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Customer Snapshot

We Keep the World Rolling Down the Highway

>30%

reduction in operating and maintenance costs

To continue the impressive global growth of the past 80+ years, AL-KO constantly focuses on improving the capabilities of technology solutions while striving for maximum ROI. By migrating SAP ERP onto the SAP ASE database platform, the company is now poised to expand operations and take on fierce global competition across all product lines.

Company

AL-KO KOBER GROUP

Headquarters

Kotz, Germany

Customer Website

www.al-ko.com

Revenue

€676 million

Number of Employees

4,200

Implementation Partners

---

Line of Business

Information Technology

Industry

Machinery & Equipment, Industrial Machinery & Components

Featured Products

SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE), SAP Enterprise Resource Planning

History

The magic of metal and machines

    

  • 1931At age 23, founder Alois Kober opened his own metalworking shop in Kötz, Germany
  • 1961The company expanded operations into Austria
  • 1970 AL-KO continued expansion by establishing manufacturing plants in Italy, France, England, Switzerland and Spain
  • 1980 AL-KO built new facilities in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Hungary and Australia
  • 1983The company began operations in North America by opening a facility in the U.S.
  • 1986AL-KO built new facilities in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Hungary and Australia
  • 1999 For the first time ever, AL-KO surpassed DEM1 billion in annual revenue and employed more than 3,800 people
  • 2006AL-KO celebrated their 75th anniversary
  • 2007 Growth continued with new operations in New Zealand
  • 2009European growth continued with new operations in Finland

Business Model

Keeping industries moving

AL-KO KOBER is an international supplier to the automotive engineering, garden and hobby, and air technology industries. The company operates in 50 locations across five continents and promotes an innovative culture while constantly refining innovation processes with the help of 4,200 employees. The company delivers products to customers through a worldwide supplier network.

Success Strategy

Maximizing machine making

As a well-known German company, AL-KO intends to speed up IT processes to accelerate growth of their already successful manufacturing and distributing efforts. This strategy affects a wide range of industrial and consumer products including shock absorbers, industrial components, automotive trailer hitches, air conditioning and clean-room technologies, garden and hobby equipment, motor home chassis, and trailer components.

The Challenge

Trying to keep up in the world of IT

Global competition requires AL-KO to constantly optimize the performance of business systems. In addition to product-related innovations, the company faces the daily challenge of evolving from a medium-sized IT enterprise focusing on regional issues into to a global IT concern.

 

AL-KO previously ran their SAP ERP applications on an Oracle database. But after migrating the system from the Sun Solaris to the Linux operating system, the company decided to consider a new database platform—if sufficient ROI could be achieved in less than 36 months.

Enter SAP

A trusted collaboration

Having collaborated with SAP as their ERP solution partner, AL-KO knew SAP provides all the technology and system expertise an international company requires. SAP ERP and the deep bench of system consultants that SAP offers had successfully advised AL-KO on every area of the business for many years. AL-KO thus turned to SAP once again to determine the best way to further optimize ERP performance.

 

AL-KO ultimately chose to migrate SAP ERP from their Oracle database platform to SAP ASE. The ROI the solution offers—as well as how effectively the new database platform aligns with the long-term SAP roadmap that AL-KO follows—made the decision an easy one.

The SAP Experience

Superior support and seamless systems

As part of the migration to SAP ASE, SAP supported the change at AL-KO by helping the company standardize business processes and virtualize their entire data center environment. SAP also simplified the TCO equation by using a 5% software application value formula and by postponing maintenance fees for 6 months until after the go-live date.

 

This enabled AL-KO to achieve and surpass their ROI target—even without factoring in the additional cost savings of storage data compression as well as the reduced requirements for on-going DBA resources to support SAP ASE compared to supporting the Oracle database.

Running Better

Poised for growth

To ensure success and reduce risk, AL-KO asked SAP to handle the migration to SAP ASE. Following the successful deployment, AL-KO discovered that speeding up their IT processes has a major impact on accommodating the growth of the company. With the virtualized data center and the new database, AL-KO has created a foundation that can quickly and effectively connect new locations to the SAP ERP system.

Benefits

People love speedy query response

After a short introductory phase lasting less than 3 months, the go-live phase proved the value of migrating to SAP ASE, which has provided benefits to the entire company. With the previous Oracle database, AL-KO required nearly 2 terabytes for data storage in the core ERP system whereas Sybase SAP ASE can process the same data consuming just 800 gigabytes.

 

The best benefit, however, is the direct feedback from company employees on how much query response times have improved—by 50 percent or more and down to 250 milliseconds compared to the previous system, which rarely responded in less than 500 milliseconds.

 

Doubling response-time performance creates a more productive work environment—not only in terms of how fast employees receive responses, but also in terms of the satisfaction they feel in completing their work tasks more efficiently.

Today

Setting sights on future successes

 

Today, while AL-KO continues to impress with unsurpassed query speeds and ROI, the company is constantly looking to the future where they hope to continue the global growth seen for over 80 years by focusing on new technology innovations and saving money for their customers.


Journey Ahead

Keeping the team together

Based on the success of the project as well as past success, AL-KO continues to trust SAP as a strategic business partner. The company plans to work closely with SAP well into the future in their effort to keep achieving their motto: “Quality for Life.”

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