Product Costing


Product Lifecycle Costing for Automotive Suppliers

Aggressive model launches (known as “model offensives” in the German-speaking market), newer and newer carry-over part and platform strategies – the requirements placed on development partnerships between automakers and automotive suppliers are constantly increasing. The efficiency of business processes in the supply chain (SCM) has increased constantly for many years. Maximum logistics integration, achieved with EDI, JIT, and JIS, has long become established between interacting customers and suppliers. Customer demands in the industry are without equal in terms of delivery capabilities and quality standards.


The basic idea behind the PLC-COCKPIT came from automakers demanding suppliers to disclose cost components when costing new parts. This price breakdown method (PBD) is the first and foremost automaker requirement that suppliers must meet in order to be able to participate in the contract-awarding process. The resulting complexity for project managers is certainly not insignificant, as it can involve several thousands of costing calculations per year in several cases.

Target groups

PLC Cockpit is geared especially towards automotive suppliers that are already working with SAP. It provides essential support for PBD costing for new parts. It has been developed as a SAP NetWeaver-based framework and supplements SAP’s standard functions with a variety of industry-specific costing features. The result is a product lifecycle costing system that is integrated into SAP ERP in an interface-free manner and that features a front end that is consistently designed with user requirements in mind.

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The responsibility of project managers in the OEM business and of Tier 2 suppliers for large system suppliers is immense. Manufacturers usually have very specific ideas in regard to target costs. Because of this, PBD costing must be extremely accurate while taking into account procurement-side fluctuations. The cost situation in a world of global competition must also be taken into account. The increasing variety of parts in vehicles results in a greater number of quotation costings.

  • More reliable costing values PLC Cockpit resorts to SAP module (e.g., CO, SD, MM, PP, PS) data that is maintained already by departments. Additional data is incorporated once and is then available to all employees automatically.
  • Improved result transparency Controlling’s (unchangeable) standard values can be compared at any time with externally calculated costs and with actual production costs. This reduces the number of inadequately costed parts.
  • Better employee morale PBD costing is based on the familiar interfaces of the SAP solution, making the adjustment process minimal. Training new employees is significantly easier, and project managers can implement rules concerning vacation fill-ins. The need for reconciliation work between departments is reduced.
  • Improvement in customer satisfaction PLC Cockpit supports all prevalent manufacturer PBD exports. New requirements regarding cooperation can be met very quickly.
  • Minimal maintenance efforts No additional master data maintenance is required. Data redundancies are rendered impossible, since PLC Cockpit is fully integrated into your SAP environment. Support for the solution can be provided by your internal SAP IT department.
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Norbert Kytka, Headquarters Plattling