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Data Integration Solution from Sunopsis Helps Global Tire Manufacturer Improve Communications, Optimize Manufacturing Operations and Generate Significant Cost Savings

  • January 01 2004, 1:00am EST

CATEGORY: Data Integration

REVIEWER: Fabio Gloria, business intelligence coordinator for Trelleborg Wheel Systems.

BACKGROUND: Trelleborg Wheel Systems ­– a business unit of Trelleborg AB, a $2.2 billion-dollar company with 15,000 employees in 40 countries ­– manufacturers and markets complete wheel systems for forest and farm machines, forklift trucks and other material handling equipment.

PLATFORMS: IBM AS/400, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM MQ Series, Linux, JDBC.

PROBLEM SOLVED: As a global manufacturer with seven production plants operating around the world, Trelleborg Wheel Systems needed to streamline its information flow between the various manufacturing plant managers to ensure optimal production efficiencies and inventory management. To achieve this goal, Trelleborg knew it needed to be able to capture and store information pertaining to production schedules, actual versus forecast comparisons, inventory, customer orders, purchase order management and equipment maintenance data in a data warehouse. Using Sunopsis, Trelleborg created a data warehouse and application that allowed management to view the collected, stored and continuously updated data via an executive dashboard. Now Trelleborg is able to make better, more informed decisions, resulting in higher cost savings and optimized production efficiencies.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Sunopsis offers a unique approach to data integration. The product generates native SQL code enabling Trelleborg to use the power of their installed databases to perform the data integration processes. The product does not require users to invest in learning a proprietary engine and does not require any dedicated hardware. Additionally, because the product is written in Java, Trelleborg can access any application running on any system. Another key feature Trelleborg found very valuable is the product's ability to automatically detect changes in the data sources –­ enabling Trelleborg to increase the performance and throughput of data by moving only data that has changed when performing data transfers. Trelleborg is already reaping significant business benefits from the use of Sunopsis and is presently laying out plans for future projects that will enable Trelleborg to further leverage Sunopsis' rich functionality. We are impressed with the product's power and ease of use and were surprised at how quickly they were able to deploy their data integration applications.

STRENGTHS: There are several key benefits Sunopsis has over its competition ­– ease of use, pricing, flexibility and rich functionality. The product is able to easily support Trelleborg's heterogeneous environment, and its intuitiveness allows users to be productive almost immediately ­– eliminating the need to hire high-priced consultants. We also like the breadth and functionality the product offers and were very pleased to learn that, unlike other products evaluated, Sunopsis would not require us to purchase an additional AS/400 server or additional ERP licenses.

WEAKNESSES: To further exploit the value Trelleborg derives from the applications developed using Sunopsis, Trelleborg would like to see additional scheduling capabilities in the product. Specifically, we have requested enhancements be made to the way the product handles restarts after an interruption of service. Sunopsis is aware of this request and will be building this functionality into the next release of the product.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Prior to selecting Sunopsis, Trelleborg looked at Ascential's DataStage, Sagent's Data Flow Server and Hummingbird's Genio. One look at Sunopsis left Trelleborg impressed with the product's broad functionality and friendly licensing terms. The fact that Sunopsis was capable of addressing a wide range of data integration needs (ETL, EAI, data replication and data synchronization), as well as the product's open architecture made Sunopsis an easy choice. Additionally, the no-coding approach meant faster time to market and significant cost savings.

DELIVERABLES: Today, Sunopsis is a key technology for Trelleborg Wheel Systems and is seen as a vital component for the company's future growth and success. By using Sunopsis, Trelleborg's distributed manufacturing management team now has continuous access to critical business information and is able to better manage and plan production activities. The executive dashboard developed using Sunopsis has resulted in increased business intelligence for the company and significant cost savings.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Sunopsis has been extremely supportive since day one. Their sales and support team is tops.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation for the product is complete and easy to read.

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