Promoting Digital Transformations for both Businesses and Business Processes
Due to revolutionary advances in online communication technologies, the adoption of automation and AI/IoT technologies at manufacturing plants, and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have started remote working practices, which are increasingly replacing conventional face-to-face sales meetings. Consequently, there has been an increasingly rapid transformation to digital technologies.
The Shimadzu Group intends to promote such digital transformations (DX) in order to achieve new growth and strengthen competitiveness by standardizing business processes, reforming organizational cultures, and fundamentally transforming business models. Accordingly, the Shimadzu Group will engage in two types of DX measures. “Business DX” measures use digital technologies to provide solutions to customers and “business process DX” measures use digital technologies to transform internal business processes.
Using Business DX for Solving Customer Challenges
So far, we have actively used business DX measures in response to the pandemic, such as to improve our webpages, conduct remote sales meetings, and conduct virtual product exhibitions, but next we intend to use business DX measures in more advanced ways. For example, many customers currently visit Shimadzu websites to search for products. However, different application software and consumables are often used even for identical analytical instruments, depending on the given application. The current systems require the customer to investigate which products they need by themselves, which is very inconvenient. To address such frustration, we are considering adding functionality for recommending relevant products based on the customer’s search history or other information.
We have also developed MESSE SHIMADZU, a common platform for virtual product exhibitions. Previously, exhibitions were organized by individual divisions, but in the future they will be organized based on a theme, such as electric vehicles, to offer Shimadzu solutions that involve multiple divisions.
Using Business Process DX to Standardize Business Processes
Initially, it will be important to use business process DX for standardizing business processes within the Shimadzu Group. Unfortunately, there are still many jobs within the Group that rely on specific individuals or involve unnecessary processes. RPA and other digital technologies could be used to increase processing speed, but eventually company and organizational cultures will need to be reformed for DX to be truly successful.
Preparing a Platform for Promoting DX, Training Human Resources, and Establishing Security Countermeasures
For DX to be successful, it is essential to have human resources that not only have a high level of IT skills, but also can implement business model reforms. However, I am not very worried about human resources. The Shimadzu Group already has a very large number of employees with advanced technical skills and knowledge, so I am confident we can do it by ourselves if we provide the proper training. Therefore, we will focus more on preparing training programs and corresponding systems.
Meanwhile, in addition to DX measures for improving our offense, we will also implement proper cybersecurity measures to ensure a strong defense. The Shimadzu Group already specifies information security policies and trains personnel using E-learning and other appropriate methods, but given the need to increase cybersecurity measures to a new level, we will start implementing additional measures accordingly.
Expect Great Things from the Shimadzu Group as DX Reforms are Implemented
Our businesses provide deep access to the R&D and business development processes of customers. That puts us in a position to learn a lot about the challenges being faced by customers. As business process improvements are implemented within the Shimadzu Group, we aim to offer those systems to customers so that both Shimadzu and Shimadzu customers can achieve growth and competitive strength. Therefore, expect great things from the Shimadzu Group as we use DX measures to achieve major reforms.
Model for Creating Value
Using Remote Technologies to Achieve Faster and More Convenient Customer Response Capabilities
To ensure we can provide timely customer response even during the COVID-19 pandemic, many sales activities are being performed remotely, such as product demonstrations, facility tours, and on-the-spot analysis, where Shimadzu instruments are used to actually analyze samples provided by customers.
Performing such activities remotely offers many benefits for both customers and Shimadzu, such as by eliminating the trouble and downtime associated with travel, simplifying scheduling, and enabling simultaneous participation by many customers. If a video of the event is recorded, it also allows checking the video later. We therefore intend to continue using remote technologies as a tool for achieving even faster customer response than before.
Remote Product Demonstration
New MESSE SHIMADZU Virtual Showroom
The new MESSE SHIMADZU virtual showroom was opened in March 2021. In addition to providing a forum for showcasing Shimadzu products and solutions offered by different divisions for specific fields and markets, the showroom also offers solutions for customer challenges by means of online seminars.
MESSE SHIMADZU Virtual Showroom
Biography of Kunimasa Ito,Senior Managing Executive Officer in charge of Information Systems and Promoting Digital Transformations Jointly in charge of Technology Research
|Apr. 1981||Joined Shimadzu Corporation|
|Apr. 2005||General Manager, Marketing Department,
Medical Systems Divisions
|Apr. 2011||General Manager, Sales Department,
Medical Systems Division
|Apr. 2012||Deputy General Manager of Medical Systems Division|
|Jun. 2015||Managing Executive Officer,General Manager of Medical Systems Division|
|Apr. 2019||Senior Managing Executive Officer|
Senior Managing Executive Officer In charge of Information Systems and