SAP Markets, the SAP subsidiary devoted to developing software for trading exchanges and marketplaces, has set up a joint venture with three German suppliers to build a European market for car component makers.
Unlike the members of car manufacturer marketplaces such as Covisint, that includes Ford, GM Motors and DaimlerChrysler, none of the named participants - Robert Bosch, Continental, INA Walzlager Scheffler and ZF Friedrichshafen - are direct competitors, although they will use similar raw materials, and potentially logistics suppliers.
The aim is to make it easier for these existing SAP customers to communicate with and buy parts from their supply partners. The scheme is being pitched as a collaborative effort to complement existing activities in the global automobile market.
Robert Bosch, which makes more than seven billion spark plugs every year, is already discussing how it can co-operate with Covisint. The objective is to provide "a further substantial improvement in supply-chain management in total".
The participants in the venture represent some of the best known brands in the automotive supply sector. Continental, for example, owns the Continental and Uniroyal tyre brands, while ZF Friedrichshafen is the world's largest independent specialist in driveline and chassis technology.
Robert Bosch is integrating SAP's R/3 application suite in 67 sites worldwide and is an important reference site for SAP's advanced planning and optimiser product, which it has implemented as part of a new supply chain system.
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