Porsche 911 50th Anniversary.jpgHave you ever experienced the thrill of driving a Porsche 911? Just thinking about getting behind the wheel of one gets me excited. And this year there is even more reason to get fired-up about the 911 – it’s turning 50!

For half a century, the iconic Porsche 911 has been a sports car benchmark revered by drivers worldwide. Born as a racecar, the instantly recognizable and highly successful 911 is no ordinary automobile. More than 820,000 have been produced since the 911 was first unveiled by Porsche in 1963, and it is widely considered the identity of the company.

Since its inception, the 911 has contained a combination of Porsche’s engineering precision and performance with everyday practicality.  This winning formula appealed to driving enthusiasts on and off the racetrack, quickly solidifying the 911 as a cult object around the world.

Today, Porsche continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible for the 911. Driven by strong tradition, values and ideals, the company leans on intelligent innovation and technology to build exceptional sports cars and run a world-class business. “When you want to compete on the global race tracks, you can only succeed with innovative technology,” said Bernhard Maier, Executive Board, Sales and Marketing, Porsche AG in this video interview with SAP. “More than 28,000 victories prove that point.”

Porsche’s race-inspired philosophy to achieve maximum output from minimum input permeates the organization. “The ‘intelligent performance’ principle of more performance with less consumption applies to every process in the company,” said Lutz Meschke, Executive Board, Finance and IT, Porsche AG. But with more than 70 affiliate companies and a worldwide presence, Porsche is faced with unique challenges when it comes to harmonizing the IT environment.

Porsche Plant.jpgWithout fast and efficient business processes Porsche can’t deliver fast cars. So to ensure its lean manufacturing and supply logistics run smoothly, Porsche uses the SAP ERP and SAP Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM) applications. “Logistics must work just-in-time and just-in-sequence,” Meschke said. “Our workers need to get the right part at the right moment and SAP lays the foundation for that peak performance.”

Porsche is also very focused on providing an exceptional and personal level of customer service. “Every Porsche is one-of-a-kind, which poses great challenges to our processes and systems,” Meschke said. With SAP in place, Porsche has the IT flexibility and efficiency it needs to offer customized products and services to its customers. “This allows our customers to change the specification of their car right up to the production point, which gives us a crucial edge on our competition,” Maier said.

And that level of personal touch and attention between Porsche and its customers doesn’t end when a customer drives one of its shiny new sports cars off the lot. “When a car has left the assembly line, we want to stay with it for its entire lifecycle,” Maier said, underscoring Porsche’s desire to develop a lifelong relationship with each one of its customers. “That’s why we need a system that gives us absolute transparency, like the software we developed with SAP.”

With SAP supporting the intelligent performance philosophy behind every Porsche, the 911 will surely win the checkered flag for another 50 years.

And here’s a sweet little surprise you can share with your friends: To celebrate the Porsche 911’s 50th birthday, Italian chocolate manufacturer Ferrero is putting toy 911’s inside its premium collection Kinder Surprise eggs in Europe starting in August! So get cracking and enjoy the ride!

Readers: What’s your favorite Porsche story? Please share it below or on @SAP. And if you want to wish the 911 a Happy Birthday, please send your cheers to @Porsche!

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