This report is based on the information system utilized in my work place, the BMW plant in Oxford that focuses on the production of the MINI. It will start by giving a brief overview of the BMW organization and its need for such an information system. The second section will critically analyze this information system. This will include a description of the existing technology as well as a consideration of untapped synergies that could conceivably be exploited by the information system. It will then describe how this particular system is able to benefit the management of BMW keeping in view its operational strategy.
It will finally consider the regulatory environment of this information system including security, legal and professional issues that tend to arise in the implementation of the system. The conclusion will give an overview of the effectiveness of the setup and will attempt to give tangible recommendations for further improvement. INFORMATION SYSTEM IN ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXTThe decision to switch the production of MINIS from Birmingham to Oxford was made in March 2000. By July 2001, the plant was churning out the expected output.
230 million pounds were invested in this plant to ensure that it boasted state of the art manufacturing facilities9. The aim of this particular plant is to provide a broad variety of automobiles. Its focus is on customization to ensure that it can provide products tailored to the needs of its customers9. One of the strategies to achieve this target is the utilization of a sophisticated information system that facilitates such customized production. CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE INFORMATION SYSTEMThis section gives a critical over view of the system explaining its technicalities, functioning and the competitive advantages it gives. Technology in the ApplicationsThe basic information system is identified by the acronym KISS, which stands for the Kernfertigungs Integrierendes Steuerungs System.
Its primary application is in the Body in White Production facility which is the nerve center of the manufacturing plant. Its purpose is quality monitoring, production control and sequencing. It is a proprietary BMW group information system which has been developed completely in-house. Engineers for maintenance and troubleshooting purposes are available on site to maintain the functioning of the system. Perceptron cameras are located at strategic positions throughout the production line.
They use laser inspection capabilities to check the consistency and uniformity of the build of the automobiles. They are also used for random sampling of off-line products. These procedures are designed to ensure that quality defects are not propagated forward in the production line. If errors were allowed to propagate, scrapping costs would rise exponentially hence the need to implement a strategy that identifies defects as early in the process as possible3. The information system takes the output of the lasers and ensures that each manufactured part is conforming to the expected size parameters.
It is able to immediately identify where defects exist so that line workers can visit that section of the plant and figure out if machinery needs to be adjusted to maintain the consistency and quality of output.