Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team Embraces New Cost Cap Compliance With IFS
- IFS software enables Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team to optimize operations and report financial costs to FIA
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IFS, the global cloud enterprise applications company, announces that the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team will use its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to track costs, guide investment decisions and development choices, and evidence spend during competition accounting periods. The IFS solution will play an important role in ensuring spend compliance with the stringent new Formula One cost cap audit requirements introduced this season by the Federation Internationale d’Automobilie (FIA).
The 2021 season sees a radical change in the way Formula One racing teams can spend funds to compete. New cost cap rules by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, limit how much a Formula One team can spend on enhancing the race car’s performance during a calendar year.
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This year sees F1 teams starting with a cap of $145 million, gradually reducing to $135 million by 2023. The implications are far-reaching, especially for the finance operation of each team.
Robert Yeowart, Aston Martin F1 Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for ensuring the business operates as efficiently and effectively as possible, and, with the cost cap, getting even more value from every pound spent. “The FIA can come and audit us at any time. They can scrutinize our accounts—examining everything we’ve spent, when and where. The new reporting requirements are demanding. Alongside the technical and competition compliance we’re used to, the body is looking for anomalies and trends to expose any team operating beyond the defined cost cap parameters. We have to be ready to supply the evidence and audit trails to support any inspection.”
Aston Martin F1 has implemented IFS to support its operations, financial reporting and production areas.
“IFS has given us the perfect platform to build on,” says Yeowart. “It enables us to really understand where we’re spending our money by detailed cost analysis, which we couldn’t do before. We can track our inventory and answer questions like ‘what parts do we have available to us?’ What state are they in? How many parts are in the building and how much does each cost?”
The IFS solution enables Aston Martin F1 to run “pound-for-lap-time” ratio analysis in its development projects. This means the organization can get, for the first time, an objective view of how much one upgrade might cost versus another, and the resulting performance improvement in lap time for each.
The FIA also requires teams to track inventory to ensure the cost of parts is not allocated to the wrong accounting year, including evidencing when parts are first used with a bar code tracking system. All the data needed will be fed through IFS. “We know exactly where our inventory is, when we first used a part, how many kilometers it’s done, how much life it has left and when we need to be considering a spare or replacement,” says Yeowart. “Towards the end of the season all this is absolutely critical as we may have had accident damage and be up against the cap.”
As F1 racing evolves, Yeowart is clear about the importance of the system. “IFS can help my team meet the cost cap regulations through improving our planning, our data and our analytics. It helps us understand where we’ve spent our money so far, what we’ve left to spend against the cap and how we plan to spend it. It lets us analyze where we’re adding performance on the car, and if that’s the best use of our capped resources. And it ensures that, when we report to the FIA, we are 100 percent sure that the information we provide is accurate and exactly what is required.”
At the end of 2022, Aston Martin F1 will also become the first team in 20 years to occupy a new, purpose-built factory. “Against a cost-cap environment, we have the perfect opportunity alongside our IFS system to really focus on efficiency, optimization and, ultimately our purpose: helping over 1,000 people to create, within regulated constraints and spends, the highest possible performance for our F1 competition cars,” concludes Yeowart.
As a strategic technology partner, IFS will empower Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team with its state-of-the-art tools to ensure operational excellence. The platform gives the team flexibility in this exciting new era with fresh investment from the shareholders and the construction of a new factory.
Oliver Pilgerstorfer, Chief Marketing Officer, IFS, added, “Effectively capturing and handling data is crucial for high-performing businesses like Aston Martin F1. The sport of Formula One is all about precision, which is relevant across the whole value chain, where hundreds if not thousands of separate processes need to be perfectly orchestrated to ensure success on race day—that’s the moment of service, when everything comes together. IFS is proud to empower many of the world’s most respected brands to operate at peak performance, often in highly regulated industries where compliance, traceability and quality assurance truly matter.”