamp is embarking on a smart shop floor project to connect their manufacturing operation. The objectives and scope of this project can be structured on three blocks: machine sensitization (IoT), mobility and integrating data, and lastly to evaluate SAP SCP/Leonardo capacities as an IoT solution that could match Gestamp’s requirements. The project foresees benefits like increased profitability and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), decreased data entry errors plus connecting employees, departments and information with mobile devices. A smart shop floor sets the foundation for a digital-driven business model and creates agility to innovate.

According to the Zebra 2017 Manufacturing Vision Study, connected smart factories are expected to double by the year 2022 providing an expected 88% increase in revenue growth by 5% increments year over year. View the full infographic here.

General Motors on Connectivity, Autonomous, Sharing Economy & Electrification

Technology is driving tremendous advancements in everything from safety and vehicle connectivity, to fuel efficiency and electrification. And societal trends like urbanization and sustainability are changing the way customers interact with automobiles. General Motors see this as an opportunity to create cleaner, safer, smarter and more efficient vehicles than ever before. Their business process transformation is powered by SAP technology and addresses end-to-end processes such as Request To Pay (RTP), Record To Report (RTR), Order To Cash (OTC), Hire To Exit (HTE), Invest To Divest (ITD), etc.

How BOSCH Migrated Data from Multiple Vertical Systems into One

Multinational provider of technology and services for the automotive industry BOSCH is leveraging innovative SNP technology– that automates and standardizes SAP transformation projects– to migrate data from all vertical systems into one. Through this project, BOSCH is reducing the complexity of its SAP automotive system landscape and achieving optimized process harmonization, saving on IT costs and speeding up business processes. SNP automated transformation software scans and visualizes the current systems to identify opportunities for process harmonization. Those are then built into the consolidation strategy, driving overall organizational process improvement. BOSCH’s complete system harmonization and consolidation are laying a foundation for continued growth by creating the framework to streamline future migrations for its remaining ERP systems and for further process harmonization.

Goodyear’s S/4HANA (Central Finance) Journey Towards

Like other large global automotive organizations with a rich and long SAP heritage, Goodyear entered the S/4 drive by visioning a new end state where regionally deployed finance processes became standardized and migrated to an S/4 Central Finance solution. Their journey began in 2016 with two projects, MDG-Finance and Central Finance on S/4. Today they have globalized and governed financial company codes, cost centers and general ledger accounts serving the global finance functions and processes. In addition, they are creating real-time, high-quality data that will allow more timely business information, one source for global financial transactions and savings through harmonized processes.

Get access to these success stories and more as the industry unites to reclaim innovation at the 2018 Best Practices for Automotive conference this September 11-13 in Detroit, Michigan. The fourth annual event is bringing together some of the biggest players in automotive to learn how to conquer digital disruption and thrive in today’s complex business environment. Download the conference brochure below for a comprehensive view of the program.


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