Alcar Ruote SA, based in Manno, Switzerland, is the steel wheels manufacturer of the Alcar Group, a leading supplier of steel and alloy wheels to the European market.
As they roll out their latest models, car brands shift designs nearly as fast as a BMW weaving down the Autobahn. Alcar Ruote needs its supply chain, especially its planning and order management system, to react just as quickly. When a new car hits the market, it must be ready to distribute the right wheels in the right quantities to customers.
“Time to market is quite important,” notes Stefano Mariani, head of IT. “Before we start product development, we need the right information.”
Because of high Swiss labor costs, Alcar Ruote is constantly streamlining its processes to keep costs down without skimping on product quality, Mariani says.
From 2001 to 2018, Alcar Ruote SA used the Oracle E-Business Suite of ERP and supply chain applications to manage its core business processes. But as those on-premises applications started to reach their limits, the company decided to move to a cloud alternative for several reasons: no hardware to maintain and upgrade, no security issues to worry about, and “unlimited integration,” Mariani says.
Priority #1: Build more flexible and effective planning and order management processes.
One of the prerequisites for our business success is a state-of-the-art, fully integrated cloud solution that provides our managers with real-time data. We see Oracle as not only a vendor, but also as a partner.
Head of IT, Alcar Ruote
Alcar Ruote now uses Oracle Cloud SCM and Oracle Cloud ERP applications to manage its planning, procurement, manufacturing, and distribution, enhancing visibility across those operations.
Core to the implementation was Oracle Cloud Order Management, part of the Oracle Cloud SCM suite, which automates order-to-fill processes, boosting productivity. The cloud-based order management app makes it easy for Alcar Ruote to share information with its trading partners, as well as with mobile employees so they can quickly process forecasts, orders, and shipments from the factory floor.
“The Oracle solutions streamlined our order fulfillment process, from order creation to shipping and automated billing,” Mariani says. “The pricing capability allow us to price orders efficiently.”
In 2019, Alcar Ruote piloted Oracle Cloud IoT Intelligent Applications, also part of the Oracle Cloud SCM suite, at one of its sites, starting with a line that produces wheel rims. The implementation was so successful that Alcar Ruote extended it to painting and assembly lines, and then to the entire factory. The company now uses Oracle’s IoT apps across its manufacturing processes.
“IoT production monitoring has completely automated our process,” Mariani says. “Besides enhancing productivity, it helps us tighten controls and comply with regulations.” The Oracle IoT app also lets Alcar Ruote monitor production to resolve problems faster, which helps lower costs.