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Enterprise and Custom Development

BMW MOTORPLAN - SOUTH AFRICA AND INTERNATIONAL

Over the past three decades, BMW South Africa has moved from operating as a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) vehicle production plant, assembling vehicles with limited customisation possibilities for the local market, to a world class plant capable of producing customised cars for discerning customers across the globe.

BMW has long prided itself on its unwavering commitment to customer service, and more specifically, to the kind of service that meets each and every customer's particular needs.

BMW Motorplan, a South African innovation in car service and maintenance, was introduced by BMW in 1985 and is now standard on every new BMW. Initially, Motorplan was devised to offer BMW 7 Series motorists full maintenance and repair cover on their vehicles for up to seven years or 200 000 kilometres. It soon filtered down to all BMW models and grew to become an indispensable record of the company's customers.

BMW Motorplan upholds the BMW tradition of excellence by ensuring motoring peace of mind.

The IT system that powers the BMW Motorplan was pioneered by former BMW South Africa employees who later founded MNR Solutions, an IT consulting and services company, in 1998. As a result, MNR Solutions has a profound understanding of BMW's business as well as its customers' requirements.

Business Objectives

BMW South Africa needed to ensure that its groundbreaking Motorplan system, developed in the late 1980s, stayed ahead of technological trends and retained its innovative edge.

As worldwide demand for the Motorplan system began to grow, the Motorplan system also needed to be developed and adapted in order to cater for the international market.

Solution provided by MNR

BMW South Africa decided to build on its relationship with MNR Solutions, appointing the company to maintain and further develop the Motorplan system.

Today the BMW Motorplan system enables both the dealer network and BMW management to service and administer maintenance contracts between BMW and its customers. The system manages all aspects of a vehicle's life from the time the vehicle is wholesaled to the dealer, through to the end of the warranty period, the end of the maintenance contract agreement, and thereafter, parts claims and recalls. Motorplan also assists BMW South Africa to keep track of who is driving BMW's cars.

MNR's role is to:

  • Develop and maintain the application for South Africa.
  • Provide support to the service department and the dealer network.
  • Ensure that all system interfaces are maintained.
  • Assist the finance department.
  • Develop and maintain the Internet customer renewals.
  • Develop and maintain the Extranet Central Information Archive.

International

In 1995 BMW's maintenance plan was adopted by other BMW subsidiaries namely, Belgium, Italy, Japan and Switzerland. MNR have been instrumental in the development of the maintenance plan application to adapt to the demands of the different markets as well as ensuring that the application is in line with BMW Group trends and strategies.

The Motorplan support and development team identify and manage changing business requirements and technological advances. Software upgrades are supplied to the subsidiaries as part of the standard licensing agreement. Second level maintenance support is also covered by the license. Some subsidiaries have entered into a separate first line support agreement with MNR Solutions.

MNR's duties include:

  • Development of new releases annually.
  • Maintenance of existing releases.
  • Determining the annual development costs.
  • Development of corrective actions within the core application.
  • First level support when necessary.
  • Second level support.
  • General project management and related reporting for the core team and subsidiaries.
  • Coordination of development plans amongst the subsidiaries by using events like the IT and service manager's conferences.
  • To identify long-term strategic objectives in conjunction with other subsidiaries.
  • To identify and develop all necessary interfaces with other BMW Group international systems in a satisfactory and timely way.
  • To have regular contact with the relevant BMW AG Groups in order to fulfil any service process and service IT requirements.

Flexibility

MNR have ensured that the Motorplan system remains flexible and can be integrated into different business environments. The system is also customisable, which explains its international popularity. It caters for multiple currencies and languages, even accommodating Japanese characters with ease.

Some of the system features are:

  • Motorplan caters for multiple languages. All constants on dealer screens within Motorplan can be presented in a language preferred by the user logged on. Motorplan is DBCS compliant.
  • Motorplan is compatible with major dealer management systems including Kerridge and Navision.
  • Motorplan is flexible from an interface point of view and can easily be adapted to source information, such as parts prices, from the system in use at the subsidiary (e.g. POPIMS, IWS, French Parts system). An interface with the CAESAR system (a BMW claims processing application) was implemented for Italy in 2004.
  • Motorplan caters for multiple brands. Both BMW and MINI contracts and vehicles are successfully administered by the Motorplan system. Motorcycles can also be administered on Motorplan.
  • Motorplan has comprehensive reports for management reporting. In addition, there is an Information Warehouse module available for statistical reports.

The system comprises two major sub-systems, namely CONTRACTS and CLAIMS administration. Additionally, there is an extensive and flexible financial sub-system and customer sub-system that supports both the claims and contracts components.

  • Contracts - since each vehicle may have different characteristics in terms of model and model year a contract is issued for each vehicle, so that each vehicle can be managed independently. The system affords the ability for each subsidiary to define the characteristics of the contracts they wish to market regarding type of cover, time and distance.
  • Claims - a comprehensive claim validation process is performed at claim entry point to ensure, as far as possible, the validity of claims. This eases the claim assessment process and simplifies the process of automatic assessment.

Strategic Partner

Since 1998, MNR Solutions have successfully developed and maintained the BMW Motorplan system which is the main application in the BMW service department, providing the front end to the BMW dealers for most of the service related issues and a source of information for the business management systems.

The Motorplan system has been successfully implemented by MNR into BMW subsidiaries in Japan, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland.

BMW South Africa regards MNR Solutions as a long-term strategic partner, and in addition to the Motorplan system, MNR Solutions develops and supports BMW's vehicle ordering, dealer support, business management, warranty, fleet vehicle sales, online service and repair quoting and the advanced driver training systems.