Michelin, the leading tire company, is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing and marketing tires and services for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles/motorcycles, earthmovers, farm equipment and trucks. It also offers digital mobility support services and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in more than 170 countries, has 111,200 employees and operates 67 production plants in 17 different countries. Michelin has a Technology Center in charge of research and development, with operations in Europe, North America and Asia.
Salesforce Business Analysts
In 2016, Michelin kicked off their North American Salesforce 'pilot' rollout with plans to quickly expand into Europe, and other international markets. The primary goal was to find an innovative use for Sales, Service, and Communities to unify all of Michelin's data and B2B customer interactions - tire references, sales history, fleet management, after-sales service, order entry, distribution tracking, wholesale inventory management, and more.
This initial implementation involved 3,000+ internal users plus 100,000+ external users across the North American market alone, which helps to explain the resource density of a team that not only includes your typical functions (Salesforce Admins, Business Analysts, Architects, and Developers) but also team members dedicated to Change Management, Salesforce Training, Quality Assurance, and Deployment / Dev Ops.
Michelin successfully executed the end-to-end Salesforce implementation for North America in an impressive 6 month timeframe, working with a Consulting Partner and Salesforce Program Architect, while starting to build out the internal competency.
Today, the Salesforce Center of Excellence at Michelin spans 15 countries and has a total of 80 people focused on Salesforce, including Administrators, Developers, Product Owners, Business Analysts, Architects, QA Testers, QA Managers, Change Managers, Deployment Leads, Program Managers, and a few Executive Leaders.
At this scale, you're dealing with multi-Cloud complexity (Sales, Service, Communities, CLM, Marketing Cloud), multi-currency (the team out of just Thailand manages ~1,000 users across Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam), and multi-instance variations of many Salesforce products used.
Why did Michelin build a Salesforce Center of Excellence?
Once a company reaches a certain scale, it becomes more difficult to align competing business priorities and create a cohesive strategy when it comes to technology roadmaps. This is especially the case when a platform like Salesforce is being used across a wide array of business units.
To be successful at this size, it is often easier to build a centralized team that acts as the governing body in charge of the strategic direction, stakeholder management, day-to-day support, project delivery, and overall budget. This is the exact model that Michelin and others at their size have deployed.
According to Salesforce, there are a central focal points of a good CoE:
Prioritize Across Teams
You can see in Michelin's org chart that they have individuals on the Salesforce team organized by product area & geography. This mean that a CRM Product Owner working on B2B Distributor Experience in North America can collaborate with the CRM Product Owner working on B2B Distributor Experience in Asia .
In the case of Michelin, they have MANY different Salesforce functions that focus on business process optimization. In a typical org, this would fall solely on the Business Analysts and, to a lesser extent, Administrators; however, Michelin has dedicated Salesforce Process Engineers with deep domain expertise and knowledge of the Salesforce application to create the optimal business process strategy to wrap the technology round.
Plan for Growth
The way Michelin approached their Salesforce rollout was a case study in long-term strategic planning. The initial pilot was done in a core market - North America - and consisted of Sales, Service, and Communities across 2,000 internal users + 100,000 external users. This enabled Michelin to begin developing a core competency and build the framework for an internal Salesforce team to reduce reliance on outside vendors during the global expansion.
There are enormous ripple effects that botched implementations can have throughout a multi-billion dollar organization. Michelin took a methodical approach to evaluating, testing, and implementing Salesforce before scaling it more broadly within the organization. This not only helps to minimize investment risk but also downstream effects a failed implementation could have on productivity and customer experience, which is best managed with a business unit that assumes core responsibility - the Center of Excellence.
Some of the Salesforce Projects at Michelin North America:
- Migrate product and warranty processes from legacy systems into Service and Community Clouds
- Digital transformation project migrating a manual dealership account creation and maintenance system into Salesforce
- Integrated legacy systems, an instant credit decision tool, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Community / Marketing Clouds
- Enabled truck fleet customers to self-register for accounts with preferred pricing, authorize credit card, and complete tire purchase within minutes.
In addition to leveraging Salesforce for B2B Sales (Sales Cloud); Supply Chain Operations & Inventory Management (Custom); Dealer Purchasing & Support (Service Cloud, Communities); B2B Dealer Marketing (Marketing Cloud), Michelin also leverages Salesforce for warranty management, scheduled maintenance, and other B2C touch points.
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