Michael: Roland, thanks for joining me, could you explain to our MOTION readers what your team looks after here for BMW?
Roland: It's quite simple: we want to present the best, most reliable, simplest, and most sustainable mobility offerings possible for our colleagues here at BMW. Four years ago, we started to coordinate the whole topic of employee mobility at the Munich location and to approach it in a structured manner. At the time, the initiative came from within the team – in other words, from the bottom up. That is important for the entire process. But the decisive doors opened quickly - we received support from management and the works council and were able to gain initial experience with a pilot project in Garching near Munich. It all went so well that we wanted to continue and were allowed to do so. And now we see that we are expanding along with the growth of the Munich location through the addition of numerous new buildings - such as our research centre called ‘FIZ Nord’.
Michael: BMW is known worldwide as a premium manufacturer of cars and motorbikes. Doesn't this concept contradict your business model?
Roland: No. We see things a bit differently. Of course, we earn money by making sure that people buy cars and travel comfortably, safely and with the often-cited sheer driving pleasure. But there are also situations in which the car - and no one at BMW is fooling themselves here - is simply not the ideal vehicle for the road. Especially in urban areas. Of course, seated in a BMW is the best way to endure traffic jams - but joking aside: cars offer better and more meaningful use cases than standing in a multi-storey car park or being stuck in the evening rush hour here in Munich. Our goal is for the car to know that itself. In the long term, the car should be so smart and networked that it offers the best possible mobility solution. And that can also mean: "Leave me here and take the bike at the station over there". We have to get to the point where individual benefits of mobility options are unfolded perfectly. Only in this way can we counteract gridlock - and then it will be more fun again to drive through the city.
Michael: What are your current offerings here in Munich?
Roland: The range of services is impressive and leaves hardly anything to be desired. Our shuttle buses are the classics that every BMW employee knows - an internal bus system with five fixed bus routes – add to that the job ticket for public transport here in town. Bike or car sharing - a special form of our vehicle fleet - is more individual. Brand new - and not yet well known in the company - is the SHUTTLE4U - a kind of ‘UberPool’ for journeys that our shuttle bus does not cover. And that brings us to one of our challenges: we have many individual mobility offerings, which means we have to manage to network them cleverly and offer them to our employees in a smart way. Colleagues must not have to deal with the additional effort of having to take care of the individual mobility offerings. On the contrary. Our job is to make it as easy as possible for them to choose their means of mobility and to make their journey as quick and comfortable as possible.
Michael: And how do these 40,000 colleagues find the right vehicle here in Munich?
Roland: Our most important tool is our so-called ‘Urby’ app. This app was developed by BMW and combines all our in-house mobility offerings in one platform - user-friendly and clearly laid out. Urby provides a wide range of functions: A hotspot and building finder, traffic information with routing services, shuttle bus timetables, the BIKE4U bike sharing service, the SHUTTLE4U ride pooling service, the SMARTFLEET4U car sharing service as well as carpooling.
When selecting our offerings, we not only pay attention to usability and speed, but of course also to the issues of sustainability and CO2 emissions. We want to make the offerings more and more environmentally friendly while keeping them smart, safe, and comfortable.
Read more about how Roland and his team developed their mobility solution for the global car manufacturer BMW in Munich and how their employees are using the service. You can find the whole story in our MOTION Magazine Edition One, which you can purchase in our shop today.
Photos courtesy of Roland Jung & BMW.