Aug. 25, 2020

Sumitomo Corporation Selected as a Digital Transformation Stock (DX Stock) 2020

Sumitomo Corporation has been selected as a Digital Transformation Stock (DX Stock) 2020 by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).

The DX Stock program aims to recognize companies that have dramatically reformed their business models through the use of digital technology in order to achieve new growth and enhance competitiveness. Sumitomo Corporation has been highly commended for its digital transformation which is deeply embedded in its business base.

Since the establishment in April 2018 of the DX Center, a company-wide organization dedicated to DX, Sumitomo Corporation has undertaken a wide range of organizational reforms with a view to the digital age, including inauguration of the position of CDO (*1), the launch of DX promotion organizations in overseas regional entities, and the opening of a new office in Bengaluru in southern India, where many IT companies are based. Furthermore, we have also implemented measures to reform workers’ awareness by introducing the 0→1 Challenge (Zero to One Challenge) program, which invites all members of the Sumitomo Corporation Group around the world to propose new business ideas, and by proactively introducing telecommuting.

The DX Center has solicited internal and external talents who possess expertise and insight on business technologies and who supported the promotion of numerous DX initiatives.

Case 1: Application of AI to data analysis
To accelerate DX, Sumitomo Corporation last year established Insight Edge, a company that specializes in DX technologies and engineering. Insight Edge collects and analyzes the Group’s big data by leveraging AI and IoT technologies to visualize the current situation and predict the future. The company also provides diverse functions, such as developing prototypes and incorporating advanced technologies necessary to promote DX.
To achieve Society 5.0 (*2), a future society envisioned in its plan, the government of Japan requires that private companies review existing systems and promote DX by 2025.
Case 2: Digitalization of the leasing agreement process
Last year, Sumitomo Corporation and bitFlyer Blockchain formed a business tie-up to jointly develop a real estate leasing agreement platform utilizing blockchain (*3) with a smart contract function. In addition to digitalizing the contract form, the platform will enable users to complete the entire residential leasing process, from reservation of previewing properties to concluding an agreement. Sumitomo Corporation and bitFlyer Blockchain are seeking to reduce the time it takes to conclude a contract and increase the efficiency of administrative operations while ensuring safety and security.
Case 3: Automated drug dispensing at Tomod’s
Tomod’s is Sumitomo Corporation’s wholly owned subsidiary and drugstore chain with prescription departments. At Tomod’s Matsudo-shinden store, Sumitomo Corporation conducted a demonstration experiment to automate or semi-automate about 90% of the pharmacists’ operations, including weighing, mixing, dividing and collecting pharmaceuticals. The test demonstrated that the introduction of machines successfully reduced patients’ waiting time by roughly 20% and increased time for face-to-face service for patients thanks to the reduced workload of pharmacists.

Sumitomo Corporation will continue to endeavor to solve social problems and realize a smart society by enhancing the value of existing businesses and creating new businesses through digital transformation.

  1. CDO: Chief Digital Officer
  2. Society5.0: A society that induces value creation and problem resolution through the fusion of digital transformation (DX) with imagination and the creativity of diverse people.
  3. Blockchain: A completely new style of database characterized by the distributed maintenance of data across geographically dispersed servers that protects recorded data from loss and that continues to work even if some servers are hacked, enabling failure-resistant, low-cost operations.
In extensive business fields, Insight Edge provides an environment that facilitates business enhancement through a variety of digital technologies.
Tomod’s is now introducing an automated drug dispensing system after the successful one-year demonstration experiment at its Matsudo-shinden store.