The iconic British manufacturer decided two years ago to replace a whole swathe of legacy systems with a business suite based around the Infor LN manufacturing ERP system, integrated with supply chain, customer relationship and human capital management applications. Helping people adjust to the new systems has been a crucial element of the preparation, says Parsons:
"Triumph is now rolling out the first phase, which links manufacturing systems to its dealerships. HCM is scheduled for early next year, with the full suite expected to be completed by the end of calendar 2019. It’s been learning from talking to other manufacturers who have undertaken a similar transformation, including Italian car maker Ferrari. The full deployment will support 1600 users across 24 countries, including manufacturing plants in the UK, Thailand, Brazil and India."
How Triumph has changed
It’s all part of big shift to bring the company’s internal operations into line with its external image as a premium lifestyle brand. In the past two years, Triumph has opened up its historic manufacturing base at Hinckley, Leicestershire, to offer factory tours as part of its on-site visitor experience. It also hosts school tours to encourage STEM education and careers. “Fifteen years ago it would have been unthinkable to allow customers in our factory,” says Parsons. That changed ethos has inevitably led to an overhaul of the internal systems:
On the inside we still felt not premium at all — we had a lot of manual processes, our data wasn’t connected. The partnership with Infor is about matching up how we operate on the inside with what people expect from the outside.
With the first phase connecting dealers into the manufacturing process, it means customers who order a new Triumph can make changes to the specification much later in the process, and can see the bike in various stages of build. The new system keeps them informed in a way that simply wasn’t possible before, says Parsons.
Customers expect that. In our old software platforms they wouldn’t allow us to forecast a delivery date for a motorcycle. Now we can tell the dealer and the customer when that bike will be delivered.
When the new HCM system goes online in the new year, Parsons expects that line managers will see huge benefits from self-service tools that will give employees the ability to update information directly, such as changes of address or holiday requests.
He’s also keen to start using Infor’s talent science tools, which will help employees to profile their strengths and development needs. One intriguing use case is to fine-tune the aptitudes of people joining product design teams, he says — harnessing more creative personalities early in the process, then switching to those with more attention to detail later on, when ability to deliver comes to the fore.
Story By: Phil Wainewright