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Pneuhage: Digital Omnipresence

With highly digitalized processes, tire and rim trading company Pneuhage is omnipresent across multiple market and distribution channels. A business integration platform serves as a central data hub.

The Pneuhage Group consists of the companies: Pneuhage Reifendienste, Erhardt Reifen und Autoservice, First Stop (retail), as well as Interpneu (wholesale). Founded in 1953 and headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany, the company today sells over four million tires and over 400,000 aluminum rims per year. With an annual revenue of more than 500 million euros, over 160 branches and subsidiaries, and more than 670 distribution partners, it is one of the leading tire and rim trading companies in Germany.

Seeburger’s Business Integration Suite (BIS) is the central component of Pneuhage’s IT infrastructure. “In concrete terms, as our central data hub for selling Pneuhage’s products, BIS controls all associated processes across all markets and distribution channels. Administered and managed by our own internal IT specialists, BIS processes almost 20 million files from a wide range of corporate business processes each year,” explains Ralf Brauer, Head of IT and TC at Pneuhage Management, which is also responsible for the IT infrastructure of the entire Pneuhage Group.

In addition to the more traditional EDI business, Pneuhage’s distribution channels include direct sales in branches and subsidiaries, independent sales partners, national and international industry portals, and the company’s own online shop. With Pneuhage’s entry into online wholesale, Interpneu’s B2B online shop has developed into the strongest distribution channel. “Most online orders are processed through this channel,” says IT and telecommunications manager Brauer. Furthermore, Brauer mentions that the branches also use the online shop, and search engines and comparison portals continue to multiply sales. They all link to the standard product range that the group sells through various industry portals.

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High-speed digitalization

Pneuhage’s entire tire business is digital, including the strong B2B wholesale trade. Interpneu’s online shop for tires, rims and complete wheels is based on a wheel configurator developed specifically for this purpose. This enables customers to display and order multiple combinations of vehicle, tire and rim in a so-called complete wheel order, all within seconds.

The configurator is also an indispensable tool for sales partners to offer each customer individual wheels for their specific vehicle at any time. Various feasibility checks intercept invalid combinations from over four million ‘vehicle/rim’ combinations, so that no incorrect orders are placed.

Assignments are controlled and monitored by Business Integration Suite and kept up to date by synchronization with the central SAP systems with modules: FI, CO, HR, MM, SD, and WM. Material numbers are updated once a day, prices once an hour, and inventory every five minutes. Depending upon which combination a customer selects, the appropriate image files are also displayed. Any resulting orders are immediately followed by an order confirmation, delivery bills, and tracking data.

Pneuhage’s own online shop, which is accessible to end customers as well as branches, is also based on the configurator. Customers can therefore browse all conceivable (and feasible) combinations directly on the screen and order their desired wheels and have them delivered to the nearest tire service for pick-up on a date of their choosing. Pneuhage furthermore lists its range of tires and rims on over 50 national and international industry portals, such as Tyre24. In order to benefit from the wide reach of these portals and to reach new, global customers, all the necessary information such as images, prices, product data and availability is transferred to these platforms from the same systems through Business Integration Suite.

Traditional EDI orders from B2B partners can also be seamlessly integrated. Pneuhage can connect suppliers via electronic data transfer. The foundation for this process are about 700 mappings, which regulate the flow of goods to both consumers and suppliers. When so many orders and customer data from different touchpoints come together, a stable integration platform is needed to orchestrate, synchronize and update the data. Comparing inventory across multiple warehouses plays an important role in terms of product availability and customer satisfaction. As a central data hub, the Business Integration Suite takes care of this, too.

The BIS platform also takes care of processing and checking returns. In the case of a return request, no posting is generated for SAP, but the data are forwarded to the connected complaints management system which manages the returns. All in all, Pneuhage uses the central business integration platform BIS to process a wide variety of data in various file formats, for example orders, order confirmations, portal files, image files, availability information, shipping notifications, tracking data, outgoing and incoming invoices, shipping data, parcel service data, time tracking data, and much more.

Mobility anywhere, anytime

Customers benefit: Nobody likes to wait for the right tire. In case of an accident, damage, or simple wear and tear, a quick tire replacement is necessary to restore the customer’s mobility. Even the regular replacement of summer or winter wheels must be quick and seamless in order to remain mobile.

Around October and Easter, business for Pneuhage is usually booming. Seasonal peaks shape the tire business. The changeover from summer to winter wheels and vice versa increases demand and causes order peaks that are far above average, which the IT system can safely and reliably handle thanks to the scalable integration platform BIS. The platform ensures up-to-date inventory information across all distribution channels. Consequently, no customer has to put up with long delivery times.

Pneuhage furthermore offers customers a wide range of services. Using the online appointment booking system integrated by BIS, customers can find the nearest branches or stores to book wheel and tire services online around the clock. In addition to wheel changes and tire fitting, these include services such as repairs, balancing, washing, and storage.

“As a business-critical system, the Business Integration Suite allows us to integrate both our business partners and all relevant business systems on a high-performance, mature platform,” sums up Pneuhage IT and TC manager Brauer. “With the central platform, we can map all business processes along the entire value chain and be omnipresent across every market and distribution channel.”

Source:
E-3 Magazine July/August 2020 (German)