Tokyo — April 27, 2023 — Asteria Corporation (Japan listed, Security Code: 3853) announced today that Tokyo-based Nac Co., Ltd., which offers a variety of living services, has introduced Asteria’s no-code*1 mobile app building tool Platio and promoted digital transformation of its on-site delivery operations. Nac also plans to expand the usage of a Platio app intended to address the “2024 issue*2” facing the logistics industry.
Background and Impact
Founded in 1971, Nac provides living services such as manufacturing and sales of rental water dispensers under the brand name “CreCla” and the rental business, as well as the housing business. The company, which is listed on the Prime Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, actively adapts to change and positions “immediate action” as one of the employee action guidelines. In order to improve operational efficiency and swiftly respond to market changes, Nac has been promoting in-house development of core systems and introduction of IT tools.
While stepping up company-wide efforts to improve operational efficiency, Nac focuses on streamlining its delivery operations for CreCla, one of its mainstay businesses. Every day, each employee had to sort 60 or so duplicate delivery notes in chronological order by delivery date and input data into the core system after returning to the office, which led to an increase in man-hours and data entry errors, among other problems.
Therefore, the company began considering in-house production and utilization of mobile apps that could quickly accommodates the requests of on-site workers. The decision was made to introduce Platio, which can be used offline even in areas where there is no signal, such as basement and higher floors, and can integrate data with the core system. Nac employees then created their unique “Delivery Management App” with Platio.
The “Delivery Management App” works with the core sales management system via Asteria’s data integration middleware ASTERIA Warp, thereby automatically linking delivery data in the system to the app. This allows about 400 delivery staff members to immediately check the delivery destination with a smartphone, instead of using delivery notes. The app can also connect to a mobile printer, allowing delivery staff on the go to print the necessary delivery notes. The staff members can register delivery records into the app so that they are no longer required to input such data into the system. As a result, the time required for each delivery has been reduced from about 40 minutes to about 5 minutes, saving about 56,000 hours of work per year.
In the future, Nac plans to expand the use of this app, which is currently only introduced at directly-managed stores, to its member stores as a new initiative to address the 2024 logistics issue by significantly reducing the workload and overtime hours of delivery staff members. The aim is to further enhance the service quality and operational efficiency of the overall CreCla business network.
Comment from Nac
As part of our efforts to build systems in-house, we have been working on an agile development of our core sales management system, and along with this project, we created the Delivery Management App using Platio. Usually, it is not easy to modify an app in accordance with the changes that had been made to the core system. But with Platio, we were able to deploy an app while updating it promptly and flexibly without coding.
Going forward, we’d like to manage the maintenance schedule for water dispensers with an app and further increase the efficiency of product management. At the same time, we are seeking to offer member stores the Delivery Management App to help improve the service quality of the overall CreCla network.
OSHIMA Hiroaki, executive officer and general manager of the Information System Department at Nac Co., Ltd.
＜The screenshot of the Delivery Management App＞
|A list of delivery destinations
Arranged in chronological order by delivery date
|Register delivery records
Register the number of bottled water delivered and collected
|Print delivery notes
A mobile printer prints delivery notes on site
*1: A mechanism which allows creation of software and apps without writing a single line of code. Platio users can deploy necessary functions and modify app’s specifications to make it more serviceable at worksites, even if they do not have expertise in a programming language.
*2: A generic term for logistics problems and disruptions likely to be caused by the planned law related to work style reform in the transportation industry, which will come into effect in April 2024.
About Nac Co., Ltd.
Since its establishment in 1971 as a franchisee of Duskin Co., Ltd., Nac has actively expanded its business domain based on a unique concept “usefulness in daily life” at its core. The company is currently engaged in a wide range of business areas related to “living” and maintains a direct connection with customers across Japan with the aim of achieving further growth. The business areas include the rental business centered on the Duskin business; the CreCla business, which operates the rental water dispenser delivery business; the consulting business, which provides management support for local construction companies; the housing business; and the beauty and health business.
For more information about Nac, visit https://www.nacoo.com/ (in Japanese only)
About Asteria Corporation
Established in 1998, Asteria developed its first no-code product in 2002. It sells software and services which connect a variety of in-house computers and devices. Its key product, ASTERIA Warp, is middleware which integrates data in different computer systems without coding. As of end-December 2022, 9,879 companies, mainly large and medium ones, had introduced the product. Another product, Handbook, allows users to carry around materials used for sales activities and meetings as well as product catalogues in electronic files on smartphones and tablets. A total of 1,676 companies and public institutions had adopted the product through end-December 2022.
For more information about Asteria, visit https://en.asteria.com/
Platio is a cloud service which allows users to easily create and use mobile apps that fit specific tasks without coding. Platio promotes digitalization at worksites and improves efficiency of manual processes, thereby facilitating digital transformation (DX) of on-site operations. It offers over 100 templates with which workers who have no programming skills can create a business app. Data that users entered into an app is stored in the cloud and will be shared real time the up-to-date status of worksites with managers. Apps also can automatically detect changes in entered data and send an alert to managers so that they can quickly respond to anomalies. Apps for businesses tend to be complex and expensive. As an easy app building solution, Platio won Good Design Award for fiscal 2018. In 2022, Asteria launched Platio Connect, which enables not only app creation and utilization, but also data integration without coding. This tool supports data utilization by seamlessly linking on-site data with systems and services.
For more information about Platio, visit https://plat.io/
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