Japan’s Food Business Giant Watami Deploys Infor Cloud ERP for Business Standardization and Decision-making
Multi-tenant cloud solution includes data-driven management BI for costings and production planning
TOKYO – December 5, 2019 – Infor, a global leader in business cloud software specialized by industry, today announced that Watami Co. Ltd. has gone live with Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage (F&B) — a multi-tenant1
cloud ERP solution purpose-built for the F&B industry — as its supply chain management (SCM) platform for its sites across Japan. At the same time, Watami will implement data-driven management with Infor Birst cloud-based business intelligence (BI) platform linked to the Infor CloudSuite solution.
The Watami Group of companies, with Watami at its head, is an integrated food business operating multiple restaurants and meal delivery services. The group is currently working on “Merchandise Reform,” a set of transformations to enable better earning structures and data-driven management decisions in real time via an optimized SCM platform. The aim is to implement a renewable energy-based program in support of what is known in Japan as the “sixth industrialization model.”2
Watami selected Infor CloudSuite F&B for its ability to drive business standardization through industry-specific functions and to build a platform for data analysis. In October 2019, Watami went live at three of its domestic sites with a cloud-based SCM system based on Infor CloudSuite F&B. By February 2020, it will roll out the system to all 11 of its food processing plants across Japan that service its restaurant and meal delivery businesses.
Adoption of Infor CloudSuite F&B has enabled Watami to unify item numbers across the entire company, where previously a single item had multiple codes, and to define multi-level recipes depending on the process, where previously they were single level. This has helped standardize business processes and data definitions in production management. As a result, it has built the foundations of data-driven management to enable advanced cost calculations and production planning.
Watami also adopted Infor Birst to visualize production management data that has been standardized when adopting the multi-tenant cloud ERP solution. Infor Birst links data residing in Infor CloudSuite F&B as well as external data across the whole organization and sites, and builds dashboards that automatically collect the required data for the business.
With standardized business processes and data definitions, Watami uses Infor Birst to manage costs across its manufacturing sites and manage food loss associated with sales performance. It achieves real-time insights in line with its business mission by documenting decision-making criteria and subsequent actions as “user story” scenarios to help eliminate cognitive bias that could corrupt the decision-making process, and by building BI dashboards with drill-across3 capabilities using Birst optimized to each member of the management team. By the end of the year, it will also start making data-driven management decisions in real time using data stored by the Infor CloudSuite F&B solution.
With Infor CloudSuite F&B being a multi-tenant cloud ERP solution, Watami plans to leverage its high extensibility to expand into accounts management, add store management, performance management and other functionalities, and extend the solution to overseas sites. It will also continue to drive business standardization and visualization through business data integration as it develops the business foundations to achieve its Merchandise Reform.
Shigeru Wakabayashi, general manager of Watami Co.’s Business Administration/IT Strategy Department, says, “We are grateful to members of Infor, including those overseas, for their support in helping us adopt the Infor CloudSuite F&B package and best practice templates, and in achieving SCM reform and technical innovation. Going forward, we will fully implement the Infor Birst cloud-based BI and business analytics platform and expand this solution into a global integrated ERP platform incorporating finance and accounting functionalities. Using data-driven processes, we will also further improve the management of our renewable energy-based ‘recycling sixth-order industry model,’ including three nonprofit foundations that we assist, and drive further digital transformation on our frontline.”
1 Infor’s multi-tenant cloud ERP solution is always up to date with the functionalities required by global businesses in each industry. In addition to traditional cloud ERP functions, such as orchestration and disaster recovery, 10 to 20 new functions are updated every month. Always being up to date means customers are relieved from the time-consuming task of conventional updates, an expansion of business scope can be achieved without having to align software versions, and new functions can be added seamlessly.
2 Sixth industrialization model is a management model to vertically integrate Watami’s operations through the primary industries of livestock, dairy, and organic farming; the secondary industries of manufacturing and processing; and the tertiary industries of distribution and retailing.
3 Whereas “drill down” refers to vertical analysis (for example, drilling down from corporate sales to individual business sales to individual store sales to individual products sales), “drill across” refers to a method of horizontal analysis for determining causal relationships (for example, using individual store sales to find the relationships between sales or customer spend and customer satisfaction).
Watami Co. Ltd. was founded in 1984 as a restaurant and meal delivery business. Out of a desire to provide customers with food that they can enjoy free of agricultural chemicals and other concerns, it started organic farming practices in 2002. Its operations include organic farms, (cage-free) poultry farms and dairy farms at 11 sites covering about 360 hectares across Japan. To build a sustainable recycling society, Watami is implementing a range of initiatives including efforts to reduce environmental impact, and efforts to develop, construct, and operate wind power generation equipment as a renewable energy business.
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