How cloud computing is helping make Apollo Tyres fitter

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla | Updated on February 27, 2020 Published on February 27, 2020

File photo

The company believes it has benefited from Oracle’s applications suite

Apollo Tyres is on the cloud, literally, while seeking an efficient procurement system to increase productivity and reduce cost. The company is working on upgrading software and taking advantage of cloud-based technology.

Satish Sharma, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Apollo Tyres, says the cloud brings in increased agility, reduced capital costs, improved security and speed to market. “Cloud has given us scale, security, and uptime. It has given us the flexibility of seamlessly managing our business without any disruptions even when we are expanding rapidly,” he says.

Integrated application suite

Using cloud for finance, supply chain and manufacturing, the tyre maker has taken advantage of an integrated suite of applications to quickly break down silos and embrace the latest advancements in machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Security is another major benefit with cloud. If I have to consider the same level of security to an on-prem solution (on-premise data centre), it would probably cost much more,” says Sharma. Uptime is also taken care of, which gives “much more reliability to our systems”.

On the urgency to transit to cloud software, he says it “first and foremost” guarantees productivity in terms of turnaround time. “If I want to double my business, I have to either build twice the number of docks or turn around the vehicle in half the time. Can I do that now with better visibility or better advanced planning?” asks Sharma.

Deploying Oracle

Responding to changing market conditions and growing deficiencies in its method of serving customers, Apollo Tyres has radically restructured its supply chain and has taken advantage of Oracle’s integrated cloud applications suite.

“The one thing that we have really worked hard upon, apart from just the Oracle Transport Management (OTM) bit of supply chain management, is the integration of IoT for track-and-trace with the OTM platform. We are now able to track our shipments wherever they are. This brings in a lot of visibility and transparency in the supply chain," says Sharma.

People working in the supply chain function no longer need to fend calls from customers enquiring where their shipments are. A mere SMS link or a weblink can be shared to track the shipment.

Engaging end users

The company is also looking to engage deeper with its end-users. "We continue to find newer and more innovative ways to interact with our customers either directly, or by using technology. We have also piloted the e-commerce model in select cities,” he says..

As for business partners, on the aftermarket side, Sharma says they can order through a mobile app, portal or through the call centre. "We are trying to give an omnichannel experience to all our customers, and continuously engage with them, so that the connect is always there," he adds.

The other aspect is the freight settlement/audit bill. The company was contemplating if it could “pass through carrier invoices” with fewer errors. There were at least 4-5 cycles where the bill had to pass through and people needed to ensure that it was the same at various levels of the supply chain.

Enhancing productivity

Additionally, there was a lot of clerical work involved in the process. Now, after cloud implementation, all this is history. In turn, this has “unleashed productivity” since individuals no longer do the manual work of matching invoices.

Even while the economy is in the midst of a downturn, Sharma says there is is no slowdown in the investments Apollo Tyres is making in technology. “Demand will go up sooner rather than later and this is is when all our preparation — in terms of getting ready for more scale and complexity — will pay off,” he adds.

Technology is also helping the company bridge the gap with customers and end-users. On the passenger vehicle side, there is a lot of work being done on digital media. “We are creating a web store so that customers can shop directly. On the commercial vehicle side, we are using cloud to engage with end-users of our product, like fleet owners," elaborates Sharma.

Apollo is also striving to make transportation more efficient and safer with data. It could be related to management of tyres, the type of defects that they have, or about the life of tyres. “We are trying to help fleet owners improve the cost per kilometre of the tyre they buy from us,” he says.

Apollo Tyres is also using cloud technology to come up with platforms and applications to solve problems for end-users of commercial vehicles. Sharma says there is is a lot of interesting work happening on image recognition and prediction where the company has come up with some interesting use cases.

Published on February 27, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor