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Eric Chaniot: Chief Digital Officer for the Michelin Group

What does your digital strategy entail?

Today we have to deal with a world and a customer base that are increasingly connected, and we firmly believe that the digital transformation is a powerful growth driver for our strategic, human and social model.  This is why we have set out to leverage digital technology's full potential to retain our leadership in the field of mobility, which is our primary business purpose. To achieve this, our digital strategy is essentially geared towards three priorities: create a more personalized relationship with our customers and end users, develop new business models, and, of course, change the way we operate within the company.

What do you see as the key factors for achieving your goals?

Targeted acquisitions will play a vital role in strengthening our skills and speeding up the digital transformation process. This is what we have initiated by acquiring a share in companies such as Allopneus, the leading French online distributor, and SASCAR, the leading Brazilian company for onboard telematics. We are also careful to take the major digital trends into account in all of our decision making. The boom in connected tools since the advent of 5G technology, like the exponential growth of data, are opening up new avenues for innovation and the creation of new services for our customers. Two tangible examples of this are our latest connected tires: Michelin Track Connect for cars and, more recently, PreSense for planes.  Our success depends on our ability to become a data-driven company.  This will only happen if our customers trust us: that is the essential prerequisite for giving us access to their data. We have every reason to believe that we will succeed because we have a distinct advantage over our competitors in this area.

What is Michelin's approach to Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Michelin has no intention to replace people with AI. Our strength will lie in the combination of people and AI. Although AI can be applied in many areas of company operations, it is growing faster in certain domains such as R&D, the Supply Chain and of course manufacturing, driven by Digital Manufacturing and predictive maintenance. In production plants, AI has already shown that it can improve employees’ quality of working life. Connected bracelets, for example, bring machine operators greater peace of mind. AI also opens up numerous possibilities for enhancing the customer experience. Take consumer services, for example: AI can use a database to recognize a problem, immediately identify the right person to contact to solve it, and then provide the appropriate documentation.

The digital transformation of the Michelin industry

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