Real Time Management with MIS System PiCSYS

Nihon Shiko Co., Ltd.

Nihon Shiko Co., Ltd. has introduced PiCSYS, the integrated management system for paper packaging, into their Kyushu branch factory. The company had already implemented PiCSYS in their Eastern Japan Branch, and have added an installation of the software to the Kyushu branch. We took this chance to ask their thoughts on the current operation of PiCSYS in eastern Japan, as well as the background to the added introduction to the Kyushu factory.

A real-time business management system made reality thanks to the printed packaging business MIS PiCSYS

Nihon Shiko Co., Ltd. is a company based in south Kyoto that handles various aspects of the packaging, materials, and commercial printing industry. Founded in 1918, it is a long-established company with over 100 years experience in the business. The company is based in Kyoto, and with the Eastern Japan and Kyushu branches, they have developed an integrated production system that links them closely to their local clients.

Nihon Shiko has a very long relationship with NSK, and have introduced various solutions into each of their business sites. The East Japan branch we visited includes PiCSYS for CAD-based systems and package printing. Some software solutions, such as prepress workflow systems, have been in operation at the company for over 10 years.

On this occasion we spoke to several key members of the company, who have been central to the project since installation:Mr. Hironobu Sato, Director of Business;
Mr. Tatsuya Sato, Deputy General Manager of Business;
and Mr. Minoda, Manager of the Administration Department.

What is the background for implementing PiCSYS in your company?

Mr.Sato: "We were one of the first companies to promote digitization of business processes. The beginning goes back to before the normalization of PCs. This push for digitization was conceived by our CEO, Mr. Hayashi, and the concept was built by systematizing the workflow using office computers as a base."

We built a dedicated workflow based on this system and performed maintenance and general operation according to updates in hardware, until about 10 years ago. However, the current situation is that this system is not very flattering, and it is not easy to use.

Mr.Sato: "The most stressful part of the previous system was that response time was slow when performing tasks that required immediate information, such as project data searching and data input. As an example, when I made a search for data I needed, it sometimes took a few minutes just to get those search results. During the busiest times of the year, it often took until late at night just to review the information in the system. It was at that time, when I was considering improving our data system, that we discovered PiCSYS."

Mr.Minoda: "At the same time, the system was nearing its maintenance period. We made a request as usual for system improvements to go along with the maintenance updates, but the system’s manufacturer responded that it would only support the most current computer OS. Therefore, maintenance and renewal together were impossible to include. This suddenly became an urgent matter, but even without this, PiCSYS had potential that was sufficient to meet our company's needs."

What specific factors led you to adopt PiCSYS?

Mr. Minoda: "First of all, PiCSYS had no problem with response times. Even after installing, the response time was exactly as advertised.
Next, the interface was easy to understand. There is no confusion even from the main screen; you can quickly access the information you want and need. Even users who are not familiar with PCs can use the software without issue.

In addition, NSK was very familiar with the industry, so there was no stress in the meeting. Other system makers did not have the knowledge necessary for the concepts particular to paper-based packaging. There is a lot of content to explain, and revisions occur frequently due to discrepancies in communication. This made meetings very long and stressful."

Why did you decide to manage almost the entire business using PiCSYS? Did you consider a gradual introduction?

Mr.Sato: "Since the existing system covered all aspects of the business, one of our requirements for an upgrade was to implement all of those aspects at the same time. Another challenge was that we were using a separate software for quotations, so to minimize problems we had to combine these two systems into one single solution. PiCSYS was the only software that met all of the functional requirements of our company. Because of these challenges, we did not have the option of introducing parts gradually."

Since management systems take a long time to complete, and because it is difficult to see what kind of system it is, there are various anxieties toward introduction and the burden of migrating data to the new system.

It seems that it was most important to alleviate this, not only by system functionality, by also by consulting experts with both experience and expertise.

We then asked for impressions of PiCSYS from the representatives that actually operate the software.

What are your thoughts on using PiCSYS in each department?

Forms were unified and
formats reduced with PiCSYS.

Mr. Harada: "First of all, form output times have gone down dramatically. Previously, feedback from manufacturing to orders received took time, and during busy periods it took over two hours to process more than 100 files. Now it doesn’t take nearly as long."

"Feedback is now input using a Handy terminal in the factory and is received in real time. You can check job progress in real time as well. With the old system, you could not see results unless you checked daily, but with PiCSYS, you can see the data immediately."

Mr. Mutsuga: "It is great that we can get sales and production numbers in real time. By doing so we can get the latest usage information and results of purchased materials, and we can make predictions for the next purchase. This has become easier. Also, in the past many forms were in proprietary formats, and there were many of them. By integrating and resizing them, we could reduce the number of forms, thanks to PiCSYS’s flexible form output functionality."

Mr. Eguchi: "The quotation creation function is easy to understand and use. Even a beginner who has little industry knowledge can easily make a quotation. If you enter the minimum required information, it will make a quote based on cost. It is calculated automatically so there are no mistakes and it is easier to estimate differences in work conditions. Before, there were many input items and response times were slow, so now the input work is the same, but faster and easier too.

As we mentioned before, with the old system, proper numbers would not come out if you did not put in the proper work information. With PiCSYS, this input does not exist, so now it is possible to check our sales numbers in real time."

An all-in-one system that offers clients peace of mind and safety,
PiCSYS achieves bot added value and productivity

Users can check the day's progress
for each machine in real time.

Mr. Harada: "It is now possible to check each machine’s progress in real time. As mentioned earlier about management, the inventory and arrival of materials such as base paper can also be made in real time. It was a major benefit that we were able to streamline the scheduled assembly and instructions for post-processing."

Mr.Mutsuga "Real-time production and sales figures have greatly improved the reliability of numbers. The fact that information is always up-to-date means data is much more accurate."

Mr.Eguchi "There is a great advantage to see the status of sales figures in real time. With PiCSYS, seeing the progress and feedback from the projects in production and checking them easily has been big for us."

The word "real-time" has come up often in the discussion. What does this mean?

Mr. Minoda: "Visualization of Business Processes was discussed as one of our goals in introducing PiCSYS, but I think that you can feel that this has been achieved effectively in each department. By visualizing the workflow, we are also contributing to the improvement of the work itself, such as optimizing staff allocations. We will continue to promote this visualization."

In this way, we could feel that the goals set with the introduction of PiCSYS were achieved by Nihon Shiko. The adoption of the system in Kyushu may also see the same benefits after its implementation.

Finally, we asked about future developments with the introduction of PiCSYS to their Kyushu branch.

Mr.Minoda "The Kyushu branch is nearing the end of the maintenance period of the system they are currently using, so it is necessary to replace their old system as soon as possible. Kyushu also has a dedicated project team, so they had quite a bit of anxiety about the migration. However, we now have a wealth of success stories and experience from the East Japan branch. In order to eliminate that anxiety and make the project a success, we plan to follow up with NSK regarding the cooperation on the adoption of PiCSYS to ensure a smooth transition."

Solution Introduced

PiCSYS: MIS System for the Packaging Industry

More Info PiCSYS is an integrated business management system created for the printing paper container, sticker label, and POP display industry.

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