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Formula 1 track | AccountingWEB | EY on track with Haas F1 venture
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EY on track with Haas F1 venture

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After EY revealed details of a new partnership with Haas late last month, partner Alex Corps spoke to AccountingWEB about the venture.

7th Mar 2024
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EY is looking to help improve the operational efficiency of MoneyGram Haas F1 Team as part of their new venture together, partner in technology consulting Alex Corps has told AccountingWEB. He also shed light on using artificial intelligence (AI) as part of the initiative, providing a platform to build on and how the partnership is ultimately about helping the car go faster.

Haas has selected EY to implement its Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain solution, with the firm set to provide consulting services to support the team through the Microsoft Dynamics platform.

Corps noted that the appointment was slightly unusual in that Haas “didn’t know that we did Microsoft, so this news coming out is quite a good mechanism to let the world know that we do and have done for a number of years”.

The agreement came through a recommendation from another client in F1, Corps said, where EY has previously implemented Dynamics.

“They recommended the team come and have a chat with us. They liked what we said and here we are.”

Being challenged

Corps’s simplified version of the project is “we are helping them on a transformative journey by using tech”.

“We’re deploying Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain,” said Corps. “Haas already run an older version of Dynamics, so they’re familiar with it – but this isn’t an upgrade, it’s a re-implementation using some of what they’ve done before but equally, challenging them to operate differently.

“One of the things they asked us to do was challenge them.”

Operational efficiency

Corps said the firm is “looking in a number of different areas to help [Haas] with their operational efficiency”.

“I attended their shakedown test, which is the test of the new car. We watched them working and understood relationships between the various factors. So you’ve got the race bay where the car sits and you’ve got various trucks with spare parts on, and we’re understanding the relationship between those and offering how tech in the new world can work for them and help make things more efficient and controlled.

“We can make it better.”

Corps believes there are some “really, really cool things you can do in tech that we’re giving them part of now, but also laying the foundation for the future and that’s critical for what the Microsoft platform gives them – a lot of scope to do new stuff.

“So we’re giving them a platform to work from in this first phase of the project and we’ll work out future phases as we go along.”

AI and operational efficiency

Corps noted that AI is “one of the things we’re talking to them about”, adding that “while we haven’t determined the scope of that yet, we’re looking at a number of different areas”.

“It could be that we end up doing some generative AI pieces around fan engagement and it could be that we do a piece around vehicle performance or even driver performance. It all depends on what data you can have and how you use AI to help decision-making processes.

“The aim is always for operational efficiency. That could be back at the factory, that could be trackside or that could be during a race – wouldn’t it be great to take all of their old data, start crunching through that using machine learning and then use AI to start helping the decision-making processes during a race?”

Making the car go faster

When attending the Haas test event, a member of the team told Corps that “every person here has a role to make the car go faster”.

“With this solution – what we’re building in the next five years, using more and more of the platform – everything is geared towards making the car faster,” added Corps. “So we’re going to help with operational efficiency. That can make the race weekend flow more smoothly – the relationship between spare parts in the truck getting into the car.

“We’re talking about doing some things – not now but in the future – that we’re laying the foundation for and that will only help make the race team perform more efficiently, which means they can do more in helping the setup of the car.

“So instead of spending time doing a stock check – which they might have to do more regularly because there isn’t the system to back them up right now – they can be doing stuff that’s far more efficient or more value-add strategic analysis, making better decisions with better data.”

Building an app

Corps gave another example, highlighting how regularly the team will need to make purchase orders at pace, which would see them have to buy something at the racetrack.

“They’ll have an approval process for spend, as most businesses do. So we’re building an app using the Microsoft Power Apps platform that will allow them to receive a notification that there needs to be an approval – it gives them the simple version of the data they need to make the decision and they can approve it on the fly.

“They can be in a taxi, they can be at the airport, they can be trackside or wherever – literally anywhere in the world. It’s just another one of those efficient things where they’re not spending time doing something when that time could be better spent doing something else.”

Asking why?

Corps said his children taught him to ask: “Why do you do that?”

“We’ve almost got to have the same approach. So we’re challenging in that way but we’re also giving Haas foresight – so if you decide to do this now, it will have an impact when you try to do that later.

“If we get the basics right now, you’re setting yourself up for success in the future.”

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