We don’t have to tell you that BMW is among the most powerful forces for innovation in the automotive industry. From the implementation of cutting-edge technology in production vehicles and manufacturing facilities, to investing in future-oriented ventures that could prove to change the world as we know it, it seems like the company never stops looking to the future, and considering ways it can stay both relevant and become a force for positive change over the next 100 years.
Although BMW’s global manufacturing presence can already be considered the envy of many other, larger manufacturers, the Bavarian automaker is not one to rest on its laurels. Ever in search of increased efficiency and cost-savings, BMW most recently looked inward, and turned to its employees for ideas on how to improve things, and the results have been incredible. What’s currently referred to as the, “CRE8” program can best be viewed as the latest extension of an 80 year tradition of honoring the ideas of employees, which cultivates the proposals of BMW staff, even if they fall outside of their normal job duties and field of work.
In 2019, The Cre8 program fostered more than 8,100 employee ideas, more than one fourth of which were implemented. Employees who’s ideas are implemented are awarded with a bonus, which is calculated based on the creativity and commitment of the idea, and efficacy of the proposal in terms of how quality can be improved and the cost of implementation. The program is present at fifteen BMW facilities worldwide, and capitalizes on the people who man the front lines for BMW, meaning the ideas and proposals are not subject to the traditional management and decision-making processes of such a large automaker.
Last year, the implementation of some 27% of 8,107 submitted ideas saved BMW 62,700,000 euros, or more than $67,000,000. The bulk of that came from an idea that originated with just two employees, who submitted a proposal that ended up translating to significant improvement of functional efficiency of the head unit in every production BMW model. Details haven’t been divulged, but the suggested changes were financially significant, effectively saving BMW more than $42,000,000 per year, all from a single component.—Alex Tock
[Photos and images courtesy BMW AG.]