Client: Michelin Industry: Manufacturing Solution: Engage the SONDA IT Application Management Service, involving system development, implementation and support.
Michelin in South America is globally renowned for having providing the best information services in its market for four consecutive years, and having made important progress by focusing its IT on the evolution of the business. The IT department have stabilized their systems, and are now looking to support innovation within the company in partnership with the departments focused on the business.
This global company is over 100 years old and is a leading tire manufacturing and marketing business. In 2011 it hired SONDA IT, the largest Latin American integrator of Information Technology solutions, to take responsibility for all its business applications in South America, involving development, implementation and support.
Three and a half years later, the French multinational has recorded excellent results from this partnership, and the highlight was an award for best global support in 2015, beating four other global partners.
SONDA IT is responsible for the AMS (Application Management Service) for Michelin in South America, with close to 300 applications and 700 interfaces used by approximately 6,000 users. The systems supported include seven business management applications, such as JD Edwards (Oracle’s ERP), three Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, Business Intelligence (BI) applications and other industrial systems that support the company across the region, covering eight countries altogether.
According to Marcelo Ramires, CIO at Michelin South America and a member of the global IT Board, the choice of a regional and not a global partner – which was the company’s preferred choice, has been extremely important for the IT department to have currently achieved such maturity.
“Initially around 70 applications were transferred to SONDA, which were those with documented processes. We had to document all our knowledge regarding the remaining 230, in order to prepare them to receive support. If a serious error had occurred in any of these, we would not have known how to respond. Today we have total control over all our software,” explained Mr. Ramires. Therefore, the management offered by SONDA provides Michelin with features, such as flexibility, agility, close proximity and understanding of its requirements, including more specific areas, such as fiscal and legal expertise.
The Executive added that Michelin came out of an instable period and is now experiencing total control. Before hiring SONDA, the accounting, tax and cost closure required teams to spend the whole night supporting the business, in addition to resolving daily problems with the applications. Now there are no problems with these processes and the daily focus of the IT department is no longer on resolving problems, but on supporting innovation initiatives for the business.
“IT must be seen as a constructive department, which can provide choices that support business departments. Consequently, the company began to see us as teams focused on improving how the company is managed,” Mr. Ramires said. He believes that it is common for a CIO lose control of IT initiatives within organizations, because business departments are competing for market share and individually drive through the support tools required. “What I have done is just the opposite, by supporting the core business with knowledge, I have controlled IT governance, and this has borne fruit,” he explained.
SONDA IT has provided this service to Michelin for over 36 months, and in the future it will continue to provide support, but also focus on the global Oracle EBS implementation, which includes rolling this out across the entire South America region. SONDA is supporting Michelin in this transition process. Furthermore, it will partake in promoting a more austere governance for the IT department, focused on reducing processes and costs. “When our house is in order and we enter a critical economic situation, such as at present, it becomes easier to make adjustments required to increase productivity and decrease costs”, Mr. Ramires concluded.
Mr. Waldir Rodrigues Junior, Outsourcing Director at SONDA IT, believes that a long-term partnership requires much more than a commitment to meet agreed service levels. Transparency and confidence are essential.
“We assemble teams to provide technical support for large AMS contracts, such as our contract with Michelin, but their understanding of the business eventually reaches the point where they can support its growth and help to adapt its IT”, said the Director.
Michelin is a leading company in the tire industry with 100 years of experience. The Michelin group manufactures and markets tires for all kinds of vehicles, such as aircraft, automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, tires for equipment used in mining, earth movement and agriculture, as well as for buses and trucks. The parent company is located in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and the group operates in over 170 countries, employs 111,200 people and has 67 production facilities in 17 countries.
“The choice of the correct regional partner was extremely important for the IT department, in order for it to have currently achieved such maturity. SONDA has provided us with flexibility, agility and close proximity to meet our requirements. SONDA IT has taken responsibility for our applications, and has helped us to document our knowledge, so that all our applications could receive their support”.
Mr. Marcelo Ramires, CIO at Michelin South America and a member of the global IT Board.