Honda Motor Europe shifted gears to deliver quality service to its customers with help from Basis Technologies
Embracing change with confidence
Founded in 1948 and now one of the world’s most recognizable brands, the Honda Motor Company is a major manufacturer and retailer of automobiles, motorcycles and a wide variety of other products including engines, aircraft and robots. The company employs more than 215,000 people, with total global revenues of over $138 billion in 2017.
Taking back control with Basis Technologies
Honda Motor Europe employed SAP automation software from Basis Technologies to provide greater visibility, control and efficiency within an outsourced SAP development process.
Honda Motor Europe is the company’s main European sales organization with a complex IT environment requiring daily change within its core SAP system. As the central hub of the region, Honda Motor Europe is responsible for business continuity across the two-and-a-half thousand dealerships, as well as its one thousand employees.
As the central hub for the region, Honda Motor Europe must ensure operations run smoothly at all times. In a competitive industry, the company needs to remain agile in the face of competitor and consumer pressure.
However, it found that its existing methods of change within SAP were too labor-intensive and failed to provide the necessary transparency or control.
As an organization that is reliant upon SAP, agility and innovation could not compromise its core business processes. The team was therefore hesitant to make any substantial changes for fear of full system collapse. One change failure could send a wave of operational errors across the entire network, causing huge amounts of disruption. Honda Motor Europe’s SAP systems support over one thousand internal users and two-and-a-half thousand dealerships – the business impact of these systems going down would have been detrimental.
However, a lack of transparency and control meant that internal processes such as auditing were difficult, and the internal BAU support team was overloaded. Responding to these challenges, the team employed a major IT services company to manage change but found that it ultimately lost visibility on projects that were quickly becoming business critical.
Honda recognized that it needed to enable continuous innovation and take control of its complex business processes if it was to overcome these challenges. To achieve this, it chose Basis Technologies’ ActiveControl.
Immediately, ActiveControl enabled a more efficient, transparent automated change management process that provided the required levels of flexibility and control. The team was able to own their complex SAP systems that were once a barrier to progress.
ActiveControl’s powerful automation provided Honda Motor Europe with a new level of control and visibility. Acting as a ‘single source of truth’, ActiveControl brought back control from Honda’s outsourced providers to the internal teams, providing the means to effectively monitor third party partners, making change development and release planning far easier and more efficient whilst preventing operational failures.
ActiveControl has given Honda Motor Europe the means to take their change and release process to a new level of transparency and efficiency, so that they are able to effectively manage external service providers and optimize internal teams. Fast and simple to adopt, ActiveControl has reduced production issues, eliminated manual effort and provided greater levels of control, increasing efficiency and allowing team members to spend more time on tasks that add real business value.
The flexibility of the product also provides a platform to support Honda Motor Europe as their approach to change management evolves in future, for example the transition to SAP S/4HANA. ActiveControl also gives Honda’s external provider flexibility but allows the internal teams to keep control.
Manual effort was reduced further by ActiveControl’s Transport of Copies (ToC) functionality, a vital part of Honda Motor Europe’s workflow. In extreme cases, a given change might cycle between Dev and QA up to thirty times as it is tested, refined and made ready for deployment to Production. ActiveControl’s ToC functionality eliminates the effort involved in manual movement of these transports and ensures that QA systems are automatically kept tidy.
The flexibility of the product also provides a platform to support Honda Motor Europe as their approach to change management evolves in future, for example as they consider when and how to transition to S/4HANA. Since the original implementation in 2016, Basis supported Honda Motor Europe with its integration with SAP2Jira to gain a single version of the truth, where business users can see exactly where the changes are in the process and complete approvals when needed.