Governments around the world are advocating the development and usage of EVs and auxiliary facilities. As the lifetime of batteries keeps increasing and electric car charge points grow in popularity, EVs have now become one of the main transportation options. Compared with natural gas-fueled vehicles, the electric/hybrid vehicles’ user experience is as good, if not better, especially with its cost advantages brought by the hybrid fuel-electric technology. Therefore, more and more automakers are joining the game, including some household names. However, to name one EV company that has the strongest brand presence and largest market share in China, it has to be BYD Auto.
IT Challenges Become a Barrier on BYD Auto’s Path of Growth
With relentless efforts and continuous innovation, Chinese automakers are emerging in the world market in recent years. As a leading EV manufacturing company, BYD Auto insists on building an independent brand, focuses on home-grown products, and adheres to an independent development model. It envisions building a ‘world-class Chinese automobile brand.’ Now it has grown as the most innovative and cutting-edge automobile brand, leading the world EV market with unique technical strength.
The manufacturing industry is somewhat special, compared to other industries. During the automobile production process, there are hundreds of thousands of procedures and details, from the initial industrial design to parts procurement, assembly, commissioning, and rolling off the assembly line. Therefore, as more and more IT systems are applied in the manufacturing process, BYD Auto’s original system faces multiple challenges. The systems run independently of each other, pretty much in a silo fashion. There are countless data sources, and no means are available for real-time information sharing.
In addition, most of BYD Auto’s customers are world-leading multinational corporations, who implement the strictest manufacturing standards in the industry. They want to effectively control information such as real-time productivity rate, yield rate of the product lines, and stability of the fabrication process. However, the traditional operating model can barely meet the requirements of different customers and different products.
Digital Transformation Empowering Professional Services
BYD Auto is clearly standing at the ICT transformation crossroads. To actively respond to market changes and to support long-term development, BYD Auto finally chose the SAP ME solution and Huawei SAP HANA Appliance solution. Integrated with its existing core system, the SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and the newly deployed SAP Extended Warehousing Management (EWM) system, SAP HANA Appliance solution constructs a standardized, streamlined, and transparent comprehensive production execution management platform with stable, reliable, secure, and efficient performance. The solution ensures the traceability and real-time control during the whole production process, shortens the production time, improves productivity, and reduces the supply chain costs, maximizing the efficiency of the production line. In addition, by integrating and coordinating the business units, the solution connects all business groups within BYD Auto, optimizing the business processes and improving operation efficiency. The enterprise operation and management become more refined, providing a consolidated foundation for BYD Auto’s sustainable and healthy development.
Huawei provides two sets of SAP HANA appliance systems. One system is deployed with the 5885H V3 mission-critical server and 2 TB memory, used in BYD Auto’s development and test environment. The other system is deployed with the 8100 V3 mission-critical server and 4 TB memory, used in BYD Auto’s production environment. Huawei SAP HANA Appliance solution provides outstanding performance and rock-solid reliability, can be used in various application scenarios such as databases, ERP, business intelligence analysis, Big Data, and virtualization. It is positioned for large-sized enterprises with complex service requirements. The outstanding general design of Huawei servers provides sufficient inner space and better heat dissipation capability, ensuring the efficient running of multiple services.
During the project implementation process, Huawei and SAP provided a tailor-made overall plan and step-by-step solution implementation according to BYD Auto’s business requirements. First, the solution upgrades and optimizes BYD Auto’s original supply chain platform, upgrading the ERP system with the multi-language function, deploying the enhanced EHP6 package that supports localization, and upgrading the warehouse management system to the SAP EWM 7.02. In addition, with the implementation of SAP ME 6.0, the solution integrates SAP MII (warehouse integration and intelligent management software) with BYD Auto’s original ERP system and EWM system, connecting the original warehouse business system, the auto product line equipment system, and the latest warehouse management system.
Paving the Way for BYD Auto’s New Business Growth
After adopting the Huawei SAP HANA Appliance solution, the response time of some BYD Auto’s important services is slashed from 1 to 2 minutes to 10 seconds, while the integrated production query time is shortened to 1/10. The target of quick response has been achieved. In addition, after analyzing the historical inventory data, material tracing data, and production yield rate, the solution enables real-time sharing of production data. It has empowered BYD Auto with the desired speeds and agility in responding to demands, and addresses BYD Auto’s requirements for leveraging high-performance computing to drive down manual intervention and cost and improve supply chain responsiveness. The solution helps BYD Auto stay on the cutting edge amidst the fierce competition. It has achieved following management objectives:
- Optimizing the production processes to seamlessly integrate workshops and warehouses
- Automated production line management, improving the overall production efficiency of production lines
- Traceable production data in the whole process, realizing production process visibility and transparency
- Clear, intuitive presentation of production data analysis in charts and tables, facilitating production data sharing and internal management and tracking
As the competition of Chinese automobile market intensifies, BYD Auto is facing more threats from rising competitors. BYD Auto will press ahead with business transformation by harnessing digitalization measures, deepen the integration of SAP ME system and ERP, promote lean production, and focus on the customer requirements from different industries, thereby responding quickly to market changes and synergizing information with forward-looking business insights.