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Value-added reporting: this is how Toyota optimizes time and costs

The Italian plant has adopted Insightsoftware's Hubble system, a real-time reporting and management control tool for Oracle JD Edwards.

Interview with Salvatore Ranieri Migale, Industrial Controlling Manager of Toyota Material Handling Manufacturing Italy.

Credit: Redazione Sistemi&Impresa, July/August 2020


Accessibility to real-time data today represents a strategic lever for the business of companies in the manufacturing sector that want to precisely control daily activities while reducing working times. Self-service reporting, planning and analysis with relevant information to ensure fast and effective daily operations enable businesses to gain a decisive competitive advantage in the market. To achieve this objective it is necessary to equip ourselves with adequate technological tools capable of flexibly managing dynamic and rapidly evolving situations. The strategy of Toyota Material Handling Manufacturing Italy (TMHMI), active in the production of forklifts for indoor and warehouse applications, goes in this direction. The Italian plant produces them for the three brands Toyota, CESAB and BT and sells mainly to all European subsidiaries and distributors. A smaller part of the turnover is destined for group companies outside Europe. In 2017, as part of a 360-degree digital transformation plan, TMHMI decided to renew the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Material requirements planning (MRP) platforms by starting an implementation project of Oracle JD Edwards (JDE) to guarantee of continuous improvement in productivity and quality.

The advantage is the flexibility of the tool

It is in this context that the choice of Hubble was inserted, produced and distributed by Insightsoftware and present in our country since 2012 through Italia, as a real-time operational reporting system specific for Oracle ERP (JD Edwards, E-Business suite and ERP Cloud). This has allowed the company to successfully deal with civil-fiscal and operational-managerial processes, guaranteeing high performance and the optimization of times, costs and results. “Toyota needed to make use of a very flexible reporting and management control tool that would allow it to quickly extrapolate reclassified financial statements relating to different business areas and two different companies,” explains Salvatore Ranieri Migale, Head of Industrial Controlling at TMHMI. In the Toyota model, in fact, there is a legal entity which at a reporting level is consolidated through two virtual companies, with the need to extract three different economic accounts and create an efficient monitoring system within the different business units. In the control model, Toyota set up all the basic information directly on JD Edwards through a management chart of accounts, profit centers (which identify the different strategic areas) and rollovers between cost centers. Thanks to Hubble's high flexibility it was easy to extract all the types of reclassification and consolidation requested by TMHMI and the group; all of this is updated in real time after each accounting change, which is essential for meeting deadlines. “Accessibility to all JD Edwards data in real time allows customers to not only produce sophisticated reporting and analysis, but also dramatically reduce the time and effort for periodic closures,” notes Mark Rutherford, CEO of Insightsoftware Italy. “Hubble is a very powerful tool that makes the user autonomous in extracting ERP data and creating customized reports, significantly reducing all IT interventions and external consultancy activities”.

High performance in multiple business areas

At Toyota, Hubble was of fundamental help in dealing with the reporting contained in the monthly reporting pack (for example the Capital investment and other specific reports), allowing us to significantly increase the efficiency of variance analysis and effectively eliminating processing times on Excel. Furthermore, the system was indispensable for the development of all-round company operational reporting, shared with the various functions, starting from warehouse reports (stock valorisation and slow moving analysis), from the analysis of outbound logistics costs to that of actual costs compared to budget forecasts relating to the various Research and Development (R&D) development orders and the verification of the structural expenses of the various cost centers attributable to the various company sectors. “Hubble's budgeting and planning functionality allows you to create and historicize management data directly on the platform,” explains Rutherford. “The strong integration with JD Edwards allows the creation and variation of models and scenarios very simply and quickly. It is possible to generate economic and industrial budgets, forecasts, cash flows, etc., avoiding resorting to complex and wasteful projects. The models can access and incorporate all JD Edwards data (accounting, logistics or production) without the need to create a data warehouse.” With reference to the manufacturing area, Hubble made it possible to obtain a dedicated income statement, with the reclassification of all production variances. In detail, Ranieri points out that "we are talking about the variances relating to the purchases of material (purchase price variances) and their use during the production process (material usage variances), as well as those relating to inbound transport, the use of direct labor and to plant expenses with the respective absorption variances".

Safe and reliable data

A further value-added element that this tool makes available to customers is the quality and reliability of the data. Given the high criticality of the topic for the purposes of business decisions, Toyota has decided to exploit the possibilities offered by the system to create a 'dashboard' of indicators of anomalies in the various company processes, which are highlighted and represented when they are generated. This allows you to get to the end of the month with high data integrity. At the same time, when an anomaly occurs you have the opportunity to intervene in real time and correct the process so that the same error no longer occurs in the future. “With Hubble, Toyota has won the challenge it set itself from the beginning of the project,” concludes Ranieri. This challenge consisted of concentrating the entire database in the ERP system through a flexible, fast and easily customizable reporting and management control system. Its use also made it possible to cover all reporting, analysis and programming needs, effectively eliminating manual work and processing times on Excel, while simultaneously guaranteeing high data quality. “Hubble was adopted, at Toyota, during the last phase of JD Edwards implementation,” adds Rutherford. “Thanks to the collaboration of key users, dozens of reports were created and released during the first months of use. In this way it was possible not only to make use of the data already available and converted to produce the monthly reporting pack, but also to eliminate the use of customized JD Edwards reporting or other more artisanal, laborious and unsafe systems in the data extraction. All this while ensuring a high level of efficiency and without excessive use of resources. Another advantage of Hubble recognized by customers is in fact the investment required: limited and with a tangible return in the short term"

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