Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog

Written by: Matthew Woodget

We’re constantly being told that technology will handle the mundane and administrative, so we can focus on what we love. Often, despite inarguable benefits, technology falls short of its promise and we end up right back performing the humdrum: entering the same information twice or manipulating data from one system so it will work in another.

Who better than a Formula One team to understand the challenges and pressure of ongoing performance requirements? In an earlier post, we talked about how, because milliseconds often determine the win, teams have an extreme degree of focus on the prize and continually improve their product (the car) and processes. Responding to spending caps and other regulatory changes in the sport, Lotus F1 Team embarked on a business transformation project, with the goal of winning the 2014 championship.

It’s a journey with a lot of twists and turns—one that continuously pushes the limits of the financial, human, and technological potential because the pressure to improve never relents: once the team has designed and built the car, the work is not done. Lotus F1 Team continues to develop and refine it with each race, hoping to shave off the winning millisecond.

Building a custom car requires skills that are as unique as the parts themselves, many made by hand. Some team members spot-weld custom exhausts manually, exclusively. Others hand-build the car body with carbon fiber parts using laser guidance. It takes a lot of specialists to design and build the 20,000-plus custom parts.

Each person has only a limited amount of time in a day, and the team, as a whole, has a precious window of opportunity in which to prepare. Having up-to-date information to enable the best possible decisions is understandably critical for the car on the track. Responding to that data means making changes to settings or components to improve areas like down force, grip, and acceleration in order to drive performance gains. The same goes for business operations; visibility into financials, hiring top talent, and making the best logistical and supply chain decisions all have a tangible and very real impact on teams ability to be quick and agile. Minutes wasted transferring information from one system to another slows down the agility of the entire business and can mean milliseconds given up on the track, and missing out on lucrative race win related bonuses.

Like other manufacturers, Lotus F1 Team is always looking for ways to gain a competitive edge, whether it’s in manufacturing and performance or business operations.

As Lotus F1 Team gains more control of its business by consolidating manufacturing and operations in Microsoft Dynamics software, the team expects to realize the opportunity promise of technology. That promise is this: By reducing manual busywork, team members can focus on their specialties and protect that moment of inspiration that leads to the breakthrough that contributes to a win.

Every person at Lotus F1 Team stands to make a greater contribution through their use of Microsoft Dynamics.

  • Hiring Managers easily being able to liaise with the teams recruiters in a shared workspace to manage the hiring process.
  • HR managers recruiting uniquely qualified specialists with very narrowly defined skill sets through integration between HR and ERP.
  • The finance team, from budget analysts to the CFO, gaining the insights it needed to control costs, and digitize paper-based processes.
  • Financial information coordinated and centralized in one version of the truth ensuring that teams can make faster decisions by using the same, up-to-date information.
  • Tracking of financial commitments by the team (procurement) and to the team (sponsorships) is manageable and predictable
  • The challenges of managing budgets across disconnected and out-of-date spreadsheets rapidly vanish into the rear view mirror when the team is able to have a clear view of the financial road ahead.

And that’s just in lap one. With the new racing season underway this month, and its business transformation on track, the Lotus F1 Team is gearing up to win.

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