Case study: Toyota Motor Europe

July 20th, 2021

The challenge

For Toyota Motor Europe (TME) having a centralized approach across several European entities was challenging. A single team had to deal with the demand for IT infrastructure management services coming from multiple locations. In daily life, it meant supporting various types of desktops, images, and software, by preserving regionally different configuration setups.
The number of tickets, delayed resolution time, and long-running tests caused by ongoing back and forth communication with affiliates – all this brought headaches for two MECM admins who were technically fulfilling these tasks. “They got flooded, absolutely snowed under with work”, remembers Pritesh Patel, Technical Manager, Toyota Motor Europe.
Even though other offices had technical departments to avoid risks and to keep the MECM environment fully protected, none of the units apart of the central team could have access to it.

The solution

One day, a technical employee impacted by an existing stressful situation took the initiative and driven by the willingness to improve and optimize the processes at his workplace, he started to research for a solution. And found SoftwareCentral. After a deeper feature discovery, the decision about a partnership was made.
This triggered a rapid transformation journey to a completely new way of work and collaboration. The possibility to safely delegate tasks down to the end customers and removing routine work from MECM administrators – seemed like long-awaited relief. The central team still would have complete control of MECM and, at the same time, received the ability to move typical operations processes to the affiliates.

“During the decision-making process, we analyzed where it sits, how do we use it, how do we manage it, planned what level of freedom we are going to give to the users. Mapped out how we will be moving people away from how they used to work and make them use SoftwareCentral.” –
Pritesh Patel: Technical Manager, Toyota Motor Europe.

Whereas the implementation of the SoftwareCentral solution required just a couple of days, it took about six months altogether from setting business case, receiving budget approval, getting the infrastructure ready, configuring different parts of SoftwareCentral, and training users and customers.

“My team loved it. They were not anymore doing monotonous tasks that they know how to do and could finally free up their time to do some real value-added work.” –
Pritesh Patel: Technical Manager, Toyota Motor Europe.

Simplicity – that is what TME highlights as a key feature. The fact that there was an option to tell somebody without neither MECM skills nor related experience how to use SoftwareCentral to build and maintain workstations and deploy software was just thrilling for them.

The outcome of choosing SoftwareCentral has been magnificent. Onboarding of a new employee to the SoftwareCentral and introducing the tool is effortless and now takes just a few minutes. The same is with the training of a new IT consultant – now it is not taking longer than a day, as the tool is well documented and simple in use.

The Results

With SoftwareCentral, all TME affiliates got trained to create their templates and software deployments. Nowadays in case of issues, they are welcome to approach a central IT team asking for help, but most of the time affiliates are qualified to fulfill tasks themselves. Since it became possible to perform the same job by less technical people, it allowed reducing related costs keeping both the desired quality of the service and the speed of ticket resolution.

TME empowered affiliates to act proactively and quickly. Together with becoming administrators of their environments, through SoftwareCentral they had been given the freedom to keep their own standards and to design desktops with necessary local customizations. The central IT team still manages a MECM repository, the software, types of operating systems, and the language packs. The affiliate can use all these components to make a workstation that would fit their requirements. What comes to requests for change (RFC), if earlier it took a week or two to implement the change – now affiliates can do it themselves within a day. Tools and processes are in place, key people who can perform related tests quickly are onsite – this helps to deploy change requests to production securely and much faster.

The level of responsibility has been increased, but the level of risks – reduced. Even if something goes wrong, it can affect only single office workstations without impacting thousands of other computers existing in the MECM infrastructure.

“It made governance of our desktop so much easier to manage. It saves costs, time, and frustration.” – Pritesh Patel: Technical Manager, Toyota Motor Europe.

Summarizing the entire experience besides significantly reduced costs of maintaining PC infrastructure TME emphasizes the ability to switch the focus of key technical resources of the company from tiresome daily operations to business aspects and continuous improvement, taking more and more project-based works. Frequent meetings and open conversations between TME and SoftwareCentral help to maintain a great communication and further service development.

“In past 5 years SoftwareCentral became a cornerstone of the foundation of our PC management, we are looking to continue this contribution since the tool has all functionalities we want. Without SoftwareCentral today our organization across Europe would have been in a mess.” –
Pritesh Patel: Technical Manager, Toyota Motor Europe.

About Toyota Motor Europe

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) is the regional headquarters of Toyota in Europe – one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturing businesses.
Toyota first began selling cars in Europe under an official distributor agreement in 1963. Since then, the company has matured into the leading Japanese car manufacturer.
Toyota directly employs around 20,000 people in Europe and has invested over EUR 9 billion since 1990. Toyota’s operations in Europe are supported by a network of 29 National Marketing and Sales Companies across 53 countries, a total of around 3,000 sales outlets, and nine manufacturing plants. It also has 14 parts logistics centers and seven vehicle logistic centers, a design center and a Motorsport center.

Toyota Motor Europe

Based in Brussels, Belgium, and staffed by 2,700 people of 63 nationalities, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) handles the wholesale marketing of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, parts & accessories, and manages Toyota’s European manufacturing and engineering operations.
The Toyota Way – “Continuous improvement and respect for people in everything they do”.