The journey towards autonomous, environmentally friendly and personalized smart mobility solutions is built around sophisticated connectivity. But an agile mindset and approach form the basis of everything WirelessCar is and everything WirelessCar does!
On 28 March 2019, AB Volvo sold 75.1% of the shares in WirelessCar…
…to the Volkswagen Group. Mobility and electrification are top priority for our new owners, and for the automotive industry generally.
Over the past 20 years, WirelessCar has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious and largest automotive makers. We have needed to adapt and apply modern software development technologies and agile methods to work within a complex industry framework traditionally characterized by regulations, processes and procedures. We have needed to develop ways to communicate and collaborate with our customers to find ways to combine agility and robustness and to continuously deliver value.
In June 2019, we kicked off a transformation project of our own…
…to replace the business processes, systems and tools of our previous owner with a new business support framework. On 1 January 2020, we went live!
Financial systems. HR systems. Purchasing systems. Every aspect of admin IT. All other supporting systems. Jira. Confluence. The list goes on… The new framework was based 100% on software as a service (SaaS). It was completed in 6 months, for a fraction of the cost that would normally be expected. Yes. We choose SAP as the core. And yes. We went for their solutions in the Public Cloud.
Building on our own agile experience
We managed this transformation in such a short time and at such a low cost because we walked the talk. From the very beginning, before we had chosen any supplier, we decided that we would harness and build on our own agile experience, expertise and know-how every step of the way.
We explained very carefully for every potential supplier what that meant, what we expected from them and, also, what they should expect from us. We developed a high-level plan with a well described minimum viable product (MVP) and a roadmap outlining how we would progress as a program.
In our world, change powered by ever-evolving digitalization never stops. At the same time as we were transforming internally, we needed to ensure a continuous and seamless delivery of new features and functionality to our customers
We set up a steering committee which met once a month. Our CFO and VP HR were 100% involved in the design and implementation of the transformation program.
The numerous issues we faced were managed quickly in the sprints, by a fantastic team of engaged, dedicated and knowledgeable people.
A smoother ride
Similarly to our approach when delivering to our clients, we didn’t want any bugs in the inventory. If you can fix them when they appear, you will have a much smoother ride towards your destination.
It’s important to note that, during this same period, we also started subsidiary companies in the US and China. We incorporated some +50 new policies from our new ownersand completed 1,400 integration/de-integration tasks. We onboarded 150 new people and grew our business >30% during 2019.
WirelessCar ended 2019 with around SEK 800 million in sales and with 600 people.
We’re not a small company. And we dispelled the myth that only small start-ups can deliver a transformation program quickly and efficiently.
Everyone can do it! It’s about how agile you are in your soul and spirit. Trust your team. Be clear on expectations and where you are heading. Develop your roadmap to get there and divide the long journey up into smaller manageable steps.
Importantly, make sure you have a solid communication plan in place so you can bring others along on the transformation journey with you. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate!
The magic sauce?
Now, we have a system supplier and implementation partners who want us to speak at their customer events to explain ‘the magic sauce’ and how we implemented such a large-scale transformation in such a short time period. It makes me think “what did we actually do?”
Well, we just did what we normally do. We took what we have learnt over the past twenty years delivering solutions to our customers and we applied them to solve a challenge we faced in our own business.
Maybe we should change our business idea and become an implementation partner to all the large business IT software providers? I don’t think so. Leading the automotive industry into the digital society is much more fulfilling and serves a greater purpose!
“Make a Difference” is WirelessCar’s mission
“Lead the automotive industry into the digital society” is WirelessCar’s vision
By the way, we are hiring! If what we do and the way we work sounds interesting to you, check out all our open positions here.