Racing to the checkered flag: Lotus F1 Team rolls out Microsoft Dynamics AX in its Aerodynamics Division

Time is money, and for most businesses, every second counts. For the Lotus F1 Team every millisecond counts.  Managing a time-sensitive operation like a Formula 1 team requires not only precision and nerves of steel, but also powerful and agile technology that empowers the people in the organization to be more effective.

The goal for implementing tools to support the Lotus F1 Team in their objectives all came down to finding an ERP solution that would integrate performance and manufacturing systems in a single environment. They wanted the ability to fine tune and drive every aspect of the business — from managing the design, manufacturing and testing of the 20,000-plus parts on each car to analyzing real-time data from the racetrack. And they chose Microsoft Dynamics.

Since 2012, when the Lotus F1 Team decided to partner with Microsoft Dynamics, our focus has been on working together to support driving a total business transformation from manufacturing to the race track.

While we may only be 12 months into the project since the Phase 1 implementation, the benefits achieved have already resulted in an extension of the partnership into 2016.  As an official business transformation partner of Lotus F1 Team in 2012 we have witnessed exciting times, both in the factory, where Phase 1 of Microsoft Dynamics and Lotus F1 Team’s business transformation was completed in record time, and on the track, where we have seen results and exposure beyond our expectations.

Now this great partnership has reached an exciting new phase.  We are thrilled to announce that Lotus F1 Team has now officially gone live with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 in its Aerodynamics Division.

This means the inception of the 2014 car build will be using the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Platform.  When every millisecond counts, Microsoft Dynamics AX will help the Lotus F1 Team track all of that data from design to deployment, helping boost productivity and giving it an edge on the track.

Moving to this Phase, ahead of schedule, demonstrates the agility and innovation delivered by Microsoft Dynamics AX. With the help of this solution, the Lotus F1 Team was able to reduce process redundancy and set up key integrations with its Product Lifecycle Management system.  This now enables them to associate a design drawing to its constituent parts that need to be manufactured. ; They can employ material requirement planning on the item requirements,  provide detailed and integrated planning to bring their design, manufacture and wind tunnel departments onto one unified platform as well as consolidate all of the content, communications and information from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to project plans to email and have it all work seamlessly on one platform – Microsoft Dynamics AX.

The use of Microsoft Dynamics AX in the Aerodynamics Division uses To-Increase’s ADM solution to bring the architecture together, which is an example of the positive impact and compelling value proposition our partners and ISV channel bring to our customers.

All of this sets us up neatly for the next phase of core manufacturing implementation scheduled to take place in 2014.  We are seeing the manifestation of a roadmap and vision where Lotus F1 Team can best leverage the agility of Microsoft Dynamics AX to improve capacity planning across manufacturing, improve management of information that contributes to operational efficiency, provide automation across the F1 car lifecycle (including Aerodynamics-Design-Manufacturing-Racing) and integrate across disparate systems to deliver enhanced data accuracy and resource reporting.

Bringing out innovations faster and better than competitors and delivering critical information to the right person in a timely manner to enable the best decisions at the right time are fundamental to success in the sport of Formula 1.  We are proud to play a part in the team’s success and commitment to speed, to efficiency and to winning.  Our partnership with Lotus F1 Team is a best-practice for our existing and new clients and a shining example of the agility and power of Microsoft Dynamics business solutions and how we can help businesses in their transformations.   We look forward to this next phase of the partnership and to success in 2014.

For more information on the Partnership, please see the Microsoft News Center piece: Chasing down a Formula 1 championship: Lotus F1 Team shifts into high gear with Dynamics AX