Solving the “bucket relay of data” at Nitto Denko

Connecting finance and supply chain plans improves data accuracy and process efficiency for this diversified international manufacturer

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Finance and supply chain planning at global manufacturer Nitto Denko relied on an inefficient “bucket relay of data,” with information passed from one disconnected, outdated system to another. Now, these processes are connected on the Anaplan platform, resulting in greater accuracy and efficiency. Financial processes have fewer points of interruption, and manufacturing inventory is optimized to match fluctuations in demand.

We can share data securely and without error with Anaplan, and all of our employees can check that data in real time.

Since 2000, Nitto Denko—a Japanese manufacturer of adhesives, coatings, substrates, tapes, and other industrial products—has grown rapidly and expanded globally. Its core financial systems could not keep pace with the expanding business, which today consists of 92 companies in 28 countries.

Most of Nitto Denko’s finance and supply chain tasks were performed using outdated technology and spreadsheets. Critical data was scattered across the business, making work processes complex and inefficient. Passing data from one team or process to another using the old technology resulted in an inefficient process called the “bucket relay of data.”

Nitto Denko chose Anaplan to address these challenges and transform its finance and supply chain operations. The initial efforts with Anaplan focused on four areas of the business: local corporations outside of Japan, corporate consolidations, headquarters finance, and manufacturing operations. Each of these areas adopted an agile approach to develop and implement Anaplan. Nitto Denko’s corporate IT team collaborated with Accenture and Anaplan Japan to establish an Anaplan Center of Excellence, which helped the company implement Anaplan across these four areas.

The initial aim of the implementation was to solve the inefficient “bucket relay of data,” but ultimately the positive effects were far greater. Company-wide, Anaplan’s advantages are in security, precision, collaboration, and timeliness. “We can share data securely and without error with Anaplan, and all of our employees can check that data in real time,” a Nitto Denko spokesperson explained.

More specifically, Nitto Denko has received three primary benefits from Anaplan: Workers have fewer time-consuming tasks that require disconnected spreadsheets, processes are no longer dependent on individual workers, and manufacturing inventory is optimized to match fluctuations in demand.

Nitto Denko’s priority in choosing Anaplan was to have a system that could be implemented quickly in a production environment and that could be expanded to cover work processes beyond finance. It was also important that workers lose none of the flexibility of their spreadsheet-based system. Anaplan met those priorities, with all four areas of the business using Anaplan in production in just nine months.

The company continues to integrate Anaplan with other business solutions, make additional improvements to the platform, and expand Anaplan use in the four areas. The experiences and lessons learned will be used for planning in other functions and locations around Nitto Denko with Anaplan, resulting in ongoing improvement through Connected Planning.

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