Customer Spotlight: Where Rubber Meets the Road

Bridgestone Europe rolls Qlik out to all business divisions for a more clear view of the road ahead.

Customer Spotlight: Where Rubber Meets the Road

For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with cars, and by extension, wheels and tires. In high school I can remember my best friend buying a set of 235-45R17s for his BMW and I was in awe of how cool they looked.

Nevermind the fact that we lived in a region with long, icy winters which merited really good grip for poorly plowed roads; they were really cool when it didn’t snow.

Regardless of what conditions you drive in, Bridgestone tires are very likely rolling right alongside you on the highways: one in every five cars rides on their tires. Bridgestone Corporation and its subsidiaries employ over 140,000 people around the world, operate 178 plants in 25 nations and sell products in more than 150 countries. The European division of the company employs 12,500 of those people and sells 25 million tires every year.

Bridgestone Europe has a great deal of inventory, territories and manufacturers to keep track of and over the years they had compiled a long list of software products that did not talk to each other. Gaining insights was a struggle because there was no single version of the truth, KPIs were being evaluated using different criteria across the business. This led Viviane Stranger, Application Owner at Bridgestone Europe to start the evaluation process for a self-service BI platform.

“Before we selected Qlik, various proofs of concept were evaluated, including SAP and Tableau. But it was Qlik which immediately made a lasting impression, thanks to the enterprise readiness of the tool. It was partly thanks to this first impression that we opted for Qlik. And it works.
Qlik directly extracts data from the data warehouse in which the various sources come together, such as Oracle, Access and SAP. This functionality had a decisive impact.”

How is @BridgestoneTyre using #Qlik to analyze it's #supplychain? Find out here:

In March of 2015, Bridgestone had selected its platform in Qlik. Right from the start, the organization wanted to ensure that numerous internal stakeholders were involved in the initial implementation. They did not want the applications that the business would rely on to be created in a vacuum, so to speak. By September the user tests had run their course and it only took 1-2 hours to get the employees trained on how to use Qlik.

“It was an easy process. Furthermore, minimum training of 1-2 hours was enough. And despite the many options available in Qlik, there have not been any questions from the organization so far. That Qlik is being used up to the very highest level at Bridgestone makes this perhaps even more remarkable.” - Wim Beirens, Director Pricing, Bridgestone Europe

As Beirens suggests here, Qlik was quickly adopted without many questions and now it is being used by every business division in the company. The Sales department as a whole is able to review real-time data across various offices on their iPads. The Pricing department investigates the data to determine better ways to position their products. Logistics and distribution are looking daily at supply chain metrics including product availability, fill rate, safety, delivery status, even measuring tire pressures!

“Qlik gives us a total overview of the entire operation at a glance. It brings our factories, offices and employees closer together and streamlines the organization right up to the highest level.” - Viviane Stranger, Application Owner, Bridgestone Europe

This is a stark difference from the company’s data landscape just two years earlier. Today, Qlik reports can be pulled up in real-time during meetings and all the employees are able to see the same data displayed as they make their decisions. One major way the organization has been able to save both time and cost is that it no longer has to create individual reports for specific systems or cross-sections of data.

“I think I save about 4 to 5 hours per month on making reports thanks to Qlik. Examples include the executive pricing reports and the monthly pricing evolution packages for the leadership team in Europe. These are 12 slides which can be prepared and printed with a single click. This used to take us hours. Furthermore, we now have fewer discussions about the reports, and as a result we can focus more on more important subjects.” - Wim Beirens, Director Pricing, Bridgestone Europe

Utilizing Qlik, Bridgestone Europe is now has a much better grip on how to handle the long and winding road that is supply chain data analysis.

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