Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc.

March 18, 2009
Sterling Commerce helps link business processes across supply chain.

This case history about Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc. comes courtesy of Sterling Commerce. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content and style.

Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc. is an in-house logistics organization that develops and provides innovative business services for its parent company, Sony Group, a world leader in consumer electronics and entertainment. With responsibility to provide many business processes including procurement and forwarding, order taking, inventory control, job support, and international logistics, Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc. must keep pace with production innovation in a wide variety of manufacturing fields.

Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc. procures more than 30,000 different parts from nearly 800 affiliated parts suppliers to support manufacturing at more than 50 plants worldwide. The company ships finished products to dealers, distributors, and consumers in more than 200 countries and territories. Supporting a global operation of such vast scale, Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc. requires total efficiency in its information technology systems and networks as well as continuous improvement in logistics quality.

In order to stay competitive, Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc. constantly pursues technical innovations in electronic logistics and supply chain management. One of the company’s leading technology and business process initiatives is an industry standard software solution developed internally for systematically rating air cargo and customs clearing companies. The company needed to improve the application by quickly integrating it with disparate systems.

“Our application is a good tool, but its data handling and modeling capabilities were not sufficient to cope with rapid changes in business and technology,” said Keiichi Yumita, General Manager, Systems Strategy, Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc. “We needed a solution to integrate and better manage the EAI portion of the application.”

Management of the air cargo and customs clearing rating software was complicated by an underlying system that struggled to integrate several applications, according to Yumita. The company selected Gentran Integration Suite™ (known as Sterling Integrator® in areas outside North America) to handle its integration needs because of its ability to seamlessly link both internal and external partners quickly without having to scrap existing systems or protocols.

Gentran Integration Suite powers real-time processing with state-of-the-art technology while remaining compatible with Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc.’s current systems and batch processing, Yumita said. “Gentran Integration Suite also creates seamless operations by modeling and automating the business process, and by building in processes that require human intervention, such as approvals and exception handling.”

Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc.successfully linked multiple internal applications including EDI, SAP R/3 and Internet transactions using the Gentran Integration Suite platform, according to Yumita. “The application improves visualization of information and provides an adaptive supply chain that allows us to quickly respond to market changes by automating business processes and logistics information.”

Gentran Integration Suite also enables Sony Supply Chain Solution, Inc. to link various business processes within and among Sony Group companies, and to develop process changes that give system operations the ability to quickly respond to client needs.

Key benefits
Flexibility, rapid deployment: Systems operations can create a universal platform based on Gentran Integration Suite for the entire Sony Group within a reasonable time frame.

Extensibility with speed: Adapters enable a high level of extensibility through dynamic routing in many formats including EDIFACT, XML, ANSI, IDOC and flat files, improving the processing speed.

Simplified mapping: Graphical mapping simplified the process of developing complex data maps.

Intuitive interface: Makes control of business process status and setting up new environments an easy and intuitive process.

Reduced operations burden: Integrated management covers all functions in one package from EAI to B2B. welcomes relevant, exclusive case histories that explain in specific detail the business benefits that new software and material-handling equipment has provided to specific users. Send submissions to Mary Aichlmayr([email protected]), MHM Editor. All submissions will be edited for clarity, content and style.