Japan Tobacco (Hong Kong) Limited
More efficient inventory management and import/export data entry are achieved with RPA solution "UiPath". Speed and accuracy are dramatically improved, while personnel can focus on more productive tasks.
Japan Tobacco (Hong Kong) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT), conducts sales activities of tobacco products in the Hong Kong, Macau and Chinese markets. In the logistics department, the central pillar of their business activities, high-accuracy data entry for import and export systems and inventory management are required, and as business has grown, employees’ workload is also increased. With a pressing need to improve the situation for the benefit of employees' work-life balance, the company has adopted the RPA solution "UiPath". Through RPA, work previously done manually has been automated, and the workload of staff has been greatly reduced. The logistics department's productivity has been improved, and the working environment has been enhanced. RPA makes it possible for the achievement of additional work without additional personnel.
Issues before introducing RPA
Time and effort required for manual data input
Large amounts of information were needed to be input accurately to customs systems. It required large amounts of time for manual input and checking of contents.
Unavoidable human error leading to time being spent on corrections
With manual input, mistakes are unavoidable. If it was not noticed soon, they could require more time for further corrections.
Workload reductions needed for the logistics department
Employees had lots of overtime work during busy periods, and there was a need to improve the situation of their work-life balance.
Through automation of manual input, time needed was cut by a maximum of over 90%
Input mistakes were reduced to zero, and productivity was greatly improved
Working hours of two employees in charge of this task were cut up to 157 hours/month
- In addition to automation, improvements were made to the way how the work was done, such as moving from paper to digital for order received forms and warehouse management forms.
- When staff saw the results of these work improvements, it raised the motivation for seeking further efficiency improvement.
Why did you choose UiPath ?
Assured by KDDI's extensive implementation experience
In order to reduce the burden on the logistics department, the company was exploring RPA. Mr. Morikawa says, "I knew about RPA through the media, but I was doubtful whether it would actually be useful for our company. However, after seeing the great test results, I immediately decided we would use it." As for why the company chose UiPath with KDDI, Mr. Kishikawa says, "A major reason was that we could start small. We were satisfied with the proposed solution and the cost, and it was assuring to see that KDDI had extensive experience with implementing UiPath in Asia."
Results of using UiPath
Input work that had taken about an hour only takes 20 minutes now.
RPA enabled the reduction of workload, especially that of the input to customs systems. Ms. Li says "From product information to shipment information, a huge amount of data had to be entered without mistake. Lots of time and effort were spent, such as printing out the input screen and checking the input information items one-by-one. Now the work is automated and efficient, greatly reducing the work burden and allowing the staff to relax."
Additional efficiency achieved through revamping how tasks were done
Other tasks that were automated through RPA were inventory checking upon receipt of order forms and inputting order form data into the ERP system. Mr. Kishikawa says, "To achieve automation we revamped our practices, such as moving from hand-written paper to Excel for managing inventory. These changes may create a temporary burden for staff at the beginning, but they result in workload reductions, and everyone says it's a good thing. I think this has become a good example of a workplace culture of pursuing innovation."
Solving overwork and making efficient use of company resources at the same time
Through the introduction of RPA, the logistics department was able to cut about 157 hours of work per month. Ms. Li says with a smile, "The department, which used to work a comparatively large amount of overtime, can now enjoy a better work-life balance." Furthermore, because of the reduction in workload, the logistics department can now handle new tasks without needing additional personnel. Mr. Morikawa says, "In addition to our goal of solving the overtime problem, we were also able to make better use of company resources. The decision to adopt RPA is a great success to us. We are now exploring if other departments can also leverage RPA to contribute to a company-wide enhancement of how we do our work."
Japan Tobacco (Hong Kong) Limited
- 8/F, Tower 2, The Gateway, 25 Canton Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
- March 2003
Japan Tobacco (Hong Kong) Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT), which sells JT brand products in the markets of China, Hong Kong and Macau. JTHK strives to fulfill their responsibilities to their valued consumers, employees and the wider society. JTHK are committed to fulfilling the expectations of their customers through continuous improvements, leveraging diversity across the JT Group, and striving for quality in everything they do.