The Client

The BMW Group manufactures premium vehicles within an internationally active and complex network. It manufactures its own vehicles at its own locations and distributes these worldwide. The complexity of the production network mainly results from mutual dependencies, high vertical integration and the Group’s aspiration to exploit available resources as best as possible.

Executive Summary

OPTANO GmbH has successfully developed and introduced a versatile network planning and optimization system for the BMW Group. Following an initial conception phase (OR Analysis) and the modeling of the IT system (OR Model), the software was able to be implemented precisely to specifications (OR System).

The integral conception made it possible to import essential planning steps into the software and thus optimally  support the planning process. Simultaneously, optimal integration of this highly complex software into the existing IT-landscape was ensured.

The project was concluded successfully in close collaboration with the client and all quality standards were met.

The Challenge

Planning a network is a highly complex task involving a wide range of issues. Efficient algorithms are necessary in order to evaluate information from several hundred thousand datasets precisely and ,above all, rapidly.

Furthermore, it was also important to combine the requirements of the client’s various planning areas and to develop a solution which would cater to everybody’s needs.

The Procedure

OPTANO, in close collaboration with the BMW Group project managers, managed the specification process, the development of the IT solution and monitored the technical support of the software installation. Our OR specialists were responsible for:

  • conducting an in-depth analysis of the actual situation as well as the available data sources and the desired costs
  • planning the “target” process
  • visualizing planning issues in mathematical models
  • creating the software architecture
  • implementing the features
  • managing the agile development process
  • compiling software documentation for users and IT experts.

The Technology

The software was developed in accordance with the client’s requirements and embedded modern optimization and data processing algorithms. The data is stored on a highly efficient database. During implementation the choice of efficient components and efficiency were the main priority:

  • The storage of very extensive timeline data
  • The creation of components to display several million datafields in the GUI.
  • The development of an efficient model generator to create variables and restrictions of the optimization model.

The Results

In order to optimize the planning situation, OPTANO introduced a versatile planning and optimization system. This encompasses, among others, the following features:

  • A review of the demand data
  • Visualization of the entire production network and markets
  • Capacity management and capacity restriction plannning
  • Determining optimal production quantities
  • Determining flexibility and the calculation of alternative strategies (what-if analyses)
  • Evaluations based on KPIs and detailed reports
  • Data preparation and its transfer to future IT-systems

The OPTANO solution is now deployed as a leading system in network planning.

The project achieved the following:

  • Standardizing differing requirements in various planning areas of the Group and transferring them to a standard mathematical model
  • The integration of processes for data preparation, optimization/planning and data transmission in a software
  • Determining flexibility and alternative strategies in a random number of complex network configurations.

Are you interested in an OPTANO study on network planning?
No problem, you can download a summary of the results here.

NWD Study

In the Network Planning Study 2020 we summarize the results of a short survey conducted by OPTANO: The requirements for the planning of supply networks have changed considerably in recent years. We wanted to know how companies and consultants deal with this situation, which tools they use and how satisfied you are with the current planning situation.

To obtain the reults of the survey, all you need to do is enter your name and e-mail address in the space below. You will then receive an email with a link to the download. Please note that by providing us with your email address, you agree that we may contact you on this topic. You may revoke this agreement at any time by contacting