LIXIL was established in 2011. It makes pioneering water and housing products that make better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere. A better home is made up of surprisingly simple things – showers and faucets to experience water in new ways; kitchens that unleash creativity; toilets that provide cleanliness and comfort; doors and windows that connect you with the world outside; interiors and exteriors that bring spaces to life; baths to escape in after a long day.
Pluto7 is a pioneer in Predictive AI and Generative AI solutions that streamlines supply chain management while improving customer experience. We make your supply chain agile, adaptive and intelligent, enabling faster, data-driven decisions. Specializing in Smart Analytics, Machine Learning, AI, and Generative AI, we’re proud partners with Google Cloud, pioneering a future where innovation and intelligence go hand in hand.
- Manual data extraction: Lixil was facing the challenge of extracting data manually from different sources leading to inefficiency and delay in accessing the required information.
- Use of Excel Sheet for POS planning: Currently, the POS planning process is managed manually, through excel files. Customers do not have a single source of data and rely on multiple versions updated separately by different teams. This leads to inaccuracy of data and hence relying on it to plan is a challenge.
- Demand Forecast Challenges: Due to use of excel sheets, the company struggled to accurately predict customer demand, leading to overstocking or stockouts, impacting customer satisfaction and profitability.
- Sustainability and Resource Wastage: The mismatch between supply and demand led to inaccurate production and unbalanced inventory. They grappled with uncontrolled production levels, leading to excessive machine use, electricity and water overuse, and environmental strain. Overstocking meant wasted resources. Discarding unused inventory introduced harmful chemicals to the environment, underlining the urgent need for sustainable practices.
- Error-prone planner updates: One of the major struggles was asynchronous and error-prone planner update. Different users could extract data from SAP BW and update the changes, leading to inconsistency and inaccuracy.
- Data Privacy issues: Since data is manually collected, there was a higher risk of human error, leading to unintentional exposure or mishandling of sensitive information. This posed a threat to data privacy and confidentiality.
Enabling Decision Intelligence: Powered by Google Cloud Cortex Framework
Recognizing the need to abolish data silos created by excel sheets and SAP BW, Pluto7 consolidated Lixil’s disparate data into a centralized data foundation leveraging Cortex framework and BigQuery. It created a unified view of inventory levels, point-of-sale (POS) systems, and sales records.
We took the following approach:
Building Data Foundation
In order to establish a robust data foundation, our team successfully implemented a holistic solution utilizing the advanced capabilities of Google Cloud Cortex Framework. Our approach involved seamlessly integrating data from various sources, both internal systems and external datasets, into a unified and centralized data repository.
With a strong emphasis on data governance, we implemented robust practices to ensure the highest standards of data quality, consistency, and compliance. This empowered Lixil with accurate and reliable data for making informed decisions.
Developing a POS Planner tool using Custom UI
We adopted a tailored approach to develop a POS Planner tool with a custom UI. We developed data pipelines to read the latest POS data existing in .csv format from cloud storage stored in BigQuery.
Users could even extract the data in CSV format to do the analysis in MS Excel, to maintain familiarity with their existing way of working.
With a single source of data, they could generate insights into the expected demand for their products or services over specific time periods. This enhanced their production planning and inventory positioning, reducing waste and contributing to their sustainability efforts.
Data Visualization Dashboards
We used Google data studio to implement intuitive and interactive dashboards for powerful data visualization. This enhanced understanding, collaboration, and enabled quick identification of opportunities and challenges.
- POS planner with Custom UI: Using custom UI of the data pipelines, users could view the data in the POS planner or they could even extract the data in CSV format to do the analysis in MS Excel. This unified interface allows all departments to make informed decisions on planning and stock levels, ensuring optimal inventory maintenance and enhancing their sustainability initiatives.
- Role-based Access to Data: Custom UI also helped in access management. Admin could restrict the access to edit the data. Only authorized users were given the access to make changes in the current week or in the future weeks’ data.
- Improved Forecast Accuracy: By breaking down the data silos Lixil gained end-to-end visibility of their operations and were empowered to make accurate demand forecasts.
- Inventory Sustainability: With improved demand forecasts, Lixil gained better control over their production plan, producing only as much as necessary, thereby optimizing storage, and resulting in tangible reductions in energy expenses and associated emissions.
- Data-driven Decision Making: Data integration and interactive dashboards empowered users to make data-driven decisions. They could analyze sales trends, and monitor inventory performance, leading to more informed and strategic business decisions.
- Secure and Robust Solution: By implementing a centralized data foundation using the Cortex framework, we ensured data privacy and enhanced data security, leading to efficiency and reliability.
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