Creating a centralized requirements and testing environment to drive efficiencies, avoid duplication of effort, and produce a higher quality PLM software.
‘Good quality is of crucial importance. There is always room for improvement!’ This motto of company founder Ernst Mahle is still taken very seriously at MAHLE. Therefore, MAHLE runs a sophisticated Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution that captures functional enhancements and change requests from all of its business divisions. Over 8,000 MAHLE employees use this SAP-based PLM system to collaborate globally on creating the best products possible.
Mr. Joachim Beuter, Manager IT Services – PLM at MAHLE, talks about the challenges of project management in a decentralized environment: “Our PLM solution receives a request and moves it through an approval workflow. Once the development project has been approved, the product development is controlled and transferred to the logistic system, where the component for our automotive client will be manufactured.”
He continues: “To develop and run such a complex PLM solution means handling many software changes and functional enhancements. We were concerned that a full application testing process, including regression and integration testing, could not always be maintained due to time constraints and the manual effort involved. However, insufficient testing can lead to problems in the productive PLM solution and in the end leads to production problems which should have been resolved during the PLM software development and testing phase. There was no standard process or uniform terminology, and we felt that our ‘requirement to develop’ process could be managed much more effectively if we consolidated and centralized a requirements and test management platform. This would give us a ‘single point of truth’ and the full traceability that we need for auditing and compliance purposes, among others.”