It’s no secret that we are in a period where business needs are drastically changing. Physical events are going virtual, more and more people are working remotely, and businesses need to find ways to adapt and fast. One vivid example of an organization that constantly navigates the pressures of change in ever-evolving environments and continually rises to the top is the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One (F1) team.
Below, we’ll explore several key catalysts for change that organizations of all kinds may face, and illustrate how the six-time World Champion Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team has overcome similar business and technical challenges. The team provides relevant lessons that can be extrapolated to help businesses of all types manage the pressures and complications of change. Industries of all varieties can look to the sport of F1 as an example for managing change successfully through the innovative use of technology.
Changing Customer Needs
In the last few decades, customer demands have shifted dramatically. Emerging technologies such as cloud, mobile, and even social media have given way to a culture where consumers want everything fast and personalized. More than ever, organizations need to adapt their systems to keep up with changing demands and mobile lifestyles. For example, as the “nation’s first 5G network”, TIBCO customer T-Mobile needed to keep up with its 72.6 million customers. It turned to a container-based integration solution from TIBCO that enabled the mobile carrier to handle an increase of peak volume by up to ten times. This helped T-Mobile scale and meet new customer demand, which came in handy when a new version of the iPhone was released; because of it’s flexible infrastructure, the company was able to successfully meet its tight phone delivery deadlines.
The ability to scale and meet new challenges around evolving customer demands is something the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team has also done well. Since their comeback to the racing circuit, they have been able to leverage the most cutting-edge technologies in order to deliver new interactive opportunities for fans to engage with the team, like never before. For instance, the team started a post-race debrief series on YouTube, giving fans insights into race strategy and the impact on individual race outcomes, all made possible by cloud, mobile, and other new technologies.
In the fast paced world of high end manufacturing, perhaps no greater catalyst for organizational upheaval and competitive differentiation has been the ability to digitally transform. Consider the high-end brake manufacturer Brembo, who saw massive business potential by turning its factory into a smart factory with the help of TIBCO. Brembo now leads its competition with Industry 4.0 capabilities and can evolve its analytic infrastructure to meet goals for improved performance and user-friendliness, while maintaining its high standard of quality for production outputs. To make this shift effectively Brembo implemented a robust visual analytics platform that is adaptable to a multitude of use cases and user types. Today, thousands of users are empowered with visual analytics throughout the company, allowing Brembo to monitor all aspects of brake production and understand the vast universe of information affecting both the manufacturing process and the supply chain.
Similarly, as an organization, F1 isn’t just about racing, it’s also about manufacturing, fabrication, engineering, testing/quality control, production, and assembly. So, it’s up to teams to create smart factories of the highest caliber to support the technological capabilities that these advanced cars require. And they excel at this. They excel at getting the huge amount of data from its machines into computer systems where the data can be quickly and easily analysed. This requires a very networked infrastructure and a powerful analytics platform where they can examine production and make alterations in processes in real time.
Changing and Evolving Industries
Unconventional is the new normal. While companies are adjusting to significant changes in their industries, many are finding innovative ways to adapt, contribute, and overcome. Pharmaceutical company Gilead is responding to industry changes by spending time and resources to donate 1.5 million doses of an experimental drug that could potentially help COVID-19 patients. With analytics technology from TIBCO, it is able to determine the right drug at the right time and gain real-time visibility on results.
Similarly, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 is participating in “Project Pitlane”, devoting time, factory resources, and innovative engineering to create over 10,000 respirators to be used in healthcare facilities. The device, known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to help COVID-19 patients with serious lung infections to breathe more easily, when oxygen alone is insufficient. In true Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 fashion, the breathing aid was produced within a rapid timeframe; it took fewer than 100 hours from the initial meeting to production of the first device. The ability for companies to pivot and serve urgent new customer needs while not losing sight of their original business goals is a distinct characteristic separating industry leaders and laggards.
Material Goods Changes
Material changes can be an influencing factor for organizational success during non-crisis times. TIBCO customer Hemlock Semiconductor worked with healthcare facilities to assess their inventories and sent over 15,000 PPE items to healthcare workers in the Great Lakes area. However, in its day-to-day business, Hemlock uses Connected Intelligence to measure down to the micro-level, to implement incremental improvements in its silicon wafers. As a result, the company achieved centralized, self-service, governed analysis, revenue gains, cost savings, and more.
For F1 teams like Mercedes AMG-Petronas, material changes are heavily influenced not only by the regulations that are imposed yearly, but also in the teams’ own research and development teams. They use emerging technology as a platform for innovation, constantly looking to squeeze an incremental competitive edge in the development, testing, and deployment of experimental components. Constant testing of parts gives teams the insights into what is working in the car design and what isn’t. By paying attention to this, teams can gain a competitive advantage just by assessing and improving the reliability of car components.
Now is the Time to Be Agile and Adaptable
While the world of sport racing to some may not carry the weight and implications of change in other industries such as healthcare, high tech manufacturing, telecommunications and beyond, F1 can serve as the testing bed for prototyping technology innovations. Whether you’re Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 or any other organization that wants to be and stay at the top of your field, you keep pushing, keep using your data to extract insights and build a superior understanding that leads to better customer intimacy, operational excellence, and business reinvention.
But as anyone in any industry can attest, no matter how much data is available, it won’t make any difference if it’s not understood and put to good use.
“To win you need to understand what’s important, and what’s not. You need to make sure you’re adapting to the situation.”—James Vowles, Chief Strategist Mercedes-AMG Petronas. And to do that, you need to understand and use all your data.
Learn how Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 handles constant change to continuously innovate to create a better car design, improve agility in adapting to race conditions, and find the best car setup for each race using TIBCO solutions and contact us to learn how we can help your organization succeed in complex, ever-evolving environments.