Exclusive: How SAP helps Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team dominate amid cost caps

Published: 21/March/2024

Reading time: 2 mins

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Key Takeaways

⇨ Team Mercedes-AMG Petronas credits SAP for its dominance on the track amid cost caps

⇨ Jemena’s Finance transformation is centred around people and how to skill them up

⇨ Deloitte’s Harish Kumar previewed what Finance could look like in 2025 and what CFOs should be focused on

SAP has enabled top Formula One squad Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team to dominate while working with a strict cost cap, according to IT director Michael Taylor. 

“The financial regulations [at F1] with the $135 million cost cap presented an opportunity for us to optimize our processes, like managing our resources more effectively, managing our inventory, and managing what goes onto the car,” Taylor said. 

“It made sense to partner with SAP because they are a developing leader in the space.”  

Ahead of the 2024 F1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne this weekend, SAP invited Taylor to speak at its Transforming Finance for the Future event at Melbourne’s Chin Chin restaurant this week. 

“If you stand still, you’re moving backwards, so we’re always looking at new ways to deliver our old ways of doing things and finding new and innovative ways of improving that,” Taylor added. 

Also present at the event were Jemena GM Commercial Finance Russell Dawson and Deloitte’s Harish Kumar to discuss the future of Finance, along with other sessions led by SAP Finance executives. 

Dawson discussed the utilities giant’s Finance transformation work, looking into capability within the team and how to give them the required skills. 

“We know we’ve got a lot of people within our group that are very keen to take things on,” he said. “I also encourage experimenting, so we want them to have the space to experiment, build their capability and get out of the mundane.” 

He revealed the team is also undergoing a finance business partner accelerator course. 

“We want people who are capable, and we want them to be approachable while also adding value,” Dawson added. 

Dawson said SAP was being used to wrangle data for Jemena and is also at the core of the company’s systems. 

Kumar kicked off the event discussing what the key priorities of chief financial officers globally, where most of them are expecting that digital technologies will play a critical role in organisation growth. Deloitte’s research found most CFOs agreed tech will transform company strategy and growth, operations and talent. 

He also detailed what CFOs should be focused on today – namely data, automation, talent and capital – as Finance is set to transform by 2025. 

Kumar discussed the steps that organisations should take before undertaking an ERP transformation – by standardizing processes, considering adjacent technology, setting a governance and controls framework, and by cleansing existing data. 

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