Works Applications Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Makino; hereinafter “WAP”) today announced that Toda Corporation (Headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President and Representative Director: Masanori Imai; hereinafter “Toda”) has selected AI WORKSas a next-generation integrated profit management system.
Background: a pressing need for a system to support sustainable growth
Productivity improvement has become a pressing issue within the construction industry as it struggles with higher costs for both labor and materials. Within its drive toward sustainable growth, Toda is to frame its efforts to enhance work efficiency within an integrated profit management system.
The objective: build new frameworks for productivity improvement
Toda is constructing three frameworks to develop and support the company over the next decade.
①A framework for flexibile accomodation of personnel/organizational changes
The construction industry is known for the complexity and scale of its work patterns. AI WORKS, with its standardized capabilities, is to generalize these patterns, doing away the need for customized add-ons and eliminating various obstacles to organizational flexibility and sustainable growth, including (a) complexity creep (a deterioration in system performance as a result of repeative functional “enhancements”), (b) blackboxing and (c) territorialization.
②A framework for evidence-based forecasting
Estimations/projections of orders, revenues, earnings and other such parameters, earlier scattered around various spreadsheets, are to be brought under single, unified control, thereby centralizing information, shortening lead times and raising work efficiency.
③A framework for reducing man-hour requirements, increasing time-based work efficiency
Cloud-based distributed computing; task automation, including machine learning with a “suggestion” capability; analysis of textual information with OCR (optical character recognition) together with automatic mapping—these and other capabilities are to reduce man-hour requirements and increase time-based work efficiency by minimizing data entry, invoice preparation and other tedious PC tasks.
Toda’s Selection of AI WORKS: main considerations
① One and only single-package provision of construction/civil engineering, cost/construction/ financial accounting functions and capabilities
* Not all of the functions/capabilities listed here are to be utilized by
Toda in this project.
AI WORKS received high marks for its integrative abilities or, in other words, for the manner in which it provides, as standard, the full range of functions necessary for integrated profit management within the construction/civil engineering industry, spanning the realms of cost accounting, construction accounting and financial accounting. Conventionally, the complexity of the industry and its various customs and practices, including joint ventures (JVs), percentage of completion (PoC) accounting and P/L management, have complicated efforts to provide single-package solutions. This, together with the limited extent of that market, has left larger general contractors to build their own systems from scratch and develop their own add-ons.
AI WORKS generalizes the work requirements of approximately 80 construction companies at which it has been implemented to date, and, as standard, provides the functions to meet such requirements. Also, by implementing all the functions with a single package, AI WORKS makes it possible to collect related information in real time and efficiently manage it in a centralized manner.
② Machine learning greatly lightens burden of inputting, other tedious tasks
AI WORKS utilizes machine learning and other AI (artificial intelligence) technologies to greatly lighten the burden on users’ business operations. For example, the system can analyze stacks of PDF invoices for text data and, from that, generate appropriate accounting entries. If it makes a mistake, a quick correction will suffice—AI WORKS will automatically learn from it, using that lesson to further hone its matching proficiency. Similarly, transaction partners will of course send estimates, invoices and other such documents in a variety of formats. This too is no problem for AI WORKS, which will also learn to how to efficiently read-in and process data from them as well.
Aspirations: Aiming to become “no. 1 in productivity”
Mr.Sato, Manager of the ICT Strategy Unit within Toda, anticipates much of AI WORKS in this role as an integrated profit management system.
Going with AI WORKS is actually an adventure for us, in that we have very little experience with packages. We are excited about it and are looking forward to seeing what we can do with its AI capabilities. A big attraction of AI WORKS is its interface, which is easy to understand and feels a lot like Amazon, Google or some other familiar consumer application. Our people are going to like it, of that I am sure.
With this selection of AI WORKS, we seem to be on the way to build a foundation for our sustainable growth and become “no. 1 in productivity.”
We at WAP will continue in our efforts to support sustainable growth at Toda Corporation and raise productivity throughout the industry.