DaimlerChrysler has embarked on one of the biggest initiatives in its history with the launch of FastCar, a project to connect every part of its business from design to end-customer via a single internet-based platform.
The automotive giant wants information from every stage of its production and commercial operations to be available in real time to anyone in the company who needs it.
The company aims to link planning, design, procurement, engineering, finance, supply, marketing and sales via FastCar, embracing both business-to-business and business-to-consumer activities. It believes the new system will increase efficiency, improve quality and reduce time to market.
Project managers from all disciplines will be able to access reliable, up-to-date information from their laptop computers on any stage of the product life-cycle.
According to the company, FastCar is a natural extension of its Chrysler Development System process planning approach. However, the company is not underestimating the scale of the task of bringing its whole business under one internet architecture, which its president James Holden likened to `trying to rewire a plane in flight’.
Holden admitted FastCar was `as ambitious a project as we’ve ever done’. DaimlerChrysler gave no timetable for the initiative when it was announced.
Technology partners selected to implement FastCar include Dassault Systems, which supplies DaimlerChrysler with CATIA system software, currently used by more than 9,000 people internally and externally. Business integration software will be provided by i2 Technologies.
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