by   |    |  Estimated reading time: 18 minutes  |  in Creativity & Innovation, Events, IFS Unleashed, Moment of Service, Transform Your Business   |  tagged , , , ,

theCUBE is the world’s leading live interview show covering enterprise tech, innovation and the people who imagine, create and implement the technologies that are changing our world. This year, they joined IFS in Miami for IFS Unleashed 2022. Below is the transcription of an interview with Christian Pedersen, Chief Product Officer at IFS & Sioned Edwards, IT business partner at Aston Martin F1 Team. Enjoy!

theCube: Hey everyone, welcome back to Miami, Lisa Martin here live with The Cube at IFS Unleashed 2022, we’re so excited to be here. We just had a great conversation with IFS’s CEO, Darren Roos. Now we’ve got another exciting conversation. F1 is here, you know how much I love F1. Christian Pedersen joins us as well, the Chief Product Officer at IFS, and Sioned Edwards, IT business partner at Aston Martin F1. Guys, it’s great to have you on the program. 

Sioned Edwards: Thank you for having us. 

Christian Pedersen: Thank you very much. Thanks for having us. 

theCube: We were talking about F1. We probably could have an entire conversation just on that, um, but Christian, I want to talk with you, it’s been three years since The Cube has covered IFS obviously, for obvious reasons. During that time, so much momentum has happened. IFS Cloud was launched about 18 months ago. Give our audience a flavor of IFS Cloud and some of the milestones that you’ve hit in such a short time period. 

Christian Pedersen: Yeah, I mean IFS Cloud is really transformational in many ways. It’s transformational for first and foremost for our customers in what enables them to do, but also transformational for us from a technology perspective, how we work and how we do everything, and at the end of the day, it has really surfaced, or served around the, the fact of what we need to do for our customers. And what we saw our customers often do back then, or any company, was they were out looking for EAP solutions or FSM solutions or EAM Solutions or what have you. And then they were trying to stitch it all together and we, we said like, “Hang on a second, these, these traditional software categories,” those are some that, I’m guilty, you know, there’s some that we actually invented over the years together with analysts, so we invented EAP, and we invented CRM and EAM and all these different things. 

But at the end of the day, customers really want a solution to what they are, they are, what they’re dealing with, and so in these conversations it became very clear that, and very repeated conclusions from the conversations that customers wanted something that could manage and help them optimize the use of their assets. Regardless of what industry you’re in, assets are such a key component. Either you are using your assets or you’re producing assets. Second thing is, really get the best use of your people, your teams and your crew. How do you get the right people on the right job at the same time? How do you assemble the right crew with the right set of skills in the crew? Get them to the right people at the same time. So, and then the final thing is of course customers, you know, all the things that you need to do to get customers to answer these ultimate questions, “Will you buy from this company again?” And they should say “Yes.” That’s the ultimate result of moments of service. So that’s how we bring it all together and that’s what we have been fast at work at. That’s what IFS Cloud is all about. 

theCube: And you, you talked about IFS Cloud, being able to help customers, orchestrate assets, people, customers, Aston Martin being one of those customers. Sioned, you came from IFS, so you have kind of the backstory, but just give the audience a little bit of flavor of your role at Aston Martin and then let’s dig into the smart factory. 

Sioned Edwards: Sure, so I previously worked at IFS as a manufacturing consultant, so my bread and butter is production planning in the ERP sector. So, we, I, Aston Martin didn’t have an ERP system pre-IFS or a legacy system that wasn’t working for them and the team couldn’t rely upon it, so what we did was bring IFS in. I was the consultant there and, as IFS always preached, customer first, well, customer first did come, and I jumped in to support the team. So, we’ve implemented a fully RP solution to manage the production control and the material traceability all the way through from design until delivery to track, and we’ve most recently implemented a warehouse solution at trackside as well. So, we are now tracking our parts, going out with the garage, so that’s a really exciting time for IFS. In terms of the smart factory, it’s not built yet. We’re, we’re supposed to move next year, so that’s really exciting ’cause we’re quadrupling our footprint, so going from quite a small factory spread out across the Northamptonshire countryside, we’re going into one place, quadrupling our footprint, and what we’re going to start looking at is using the technology we’re implementing there, so enabling 5G to springboard our IFS implementations going forward with the likes of Internet of Things to connect our 15 brand new CMC machines, but also things like RFID, so that comes with its own challenges on a Formula One car, but it’s all about speed of data capture, single point of truth and IFS provides that. 

theCube: And well, Formula One, the first word that comes to mind is speed. 

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely. 

theCube: Second word is crazy. (laughter) 

Sioned Edwards: We, we are very unique in terms of most customers Christian deals with, they’re about speed but also about profit and efficiency. That doesn’t matter to us, it is all about time. Time is our currency, and if we go quicker in designing and manufacturing, which IFS supports, ultimately the cargo is quicker, so speed is everything. 

theCube: And if we, if we think of, of people, customers and assets at Aston Martin F1, I can’t, I can’t imagine the quantity of assets that you’re building every race weekend and refactoring. 

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely, so a Formula One car that drives out of the garage is made up of 13,000 car parts, most of which, 50% of which we’ve made in house, so we have to track that all the way through from the smallest metallic component all the way up to the most complex assembly, so orchestrating that, and having a single point of truth for people to look at and track is what IFS has provided us. 

theCube: Christian, elaborate on that a little bit in terms of, I mean, what you’re facilitating, F1 is such a great example of, of speed we talked about, but the fact that you’re setting up the car every, every other weekend maybe sometimes back to back weeks, so many massive changes going on. You mentioned 50% of those 13,000 parts you manufacture. 

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely. 

theCube: Talk about IFS as being a catalyst for that. 

Christian Pedersen: I mean the, it’s, it’s fascinating with Formula One but because as a technology geek like me, it’s really just any other business on steroids. I mean we talk about this

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely. 

Christian Pedersen: High tech, super high-tech manufacturing, but even, even before that, the design that goes in with CFD’s and how you optimize for different things and new simulation software for these things goes into manufacturing, goes into wind tunnels and then goes on track. But guess what, when it’s on track, it’s an asset. It’s an asset that streams from… how many sensors are on the car? 

Sioned Edwards: I think it’s over 10,000 sensors. 

Christian Pedersen: Over 10,000 sensors that streams maybe at 50 hertz or 50 readings, so every lap you just get this mountain of data, which is really IOT, so I always say like F1, F1 did IOT before anybody invented the term. 

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely. 

theCube: Yep. Yep. 

Christian Pedersen: You know, F1 did machine learning and AI before anybody thought about it in terms of pattern recognition and things like that with the data, so that’s why it’s fascinating to work with an organization like that, it’s the, it’s the sophistication around the technologies, and then the pace of what they do. It’s not that what they do is actually so different. 

Sioned Edwards: It isn’t, it absolutely isn’t. We just have to do it really quickly. (laughs) 

Christian Pedersen: Really quickly, right? And the same thing when you talk about parts, I mean, I was fascinated of a conversation with, with one of your designers that says that, you know, sometimes we are, we are designing a part and this, the car is now ready for production, but the previous version of that part has not even been deployed on the car yet. So that’s how quick the innovation comes through and it’s, it’s, it’s fascinating and that’s why we like the challenge that Aston Martin gives us because if we can, if we can address that,

Sioned Edwards: Make it work, yeah. 

Christian Pedersen: There’s a lot of businesses we can make happy with that as well. 

theCube: So Sioned, talk a little bit about this is, so we’re coming up, there’s, what, four races left in the 2022 season? But this is your busy time because, that new car, the 23 car needs to be debuted in what, February? So just a few months time? 

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely, so it’s a bit counter-intuitive. So our busiest time is now, we’re ramping up into it. So we go, we go into something called car build, which is from December to, December to February, which is our endpoint, and there’s no moving that point. The car has got to go around that track in February. So we have got to make those 13,000 components. We’ve got to design ’em, we’ve got to make ’em, and then we’ve got to get ’em to the car in February for our moment of service. They said it on stage, our moment of service as a manufacturing company is that car going around the track, and we have to do it 24 times next year and we’ve got to start well, otherwise we’re not going to keep up. 

theCube: I was just going to ask you what a, what a moment, what’s a moment of service in F1 and you’re saying basically getting that

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely. 

theCube: Functional car on the track quickly, as quickly as possible and being able to have the technology underpinning that’s really abstracting the complexity. 

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely, so I would say our customer ultimately is the driver and the fans they, they need to have a fast car so they can support it and they ultimately drive it around the track and go get first place and be competitive, so that is our moment of service to our drivers, is to deliver that car 24 times next year. 

theCube: I imagine they might be a little demanding. 

Sioned Edwards: They are, and I think

theCube: Just a little. 

Sioned Edwards: It’s going to be exciting with Alonso coming in, ’cause new driver, we’ve got to manage that change and he’ll have new things that he wants to try out on a car, so that adds another level of complexity to that. 

theCube: Well, how influential are the drivers in terms of some of the, the manufacturing? Like did they, are they, give me kind of a, a sense of how Alonso, Fernando Alonso, your team and IFS maybe collaborate? Maybe not directly but… 

Sioned Edwards: So, Alonso will come in and suggest that he wants cars to work a certain way, so he will feed back to the team in terms of, “We need this car, we need this car part to do this and this car part to do that,” so then we’re in a cycle when he first gets into the car in that February, we’ve then got to turn round car parts based off his suggestions, so we need to do that again really quickly and that’s where IFS feeds in, so we have to have the release and then the manufacturer of the component completely integrated and that’s what we achieve with IFS. 

theCube: And it needs to be really seamless. 

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely, if, if we don’t get it right, that car doesn’t go out on track so there’s no moving deadline. 

theCube: Right. That’s the, probably one of the industries where deadlines do not move.

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely. 

theCube: We’re so used to things happening in tech where things shift and change, and reorgs, but this is one where the dates are set, they’re firm. 

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely, and we have to do anything we can do to get that car on the track, so, yeah, it doesn’t move. 

theCube: Christian, talk about the partnership a little bit from your standpoint in terms of how influential has Aston Martin F1 been in IFS Cloud in its first 18 months. I was looking at some stats that you’ve already gotten 400,000 plus users in just a short time period. How influential are your customers in the direction and even the, uh, the next launch 22R too? 

Christian Pedersen: I mean, our customers are everything, plain and simple, that’s what it is, and we have, we have a partnership. I think about every single customer as a partner of ours and we are partnering in taking technology to the next level in terms of, of the outputs and the benefits it can create for our customers. That’s what it’s all, all about, and I, I always think about these, these three elements, I think I mentioned in our state as well. I think the partnership we have is a partnership around innovation. Innovation doesn’t only come from IFS or the technology partner, it comes from discussions, requirements, opportunities, “What if,” like, all these things, so innovation comes from everywhere, there’s technology driven innovation, there’s customer driven innovation, but that’s part of the partnership. The second part of the partnership is inspiration. So, with innovation you inspire, so when you innovate on something new that inspires new innovation and new thinking and that’s again the second part of the partnership. And then the third part is really iterate and execute, right? Because it’s great that we can now innovate and we can agree on what we need to do, but now we need to put it into products, put it in technology and put it into actual use. That’s when the benefits comes and that’s when we can start ringing the bell. 

Sioned Edwards: And I think it’s really intrinsically linked, I mean, if you look at progress with Formula One teams and their innovation, it’s all underpinned by our technology partners, and that’s why it’s so important, the likes of Christian pushes the product and improves it and innovates it because then we can realize the benefits and ultimately save time and go faster, so it’s really important that our, our partners certainly in Formula One, push the boundaries and find that technology. 

Christian Pedersen: And I think one of the things that we also find very, very important is that we actually understand our customers and can talk the language, so I think that was one of the key things in our engagement with Aston Martin from the beginning is that we had a set of people that really understand Formula One, felt it on their bodies and can have the conversation, so when the Formula One teams, they say something, then we actually understand what we’re talking about, so for instance, when we talk about, you know, track side inventory, well, it’s not that different from what a field service technician have in his van when he goes service. The only difference is when you see something happening on track, you’ll see the parts manager go out to the pit lane with a tablet and say like, “Oh, we need this, we need that, we need this and we need that,” and then they’ll go back and pick it and put it on the car, and the car is serviced and maintained, and off you go.

Sioned Edwards: Absolutely. 

theCube: Yeah. Yeah, that speed always impresses me. 

Sioned Edwards: It’s unbelievable.

theCube: My goodness. Sioned, last question for you. From a smart factory perspective, you said you’re moving in next year. What are some of the things that you are excited about that you think are really going to be transformative that IFS is doing? 

Sioned Edwards: So I think what I’m really excited about once we get in is using the technology they’ve already put in terms of 5G networks to sort of springboard that into a further IFS implementation, maybe IFS Cloud in terms of, we always struggle to keep the system up to date with, with what’s physically happening so that the less data entry and the more automatic, sort of, data capture, the better it is for the Formula One team, ’cause we improve our, our single point of truth, so I’m really excited to look at the Internet of Things and, sort of, integrate our CNC machines to, sort of, feed that information back into IFS, but also the RFID technology I think is going to be a game changer when we go into the new factory, so really excited. 

theCube: Excellent, well, well done this year, we look forward to seeing Alonso join the team in 23. 

Sioned Edwards: Fingers crossed! 

theCube: Yeah, okay, fingers crossed. (Sioned laughs) Christian, Sioned, it’s been a pleasure to have you on the program.

Sioned Edwards: Thank you. 

theCube: Thank you so much for sharing your insights and how IFS, Aston Martin are working together, how you’re really synergistically working together. We appreciate your time.

Sioned Edwards: Yeah. Thank you very much. 

Christian Pedersen: Thank you very much for having us. 

theCube: Our pleasure.

Christian Pedersen: Thanks for having us, and, uh, go Aston! (laughs)

theCube: Woo! Go Aston! You heard it here first! Lisa Martin, no relation to Aston Martin, but, well, I want to thank Christian Pedersen and Sioned Edwards for joining me, talking about IFS and Aston Martin team and what they’re doing at Speed & Scale. Stick around, my next guest joins me in a minute. 

Sioned Edwards: Thank you. 

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