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October 02, 2008

Asahi Kasei Picks NetSuite CRM for Savings, Flexibility

By Jayashree Adkoli, TMCnet Contributor

Tokyo, Japan-based Asahi Kasei, a textiles company, is now using NetSuite (News - Alert) software for its customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) initiatives. The company switched to NetSuite from SAP (News - Alert) R/3 to achieve more flexibility and efficiency.
Asahi’s U.S. division was using SAP R/3application, which lacked flexibility. The SAP software system was also complex and difficult to use, which required hiring of expensive consultants and implementation of complex networking. All these factors forced the company to switch to an alternative solution which would overcome the above challenges. So, Asahi opted to implement NetSuite.
“SAP didn’t have a CRM or a very flexible standard for conducting marketing or customer analysis,” said David Stover, Chief Financial Officer for Asahi Kasei’s Charleston, South Carolina-based Dorlastan operations, in a NetSuite case study. “It was a very complicated infrastructure and expensive because you had to have very specifically trained individuals to deal with the system.”
NetSuite is a Web-based online business application that supports an organization with services ranging from CRM to enterprise resource planning (ERP) to Web capabilities. It is a single integrated solution that enables organizations to make better, faster decisions through real-time business intelligence.
“SAP is a dictated business strategy, where NetSuite is an open strategy,” said David Stover, CFO of Asahi Kasei Corp.’s Dorlastan fiber division, in the case study. “We’re ‘slaves to fashion’ here. When fashion changes, we’ve got to change quickly. And SAP wasn’t conducive to those changes.”
Asahi reaps more benefits with NetSuite than by using SAP. A major advantage is cost; company officials estimated that it saved 80 percent by switching to NetSuite. Asahi saved nearly $700,000 in costs over its previous SAP R/3 software, including licenses.
The NetSuite platform also saved money because it eliminated the need for three additional employees and complex/expensive wide-area network that cost ten time more with SAP software. The easy training feature of NetSuite enabled company’s staff to get acquainted to the new software quickly.
NetSuite’s SuiteFlex enables instant customization and as well provides flexibility. According to Stover, this module provided the Dorlastan operations (with geographically spread out branches) with instant currency conversion and also coped well with different tax issues, from country to country.  
When combined with NetSuite’s SuiteScript, Suitelets and SuiteTalk, the SuiteFlex module gave Asahi the ability to quickly address key requirements unique to the textile industry.
Stover said that NetSuite’s remote access is also a big plus for company and staff operation. Because NetSuite is Web-based platform it can be securely accessed from anywhere there is an Internet connection.
“I sign on pretty much every night from home,” Stover said in the case study. “I don’t have to take my laptop home, I don’t have to have a special phone connection, or anything else. That’s a really high benefit for us.”
NetSuite won the “Big 3” award at Asahi Kasei’s Dorlastan operations in Charleston, S.C.
Asahi Kasei, formerly known as Dorlastan Fibers LLC, has a workforce of 23,000 worldwide with annual revenues of about $10 billion.

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Jayashree Adkoli is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jayashree's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Mae Kowalke

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