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KINTO FACTORY and Digital Transformation (DX)

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Introduction

Hello, my name is Numata, and I am part of the Project Promotion Group. I work hard every day as a backend engineer for KINTO FACTORY. In this article, I will talk about KINTO FACTORY services and the DX initiatives we did this summer.

What is KINTO FACTORY?

FunFact1
Many people in Japan think of KINTO as a subscription service, but KINTO FACTORY (hereinafter, FACTORY) offers various upgrade services so that you can ride your favorite vehicle over a longer period of time.

FunFact2
To be more specific, you can customize your vehicle by updating its software, changing its interior and exterior such as seat replacement and wheel cap replacement; or improving the opening and closing speed of your doors.
The range of available Toyota Group vehicle models (Toyota, Lexus, and GR), products, and areas where customizations are possible, is gradually expanding too.
I always thought that once you buy a vehicle you do not really change any features until you switch to another vehicle, so I feel that the efforts of FACTORY and its approach to modularity are challenging and interesting.

Modification Process

FACTORY provides services not just through KINTO, but also in cooperation with Toyota and its dealer network throughout Japan.
TheModificationProcess
*The numbers in the image are for illustrative purposes and are not fixed.

First, when a customer applies for a product on the FACTORY site, FACTORY orders the necessary parts from Toyota and shares the application details with the dealer of the customer's choice.
After confirming the information in the application, the dealer sets up the arrival date with the customer. Once the delivery date is confirmed, the customer takes their vehicle to the dealer on the day of receipt, and the dealer carries out the modification with the delivered parts.
As soon as the modification is completed, the dealer contacts the customer and delivers the vehicle to them.
Specifics may vary depending on product and the desired modification, but that is the general process.

DX of Modification Certificates

Some of you may have never heard of modification certificates before (I learned about them after I joined the company). It is given in Japan to customers after a vehicle modification is completed, and written on it appears the details of what was modified, its date and time, the dealer where it was performed, along with other information.
Before, the modification certificate was manually created by the dealer that delivered the vehicle to the customer, but since August, it has been possible to issue it on FACTORY.

Process of Issuing a Modification Certificate

Once the status of a purchased item changes to modification complete, you can issue a modification certificate from your purchase history on My Page (FACTORY refers to My Page as My Garage😃).
MyGarageScreen

When you click the modification certificate button, the certificate is displayed in a separate tab and can be downloaded as shown in the figure below.

TheModificationCertificateDisplayScreen
Currently, modification certificates can be issued for any products except for GR-related ones and event products. It also supports the invoice system that we implemented in October 2023, and payment statements can be issued from FACTORY.

Architecture and Technology Stack

RoughArchitectureOfKF
FACTORY runs on AWS, and we use a microservice architecture like the one in the rough diagram above. The microservice that issues the modification certificate was developed using Go as programming language and uses the gopdf library to publish PDFs. The issued modification certificate is stored in S3.

PDF Templates

Since our company uses Office 365, we use Excel to manage PDF templates. We modify the Excel template and export it as a PDF whenever there is a change.

Toyota Modification Certificate Lexus Modification Certificate
ToyotaModificationCertificate LexusModificationCertificate

We struggled with the fact that, not only the design of the modification certificate varies depending on the model, but the number of characters in the product name also varies, so it was difficult to decide on one layout that would not affect either of them. For convenience, we made it A5 just like the proofs of modification that were made manually.
Side note: This was my first time handling PDFs with a program. I honestly did not think it was so straightforward.

Beyond the Modification Certificate DX

We can now provide a better experience for both customers and dealers by making it possible to easily generate modification certificates on FACTORY instead of having them made manually by dealers. Aside from modification certificates, there is still a lot of work that is done manually, and I think there is a lot of potential for DX in the automotive industry.
FACTORY will keep working on various initiatives, to offer even better experiences in the future.

Conclusion

FACTORY is looking for new partners to liven up the company together. We do casual interviews, so feel free to apply!

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【PdM(KINTO FACTORY)】プロジェクト推進G/東京

KINTO FACTORYについて自動車のソフトウェア、ハードウェア両面でのアップグレードを行う新サービスです。トヨタ・レクサスの車をお持ちのお客様にOTAやハードウェアアップデートを通してリフォーム、アップグレード、パーソナライズなどを提供し購入後にも進化続ける自動車を提供するモビリティ業界における先端のサービスの開発となります。

【KINTO FACTORYバックエンドエンジニア】プロジェクト推進G/大阪

KINTO FACTORYについて自動車のソフトウェア、ハードウェア両面でのアップグレードを行う新サービスです。トヨタ・レクサスの車をお持ちのお客様にOTAやハードウェアアップデートを通してリフォーム、アップグレード、パーソナライズなどを提供し購入後にも進化続ける自動車を提供するモビリティ業界における先端のサービスの開発となります。