Why launch/develop a digital factory?
To get answers to these questions that many digital leaders ask themselves, we interviewed Serge Yoccoz, Ex Managing Director of Renault Digital, one of the largest digital factories ever created (300 people).
Serge, thank you for having us, can you introduce yourself please?
I am Serge Yoccoz, Digital Strategy Adviser for Hubadviser and President of Digitforhumans. Before that, I held the positions of Managing Director of Renault Digital, Global CMO for Nissan and VP strategy for the Renault group.
Why did Renault decide to launch a large digital factory (+300 people) in 2017?
At the time, we had carried out an audit of the DSI and we had realized that we were not up to the expected standards, whether in relation to the competition but also to our own requirements. realized that the best way to catch up was to create an independent structure with a different collective agreement (Syntec vs Automobile). Our goal was to attract new talent in order to accelerate our transformation. The digital factory also had its own purchasing system, different from that of the group, which allowed us to contract much more easily with innovative startups.
Renault Digital employed 300 people in 12 months, was it the right choice to go so fast and so hard?
Looking back, I think it was the right choice because it allowed us to create a strong momentum within the group. We have multiplied the initiatives and created a real dynamic.
Especially since many initiatives have resulted in profitable projects that have generated value. If we had decided to invest slowly and little by little, I am not convinced that we would have achieved the results obtained.
How did you finance the digital factory?
We literally went around the table and raised funds internally. I personally spent a lot of time with different members of the CODIR to explain our vision and the reasons why we wanted to do it. Inevitably we expose ourselves but it is really stimulating. The first year the entire budget of the Digital Factory came directly from the corporate. Then we gradually increased the contribution of the Business Units that benefited from Renault Digital. We reached after 3 years a 50-50. The corporate provided 50% of the budget and the BUs the remaining 50%.
What has Renault Digital brought to Groupe Renault?
If I had to sum it up it would be greater operational efficiency. We contributed to the business by working a lot to improve the customer journey and the customer experience. But above all, we had an impact in operations. We worked with factories in Spain on Manufacturing 4.0 and we managed to have real added value.
Looking back, what could you have done better?
Lots of things (laughs). We obviously made a lot of mistakes and we have to recognize them. I see three obvious ones: