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Customer Stories

Caterpillar delivers information parity with an FT Group Subscription across its entire global business

The challenge

As the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar requires its global teams to be up to speed with developments that can affect their business, without compromising on quality.

The solution

An FT Group Subscription gives marketers, engineers, economists and librarians equal footing in gaining market intelligence, and ensures that with a common news source decisions can be made effectively.

The benefits

With a universal source for analysis and insights in the FT, strategic decision making can be made with confidence across the business, no matter the region, department or seniority of the Caterpillar employee.

The better informed you are, the better decisions you can make. I would be highly disappointed if my company were to not have a subscription. In a world of fake news it is nice to know that there’s still a reliable source of information in the Financial Times.

Hans MiddelkoopSales support consultant, Building Construction Products (BCP), Caterpillar, Inc.

Delivering intelligence to a global workforce

Caterpillar Inc. is a Fortune 100 corporation specialising in designing, manufacturing and distributing machinery and engines across a worldwide dealer network.

With over $50bn revenue in 2018, and a global workforce of over 100,000 employees, Caterpillar has a responsibility to deliver information that is trusted and unbiased to educate and provide greater market intelligence.

“We manage the Business Resource Center, which is Caterpillar’s Global Business Library, and we have a variety of different functions, including research for strategic initiatives and other projects throughout the corporation,” say Jennifer Weber, Melissa Allen and Kristin Stutzman.

The center distributes news throughout the workforce to ensure all relevant content is received in a quick fashion. With the right information sources, appropriate actions can be taken across the business that will positively affect the outcomes they achieve globally.

“The FT is one of the premier information sources in the world,” Melissa says. “We knew that we wanted to provide access for our employees and we reached out to the FT to negotiate a group subscription.”

With the help of the FT’s accounts team, a subscription was rolled out across the entire business, with extra features such as Enterprise Tools being an incredible asset to their day-to-day analysis of their platforms.

“Our FT account team is great,” says Melissa. “While it’s not like we’re pinging them all the time that we need help, but when it comes to showing us new features and annual renewals, they're great. With Enterprise Tools, we can go in and see who our key users are, to see how many people are using it very actively, or if they’re sporadically popping in to see the content,” she says.

The FT is used across the board. Usage ranges from product groups who monitor what’s going on in the industries, people who are involved with strategic decision-making in the company, and people who manage operations internationally. We use the FT to keep abreast of what’s going on internationally.

Melissa AllenCompetitive analysis manager, Caterpillar, Inc.

Easily integrating content to distribute effectively

As part of their newsletter distribution, the FT’s news has been integrated into the business resource center’s Factiva database.

“These newsletters go out to around 7,500 employees every week,” explains Melissa. “I didn’t have to go out and separately look for the content, as I was able to incorporate it seamlessly into our workflow. I would guess I’ve saved around three hours a week of my time, which is really significant.”

But the FT’s commentary isn’t just for competitive analysis managers. Chris Coxon works as a manufacturing engineering manager, leading small teams across mining and extraction. “I use the FT to get business trends,” says Chris. “In our cyclical business here can be some announcements that are unsettling for staff.”

“But, by reading the FT, I can better understand the business environment and safely say where in the business cycle I think we’re at, giving context to business changes and conditions. It gives me the knowledge so that when I’m talking my team, I can talk with confidence and authority, easing concerns.”

Similarly, engineers themselves have been utilising the FT group subscription as well. Kaimei Sun is a senior engineer in the US. “As an engineer, I wasn’t sure if the Financial Times was relevant for me,” Kaimei says. “However, there’s great coverage of technology, AI & Big Data, which all have implications for Caterpillar and help us think about what might be ahead for our industry.”

Caterpillar employees utilise the FT
Caterpillar employees utilise the FT
Caterpillar employees utilise the FT
Caterpillar employees utilise the FT
Caterpillar employees utilise the FT

The FT is one of our no-brainer subscriptions. I never have any access issues, and the website’s never down. It’s something I really appreciate.

Melissa AllenCompetitive analysis manager, Caterpillar, Inc.

Forecasting made easy with market intelligence

The information the FT provides isn’t only for distribution throughout a business; it can also provide greater context to the work that Caterpillar’s employees are doing, which will in turn impact their decision-making.

Nicolas Clerc is the chief economist at Caterpillar, andhis team focuses a lot of their time on forecasting and operation planning across all segments and regions.

“What I use the FT for is as a filter,” Nicolas explains. “For example, when a mining company in South America is breaking away from a contract to receive energy based on fossil fuels, to switch to renewable, this is vital and valuable intel for me.”

By understanding his industry better through his usof the FT, he is able to guide his team of economists in the right direction, trusting the analysis from the 600+ journalists the FT has at their disposal.

“It helps me to pinpoint where we need to spend more time, identify trends, and anticipate what is going to shape the demand for products and services around the world.”

Nicolas receives his insights from the FT through multiple channels, but specifically highlights myFT as a benefit to his work. “It’s reading material for me,” he explains. “I go through myFT, click on the articles that Iwant to get deeper into, and then throughout the day I keep an eye on the website. If you have live coverage on a topic, I would keep an eye on that. It’s reading material.”

Without this insight, Nicolas would find it difficult to achieve the results he and his team do. “If I see something about China, Asia Pacific or Europe that is relevant, I send that article link to the economist who is covering the region to make sure the information is not missed.”

He is adamant of the value of a parity of information across Caterpillar: “Decisions are made at all levels of the organisation,” Nicolas says. “Understanding where we are in the business cycle and what’s happening around the world is useful to everyone: economists, engineers, marketers. It’s useful for wherever you’re standing in the organisation chart.”

If I didn’t have an FT subscription, I would lose some efficiency and would need to find alternate sources to rebuild that routine. It would be disruptive. The daily reading of the content in terms of quality, frequency and relevancy is great, and that’s why I’m relying on you for information.

Nicolas ClercChief economist, Caterpillar, Inc.

An FT Group Subscription extracts the intelligence that’s relevant to your business and delivers it via the media and technologies that suit you best, saving you time and keeping you informed on what matters.

For more information about how the Financial Times can help your organisation or to request a free trial, please get in touch.

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