Japanese Corporations Embark on Finance Digital Transformation with SAP 


Nippon Steel, Ajinomoto, and Kao are among the latest Japanese corporations that have partnered with SAP Japan.

Known as one of the most technologically advanced nations around the globe, Japan has been at the forefront of digitalisaton backed by the combined efforts of the government and the private sector. Against the pandemic backdrop, Japanese organisations in collaboration with technology and consulting partners have further accelerated their digital transformation strategies to address unprecedented challenges and modernise key business operations to thrive in the new world of work.

The marked increase in the digitalisation efforts in Japan is reflected in a recent report shared by Statista, a leading market and consumer data provider, which stated that the IT-consulting and implementation services market in the country has reached about 4.18 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 and is forecasted to steadily increase reaching a maximum value of 5.72 billion U.S. dollars in 2027. For instance, SAP Japan and its consulting partners have been enabling Japanese companies to run better– from delivering a disaster prevention program platform to bolstering their move to the cloud– with SAP software solutions.

Latest SAP Implementations by Japanese Corporations

Most recently, SAP Japan has supported the finance modernisation projects of Japanese corporations Ajinomoto, Kao, and Nippon Steel in partnership with the tech giant’s IT and consulting services partners Accenture, NS Solutions Corporation, and ABeam Consulting, respectively.

Ajinomoto Unifies Procurement and Purchasing

Following the launch of SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing as the company’s cloud-based procurement and purchasing platform in 2021, the Japanese multinational food and biotechnology enterprise Ajinomoto Co., Inc. went live with the SAP Strategic Sourcing Suite last month in collaboration with Accenture Co., Ltd. as its implementation partner. (InsideSAP Asia often references articles from websites in other languages to bring you as much information as possible.) SAP Ariba offers a portfolio of market-leading solutions and software for sourcing both direct and indirect materials and services, accelerating sourcing cycles and achieving sustainable sourcing savings. 

Anchored on the Ajinomoto Group’s company-wide operational reforms, the food company established the Ajinomoto Digital Business Partner Co., Ltd. (ADP) in collaboration with Accenture to drive consolidation and cost reduction in operations. ADP will be standardising indirect material procurement and purchasing operations as well as enhancing procurement governance and managing expenditures through SAP Ariba, essentially implementing a unified global procurement model.

Kao Harnesses BI for Accounting and Finance

In partnership with ABeam Consulting Co., Ltd. and SAP Japan, chemicals and cosmetics multinational company Kao Co., Ltd. has implemented SAP Analytics Cloud to complement SAP Central Finance, which the company adopted back in 2018. (InsideSAP Asia often references articles from websites in other languages to bring you as much information as possible.) SAP Analytics Cloud delivers analytics capabilities such as business intelligence (BI), planning, and predictive analytics.

Integrating SAP Analytics Cloud with SAP Central Finance offered Kao processing speed, SaaS convenience, and ease of use for accounting and finance personnel’s data reporting and analysis. About 250 employees, including general managers and management accounting staff, are currently utilising SAP Analytics Cloud to capture and make timely, informed decisions on the latest global data as well as the financial and sales status by segment. Aside from significantly reducing man-hours for visualising data by around 90{aa282f308afcc222aaa21b0478c79e01a8fedd01972e2180867097bd93930f22}, the introduction of self-service BI through the SAP solution has increased the accounting and finance personnel’s sense of ownership.

Nippon Steel Migrates Financial System

Japan’s largest steel manufacturer Nippon Steel Co., Ltd. has tapped SAP Japan and NS Solutions Corporation, as the system integration partner, in its finance modernisation project.  (InsideSAP Asia often references articles from websites in other languages to bring you as much information as possible.) As part of the company’s medium- to long-term management plan, which includes business process reform, Nippon Steel has adopted SAP S/4HANA, SAP S/4HANA for central finance, and SAP BW/4HANA.

The manufacturer intends to modernise its ERP system and advance the finance processes related to steelworks to support growth, match global standards, ensure sustainability and promote transparency and productivity. SAP S/4HANA was selected to support Nippon Steel’s financial business system reform per SAP standards, encompassing accounting processes such as credit management, debt management, and general account, among many others.

SAP S/4HANA for central finance will enable Nippon Steel to centralise and transform financial data and processes with a phased ERP implementation of SAP S/4HANA. On the other hand, SAP BW/4HANA will offer the company real-time, enterprise-wide analytics being the on-premise data warehouse layer of SAP’s Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).

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