TRATON is a relatively new name for a group comprising five well-known commercial vehicle brands. When its central internal audit team needed a flexible tool to support assurance across these disparate subsidiaries, it chose TeamMate+.
Order or buy goods anywhere in the world and there’s a high chance it’s spent time in a truck of a brand from the TRATON GROUP. Travel in a city bus or intercity coach and you too may be occupying a seat of a TRATON brand. The company name may be relatively new, but it encompasses four leading commercial vehicle brands manufacturing in Europe, North and South America and Asia – Scania, MAN, Navistar and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus – plus RIO, its transportation digital services division. The name stands for TRAnsformation, TRAnsportation, TRAdition, TONnage and always “ON”. In the first 9 months of 2021, the group sold around 195,400 vehicles and it employs over 96,000 people.
However, assuring good governance across a disparate group of large, established brands with their own distinct cultures – and unique risk profiles – is challenging. How do you ensure that these retain the corporate knowledge, reputation and expertise that has made them successful, while also maximising the group’s power to offer assurance on compliance and risk management, cross-reference data and share any lessons learnt?
The group originated when German car manufacturer Volkswagen AG reorganized its truck business followed by a stock launch of TRATON in 2019. Latest Navistar became a new member of the TRATON family in 2021Each brand occupies a slightly different place in its market, falls under different regulations, and has its own board and internal audit team.
At a central level, the group’s headquarters in Germany and Sweden provides overarching support and management at the macro level. Central functions include a TRATON corporate audit team that defines the core audit guidelines that the brand internal audit teams adapt to meet their own needs. Established in 2019, the TRATON audit team needed software to support its assurance processes and data. It had to be user-friendly and adaptable to encourage multiple internal audit teams in different brands and regions to work within it in a way that suited them. They were also keen for upgrades to be provided automatically, rather than depending on scheduling with busy local or central IT teams. They chose TeamMate+.
“Our history with TeamMate in the group stretches back to 2010 and we migrated to TeamMate+ in 2019. It made sense for us because our central governance structure was developed using TeamMate AM so we knew it worked for us and our internal auditors were familiar with it,” explains Andreas Hückert, audit manager teamlead IT – audit and data intelligence, at TRATON SE. “TeamMate AM was well established with two of our brands and we used the major functions it provided. Our main requirements from TeamMate+ were a user-friendly interface accessed via a browser and that the system was easy to maintain, because in the past we had to select which updates were essential to minimise demands on the IT team.”
The fact that the internal auditors were already familiar with TeamMate AM meant that they were immediately comfortable with the look of the new system and confident about using it after just one day of training, Hückert explains. As a consequence, “it was a very smooth migration for all our users and managers,” he says.
Hückert is clear that the TRATON SE corporate audit team is not a “steering” function – it advises and supports brand internal audit teams, rather than demanding change. However, supporting and enhancing communication about new ideas, experiences and best practice is an important focus for the whole group and he hopes that the new internal audit system will help.