Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has established a trade document management system, and with the approval of the Customs and Tariff Bureau, has digitized all company documents relating to export procedures. In addition to significantly increasing the speed and efficiency of distribution procedures, this initiative will also eliminate the creation of 45,000 document pages per month, realizing cost savings of more than 20 million yen per year.
The procedures associated with conducting exports, such as preparation of products, shipping applications and procedures, and customs procedures, entail numerous exchanges of documents with entities including related organizations, private sector groups, and government and public agencies. Laws and regulations are also stringent in this area. Because of this, the procedures are complex, and numerous rules apply to document management.
Overseas sales account for more than 80 percent of Murata's total sales, and operational delays and increases in the number of operational procedures occasioned by an increased trade volume and sales, mainly in the Asian region, therefore represented a significant issue.
Aiming to increase business efficiency and reduce lead time by improving trade-related processes and digitizing trade-related documents, we implemented the following initiatives for 36 overseas offices, 25 agents conducting exports and other procedures, and two warehouses.
- Thorough analyses of a total of 69 export-related processes including those performed by overseas offices and agents.
- Operational reviews to increase business efficiency.
- Research into legal requirements for the realization of a 100% paperless environment.
- Real-time visualization of the progress of export procedures.
By means of these measures, we were able to systematize the entire process from input through output to information management.
As a result of this process of systematization, paper- and fax-based exchanges will be replaced by email, and documents that are received will be automatically extracted and stored in a database. In addition, depending on the status of progress, the forms will be automatically distributed to relevant parties.
In addition, the database for management of trade documents offers mechanisms that enable users to manage the status of progress of each export in real time, and to identify at a glance whether a problem exists at any point. The system also meets the legal requirements of the National Tax Agency by enabling digital signatures and time stamps on documents.
The introduction of this system has
- Reduced the number of processes by 53%, from 69 to 37.
- Reduced indirect operational lead time by 66% percent; procedures that used to require three days can now be performed in one.
- Reduced monthly paper output by approximately 45,000 pages.
In addition, the system not only offers smoother linkage with overseas offices, agents and warehouses, but has also improved the quality of Murata's procedures as an Authorized Export Operator (AEO) by eliminating accidents such as losses and erroneous transmissions.
Murata received assistance from Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. and Amano Business Solutions Corporation in putting this system in place.
Comment from Koji Makino, Director, Production Engineering Unit
As Murata's business further diversifies and decentralizes on a global scale in future, we will expand this system to the entire Murata Group, and the resulting increase in the speed and reliability of our operations will improve the quality of the services we provide to our customers and our business partners.
Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sale of ceramic-based passive electronic components & solutions, communication modules and power supply modules. Murata is committed to the development of advanced electronic materials and leading edge, multi-functional, high-density modules. The company has employees and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. For more information, visit Murata's website at www.murata.com