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Sumitomo Rubber North America saves time and costs with new digital inventory counting app

Business Situation

Sumitomo Rubber North America (SRNA), a subsidiary of the Japanese company Sumitomo Rubber Industries, manufactures high quality tires for cars, trucks and motorcycles under the Falken Tires and Dunlop Motorcycle Tires brands. Due to regulations, it is required to count and report its inventory at the end of each year. However, its legacy, paper-based process involved manual data entry, which was time consuming, inefficient, costly and prone to human error. To complete this enormous task, SRNA had to temporarily hire additional staff and risked its warehouses shutting down for weeks.

The SRNA Operations, Warehouse and Finance teams wanted to digitise the inventory counting and validation process. They needed a mobile solution with offline capabilities, which would assign employees specific tires and parts to count and then synch those counts to a central data source.

"Working with Avanade was one of our best partner experiences. They really showed us what we can do with low-code apps and rapid deployment. The success of the Physical Inventory Counting App marks the beginning of our journey with Power Apps."

Cameron Forbes Head of IT, Sumitomo Rubber North America

Solution

Due in part to our strong relationship with Microsoft, SRNA put its trust in Avanade to help it quickly digitise its workflows. We worked with the company to develop a solution based on the Microsoft Power Platform in just over five weeks. The solution included:

  • An inventory counting canvas application with offline capabilities
  • An inventory management model-driven application
  • Several Power Automate flows to support data imports and exports to the inventory counting app and the company’s ERP system

Results

With the Physical Inventory Counting App, SRNA eliminated all paper-based processes and manual data entry, cutting the counting process by a day and saving additional time and costs by not having to bring in temporary hires. In a single day, counters in seven warehouses across the US tallied over 12,000 tires and parts with more efficiency, accuracy and less effort than in years past.

The company discovered that Power Apps can quickly and easily improve some of its process efficiencies. Future enhancements may include streamlining the workflow and building real-time ERP integration.

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