About the Company
ZF is one of the largest and most
respected Tier 1 automotive suppliers in
the world. Its driveline, chassis, and safety
systems are making the next generation
of mobility clean, safe, and affordable for
everyone. But to release new products
fast and continue leading the market,
it needed a PLM system that could get
divisions and team members working
The automotive industry moves fast: electrification,
autonomous driving, integrated safety, motion
control – every day, new innovations hit the
market. And yesterday’s innovations quickly
become standard for today’s drivers.
Which means companies like ZF have to
keep their foot on the gas if they want to stay
competitive. In over 100 years of operation, ZF
has always led the way, seizing every opportunity
for entrepreneurship and excellence. Today, the
company supplies systems for passenger cars,
commercial vehicles, and industrial technology
around the world, from autonomous driving
technology to electric mobility, safety measures,
and motion controls.
New technology, old ways of working
ZF might be at the forefront of innovation, but its
team was mired in traditional ways of working.
Each division of the company – from electronics
and software engineering to the IT value
center – worked independently. Each team
would complete its own stage of the product
development process before passing the product
on to the next division.
Its IT environments were just as fragmented. Each
individual department used a wide range of tools,
many of which didn’t mesh easily with one another
– not to mention with tools from other divisions.
All of which meant that teams often found
themselves working from data that was already
weeks old by the time it hit their inboxes.
But modern product development is rarely
so linear or siloed. The work of one division
often influences another. Data gathered during
testing can refine designs made earlier in the
development process; adding a new capability to
software might change the makeup and mix of
In today’s product landscape, where new
advancements need to reach the market faster
than ever, this kind of siloed workflow could have
held ZF back from market leadership.
See, think, act: the ZF approach to
The team needed a way to break the divisions out
of their silos.
They moved from working as “divisions” to working
as “system houses.” As system houses, all of
the divisions work together on a single system
simultaneously, with data, insights, and actions
flowing freely both up and downstream.
ZF’s goal is to help vehicles see, think, and act,
and it approaches its product development with
those same principles in mind. Which meant any
solution had to be able to help the ZF team:
With these principles firmly in mind, ZF began
to look for a product lifecycle management
(PLM) solution that could enable this kind of