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Digital Transformation in Manufacturing and Distribution Industry
Vol. 55, No. 1, 2019
With a focus on manufacturing and distribution, this issue introduces Fujitsu’s initiatives and practices for creating new added value and supporting customers in their digital transformation by using advanced digital technologies to connect people, things, information, and knowledge. The technologies and development of human resources supporting these efforts are also described.
The development of IoT, big data, and AI is accelerating the Fourth Industrial Revolution movement around the world. In Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced a framework for industries to follow under the title of “Connected Industries” in March 2017. An increasing number of companies are moving ahead with digital transformation, which is the creation of new systems connecting people, things, and companies with digital technology. To achieve digital transformation, system needs have changed from systems for recording operational transactions (systems of record: SoR) to systems for creating businesses (systems of engagement: SoE). To provide stronger support for and accelerate customers’ digital transformations, Fujitsu attempted to reorganize its system integration (SI) department in 2017 and integrated technologies and human resources that had been dispersed across individual sites to strengthen its capabilities to deal with digital and global business. This paper describes Fujitsu’s approach to digital transformation in the manufacturing and distribution industries.
Digital Transformation in the Manufacturing Industry
Due to the diversification of customer preferences, industrial products are becoming more complicated. For a manufacturing business to respond quickly to the needs of customers, it must facilitate the cooperation and sharing of diverse information across the organizational barriers between various departments, such as planning, design, manufacturing, and maintenance. This collaboration can be difficult if each department works with different types of information, data formats, interfaces, and so on. It is, therefore, important to ensure that this cooperative activity is properly organized. As a national project conducted jointly with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Fujitsu is studying and demonstrating the standardization of information exchange platforms for Monozukuri (representation of Japanese philosophy about manufacturing) using the concept of “profiles.” This paper describes the international standardization trends of information exchange between systems related to Monozukuri, and discusses Fujitsu’s approach.
Following Germany’s Industrie 4.0 initiative, the United States, Japan, and China also launched national projects aimed at enhancing their manufacturing industries. As a result, a transformation in manufacturing sites is taking place. In the field of IoT, the ultimate goal is to use networks to connect facilities and equipment that incorporate sensors, and to maximize added value and cost reductions over the whole manufacturing process by enabling equipment to operate autonomously and cooperatively. It is also important to connect with partner factories via the Internet to optimize the entire supply chain. In the future, by linking manufacturing sites together, it will be possible to implement advanced “digital manufacturing” by making use of digital data. However, in many Japanese manufacturing industries, information is fragmented even within the same company’s flow of design, production, and maintenance, making it impossible to link this information smoothly. To solve this problem, Fujitsu has devised an open platform, FUJITSU Manufacturing Industry Solution COLMINA, for the interconnection of all information related to manufacturing. COLMINA facilitates linkages on various levels, including the linkage of systems and know-how related to manufacturing in general, and the linkage of supply chains between corporations. This paper presents an outline of the COLMINA service.
In June 2016, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism issued the report “Initiatives for the expansion of shipbuilding exports and regional revitalization through productivity revolution in the maritime industry (i-Shipping).” This report sets goals, including achieving a 30% share of the global shipbuilding market by 2025 by utilizing ICT to implement innovation creation and productivity improvements in the maritime industry. In shipbuilding, however, management of things such as piping and related information such as drawings takes an enormous amount of time. To resolve this issue, a system for identifying things and associating them with information through the use of markers is required. Fujitsu made use of augmented reality (AR) technology to develop a piping management system for improving work productivity, including the design, manufacturing, sorting, and installation of piping. In this system, a tablet computer can be held toward an AR marker affixed to an individual pipe to input work records and view installation and other drawings required for work, allowing the reduction of required person-hours. This paper describes the construction of the piping system for Fukuoka Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. as an example of Fujitsu’s approach to productivity improvement at a shipbuilding site.
Digital Transformation in the Distribution Industry
Traditionally, consumer behavior analysis, which is the core of digital marketing, has been based on customer journeys (processes from the recognition to the purchase of products and/or services by consumers) set by marketers, and evaluation based on similarity of customer behavior has been the main method. However, excessive focus on detailed descriptions of the types of customers has made this technique inadequate for deriving measures directly leading to specific business goals and results. Fujitsu thinks that the processes of digital marketing can be made more efficient. To this end, using existing knowledge of conventional consumer behavior analysis, we have developed “consumer behavior DNA,” an algorithm for the identification of marketing measures directly linked to consumer engagement. This algorithm allows business-to-customer (BtoC) companies to automate analysis that identifies more effective sales promotion targets. This paper outlines consumer behavior DNA and presents examples of its application in marketing. As a future prospect, it also describes the application of consumer behavior DNA to different industries by leveraging the power of AI.
Recently, the logistics environment has been changing dramatically. Shifting consumer behavior as represented by the expansion of business-to-customer (BtoC) and customer-to-customer (CtoC) transactions via the Internet has brought about rapid increases and fluctuations in parcel quantities as well as an increase in frequent and small-lot deliveries, including same-day deliveries. Meanwhile, logistics companies face the problem of serious labor shortages caused by the aging of truck drivers, the decreasing number of driver’s license holders, and soaring labor costs due to Japan’s economic recovery. Fujitsu has long assisted logistics companies with the transformation and improvement of their business operations through solutions making use of ICT. We now provide the FUJITSU Logistics Solution Logifit Series, which covers logistics as a whole. The Logifit Series supports the transformation and improvement of business operations including dealing with environmental changes ranging from solutions for individual logistics-related issues having to do for example with distribution centers, transportation, and delivery, to the optimization of overall logistics operations. This paper presents an overall picture of the Logifit Series, introduces solution-based activities for dealing with business environment changes, and discusses future directions.
Retailing is a globalised business. Both brick and mortar and online retailers, particularly those in the fashion, specialty, and hospitality sectors, are seeking value growth by replicating standardized operating models across developed and developing markets. On the basis of Fujitsu’s delivery experience, we seek to present a paradigm global solution and service delivery model for modern online and stores-based retailers. Fujitsu has developed a “building block” model which comprises a set of modular global delivery components providing international online and store-based retailers with an “out of the box” solution tailored to their cross-border ICT delivery needs. Specific enablers described include Fujitsu’s Global Network, the proprietary Transition Market Management toolbox for repeatable market or brand store deployments, and FUJITSU Market Place, a new point of sale (PoS) platform built to link all online and offline consumer touchpoints with back office data sets and applications to deliver new consumer services. Business benefits of the model include increased trading availability and reduced store ICT operating costs for the retailer. These are the result of an easily replicated and cost-efficient delivery model, reliable and effective service interventions to maintain business operations, and future proof enterprise ICT in the store to manage modern online and store-based consumers in accordance with the needs of the local markets. Commercial confidence prevents us from naming the retailers we have worked with in designing, building, and implementing the model components. Future global delivery models will be shaped by the growth of omni-channel retailing, the need to manage a platform of digital innovative solutions and services and the demand for “as a service” cloud-based global commercial and delivery options. This paper presents the features of the respective functions of the building block model offered by Fujitsu.
Recently, the sharing economy market is becoming increasingly competitive due to the expansion on a global scale and entry of diverse categories and types of businesses. In Japan, companies from various sectors gathered together to establish the Sharing Economy Association, Japan in December 2015 for the purpose of popularizing and developing the sharing economy. Vigorous activities are also being carried out including the relaxation of regulations surrounding the sharing economy and the operation of a sharing economy certification system. Currently, its commercialization is under way in various sectors, one of which is ridesharing services mainly in provincial cities. However, businesses often fail to endure for reasons such as varying vehicle operation rates, insufficient revision of operation plans, and shortsighted business evaluations. Accordingly, Fujitsu offers the SPATIOWL On-Demand Transportation Service and works on data utilization, the linking of transfer and operation information, stimulation and creation of demand, and support for business improvement by connecting with other services. This paper presents the features of the SPATIOWL On-Demand Transportation Service technology developed and future prospects of this service.
Services for Supporting the Global Expansion of Customers
In 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake tremendously affected companies in the manufacturing industry, as in halts in production. One major cause of the halts in production was interruptions in the supply chain due to damage to secondary and subsequent business partners with no direct dealings with companies in the manufacturing industry, revealing vulnerabilities anew. In response, Fujitsu worked on the development of a cloud service for the evaluation and management of business partners’ continuity capabilities and, in 2013, started offering FUJITSU Intelligent Society Solution SCRKeeper. This service can be used for the revision of production plans and alternative procurement by quickly grasping the conditions of damage to business partners in the event of contingencies such as disasters. One example of its use is its contribution to the prompt initial response to the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes in Japan, which was highly appreciated by customers. In the future, we intend to make use of Fujitsu’s Global Delivery Centers (GDCs) to accelerate global expansion. This paper outlines the service and describes the effects of its utilization based on the example of its use during and after the Kumamoto earthquakes and its global expansion.
Recently, new technologies and services are being applied to enterprise resource planning (ERP) for the manufacturing and distribution industries at an increasing speed. SAP’s ERP (hereafter, simply SAP) is a backbone application providing solutions so that customers can efficiently and promptly respond to changes in global expansion and digital transformation. Fujitsu works in cooperation with SAP on a global scale to provide “SAP services” that assist customers with the application of new technologies and services in the individual phases of their introduction of SAP, from planning to operation and maintenance. Of all the SAP services, this paper focuses on operation and maintenance. First, it outlines the “SAP Global LCM Services” provided for operation and maintenance and presents application examples of offerings of the services. It also describes responses to new issues related to operation and maintenance that have emerged from the deployment of services.