Task Automation with RPA: Make JINS More Creative

PROJECT2021.06.09

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The Business DX (*1) Development Group is rapidly working on work efficiency, aiming for employees to focus on their creative work. We interviewed a system administrator about task automation with RPA (*2), how his group works on systematization, and what challenges are ahead. In addition to that, we asked him about the work environment of JINS in view of the system administrator.

(*1)DX:Digital transformation (DX) is the transformation of lifestyles and business styles into better ones with the use of digital technology. In business, DX enables business innovation predicated on the incorporation of digital technologies for work efficiency.
(*2) Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate human actions interacting with digital systems and software.

Advancing business DX rapidly making the best of RPA and each program

Kawasaki
Business DX Development Group,
Global IT Strategy Division,
JINS JP (Japan Division)

I’m currently working on work efficiency and task automation of HQ together with store systems in Japan.
I’m developing and deploying each program and a tool named RPA which allows robots to perform simple tasks instead of us, and accordingly, advancing work efficiency and automation integrating with requirements.
In our Accounting & Finance Department, for example, people had to manually download an expense report of each tenant from a website of each real estate developer and also manually input the data into a core system so far. Yet, introducing RPA made automation possible from downloading to registering data into the core system. Finally, all members in the Accounting & Finance Department have to do is just confirmation of those. Right now, I’m working on implementing auto-generation of billing data for utility bills and communication expenses.

At each store, cash discrepancies occurred frequently due to a misregistering because our store staff had to register a payment twice into a POS terminal and also a payment device for mobile or credit card payment. Therefore, the linkage of a POS terminal and a payment device for mobile or credit card payment was done. Since payment can be done by an operation of a POS terminal, human error has been resolved consequently. Besides, a framework for auto-checking of consistency with the progress of payment is now under development as checking for system failures.

The purpose of DX is to make time for us
to focus on things which should get more focused

I’m feeling it’s so smooth accelerating systematization regarding departments and operations, which we haven’t touched so far by an announced company policy to drive DX in the entire company. While sharing work contents with various departments, I realized that there were so many tasks which still had to be done manually in our HQ such as personnel and labor affairs in addition to operations at each store as well.
I, myself also, we tend to continue to do our manual work if we have enough time or small work scope. However, once a business scale becomes big or busy, such manual work will surely turn out to be a challenge.

In the first place, the purpose of JINS to drive DX is to increase work efficiency for much more focusing on making time for creative work other than enhancing customer service. In that sense, it’s so important to take a measure as early as possible, even when the scale is small or when there is plenty of time. From now on, I’m going to drive systematization as much as possible promptly and develop an environment where people can focus on what they need to focus on more.
Although my responsibility is huge, I was so happy and felt quite rewarding when I got a voice from a manager of each department like “Thank you! You saved our tremendous time that we used to spend so much.”

Optimize the operation by reviewing the operation itself,
not just by automating manual work

“Don’t systemize manual work as it is.”
That’s what I’m told by my supervisor every time.
Challenges will be remained by just solely systemizing or automating operation somehow. First, review the operation itself and figure out challenges. Then, identify whether that task is required and where we should systemize it. This is fundamental.
Regarding RPA, I let RPA do the thing which RPA is good at, not just let RPA do the whole thing, and as for other parts, I use programs to support. Because the more automation driven by RPA, the more systems required, so it makes us difficult to control.

When it comes to working efficiency, I always listen to the details of what tasks actually exist during a meeting with each department. Then, I organize tasks that should be systemized, decide a priority of those, find a way to optimize each one of those, and finally implement digitalization. Moreover, I prioritize to grasp “what is important” rather than “what is unnecessary” when I scrutinize each task through an interview. By clarifying “what is a more important task,” the thought “let reduce unnecessary tasks as much as possible” will be emerged. I believe if each one of us can focus on a more important task, our company will be able to try a greater challenge, and each one of our “Magnify Life” will be realized accordingly.

Becoming a company which attracts attention
for its systems with exciting minority elite members

JINS has an environment where we can freely express our opinions and ideas, and in a system field also, I can make my idea a reality which is so attractive to me.
In the past, when I worked at a SIer company for manufacturers, if a customer said, “No” or, of course, there was a lack of budget, my plan was even declined no matter how I offered an excellent system. And even if my plan was accepted, my work was ended once the system was installed. On the other hand, JINS rather welcomes my suggestion whenever I suggest “why don’t we employ this system” and has a corporate culture to encourage such actions. After employing a system, I can take care of it and even make it bigger, so it’s quite enjoyable as a job.
The Global IT Strategy Division where I belong, moreover, all people are talented and skilled that makes my life more exciting.

If something is missed in my skills, there is someone who is good at that field which I can learn a lot, so I’m really happy to work with such minority elite members.
JINS has a wide range of business among eyewear brands and focuses on developing an innovative wearable device named “JINS MEME,” operating a co-working space business named “Think Lab,” and growing a global business, therefore, I think there is still room to contribute JINS via a system field.
Hereafter, I would love to contribute to JINS to be recognized not only as an eyewear brand but also as a company that drives digital power from a position of a system administrator.

(*3)Sler:A coined word which combined “SI” the abbreviation of “System Integration” and “er” from a word of a person who does something (e.g. player.) Indicates a company that develops and operates systems as a business.

※The contents of this article are the information on services and initiatives provided in Japan.

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