NEC Industrial IoT: Responding to change and revitalizing the manufacturing industry
After the collapse of the Lehman Brothers, the Japanese manufacturing industry has been hit by a series of crises, including natural disasters such as the Great East Japan Earthquake and major floods in Thailand. We are facing difficulties that, unlike in the past, cannot be overcome by improvements and reforms implemented by a single company.
As a manufacturer, we at NEC felt that our own initiatives could benefit others, and with this thought,, we decided to launch the NEC Manufacturing Co-Creation Program in 2012 to provide a platformfor everyone to share their issues, and build a vast knowledge base that could be tapped when needed.
Currently, we are seeing strong waves of innovations in IoT-based products and services, and transformation of business models and entire industries, particularly in Germany and the United States. Even in the Japanese manufacturing industry, the use of IoT has been gathering momentum as a means of developing a competitive advantage, and responding to customer needs.
At NEC, we believe that the two key points for using IoT in the manufacturing industry are Process Innovation (Smart Factories) through which we can provide expanded flexibility to respond to changes by optimally controlling equipment in real time, and Product Innovation (Service-Oriented Hardware), through which we will be able to demonstrate new ways of using products and deliver new and innovative services. In June 2015, we announced the launch of NEC Industrial IoT. This concept allows us to offer new value to our customers in the form of production process innovations that enable immediate response to market needs on a global scale; individual management of products right down to their components thereby improving both traceability and quality; and an enhanced ability to create new products and services.
At the core of NEC Industrial IoT is co-creation with our clients and partners, which is the objective of the NEC Manufacturing Co-Creation Program. The equipment and technology in the wide range of fields that encompass IoT can only be provided by collaborating with companies that have different strengths in varied fields of expertise, to seamlessly build an advanced IoT environment that supports all manufacturing-related fields. We believe that this is vital for enhancing the global competitiveness of manufacturing companies.
Going forward, we will use NEC Industrial IoT to adapt to industry changes, and further revitalize the manufacturing industry.
Senior Vice President
Supporting the year-round 24/7 non-stop operations of convenience stores - a social infrastructure for the people
NEC always focuses on how it can contribute to the society though the value chain that links the product processes of “MAKE”, “CARRY”, and “SELL.” We tailor our solutions to wide range of domains and to our customers' needs, and offer these solutions on a global scale.
For example, in the “sell” domain, we propose solutions for our customers in the small scale multi-store deployment industry that includes convenience stores and drug stores. Specifically, we provide a life cycle management (LCM) model for IT systems.
This is a model that enables non-stop store operations by providing a cycle of services including planning, consulting, development, system implementation, deployment and store management support.
Convenience stores are a social infrastructure that is indispensable to our everyday lives. This became especially clear through the lessons learnt from Great East Japan Earthquake. We cannot afford any disruptions of infrastructure that supports people's safety and feeling of security during times of emergency. Our experience proved that we were capable of operating convenience stores 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even during disasters by leveraging our accumulated ICT know-how.
With the IT-LCM model, know-how keeps accumulating with each cycle. For example, it takes a considerable amount of time to implement and deploy new services in the case of chain franchises with over 20,000 storefronts. Initially, it took us a full year, but now we are capable of implementing the model in 6 months.
Due to this, we believe we are capable of contributing to reducing regional disparities for our customers with storefronts in nationwide locations.
In terms of support, we have a call center that can handle inquiries from shop managers not limited to IT issues. Furthermore, by looking at accumulated data concerning failure of in-store facilities such as coffee servers, refrigerators, and even toilets, we can identify areas requiring improvement and devise solutions that can be implemented in the next cycle.
The latest system also offers maintenance service that includes symptom identification of impending failure and remote maintenance.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes mainstream phenomenon, NEC continues to enhance business system platforms that enable equipment management, fault detection, automatic notifications as well as image-based monitoring to support “non-stop store operations”; this is one of the ways to contribute to lifeline infrastructure by creating a safer and more secured environment for people
Deputy General Manager
NEC Global Retail Solutions Division
Making the best use of experience and knowhow in Japan to bring IT-LCM services to the entire world
NEC has provided IT support to multi-chain-store customers, such as convenience stores, both
within and outside Japan. Our global development concept is to standardize our many years of experience and knowhow and offer the benefits of this to overseas customers. In May 2013, we opened an RBSC in Malaysia and have trained over 100 staff at overseas subsidiaries and sales partners, using concepts such as ‘What does IT change for Japanese convenience stores?', ‘What exactly are NEC's experience and knowhow?', and ‘What delivery and proposal methods can we use to support customers?'. This has resulted in local staff being able to explain and demonstrate these concepts by themselves, including the use of case studies.
By experiencing the implementation of services to customers, local staff have become able to pitch more proactive proposals through their own words and experience. A positive growth cycle has been generated locally. For example, staff members in Thailand who have experience of supporting major customers there made proposals for neighboring countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia. We believe that creating this positive process in each country is very important.
Although we have many competitors, there are not so many single companies that can offer comprehensive services from hardware and software to system planning, implementation, development, and maintenance services like NEC can. Leveraging our greatest strengths of knowhow and the RBSC model, we will continue to develop services for other industries such as logistics, so as to fully support customers around the world with IT.
Global Products and Services Development Division
Global development led by RBSCs
Business activities in over
140 countries and territories
NEC affiliates, offices and laboratories in
58 countries and territories
*Affiliation and official position are at the time of publication.
NEC is using ICT to build a safe and secure social infrastructure, and a comfortable and abundant living environment with you. NEC's ICT realizes both business growth and enrichment of society.
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