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Improving the Master Data Management of KINTO FACTORY

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Introduction

Hello. I am Ito, and I do backend development and operation of the KINTO FACTORY service (hereinafter, FACTORY) at KINTO Technologies. As part of the Advent Calendar series about FACTORY, I will write about how we improved its master data management.

About the Master Data Management of KINTO FACTORY

Various types of information are stored as master data, including vehicle models, products managed by KINTO FACTORY, and details of dealerships capable of handling vehicle modifications offered by KINTO FACTORY. master_image *Product prices are as of December 11, 2023. Albeit only in Japanese at the release of this article, you can check the KINTO FACTORY website for the latest prices.
The base information is provided by Toyota and its dealers in Japan, and the planning department enters it into Excel. After that, the Excel file is shared with the development team, converted to a CSV file, and registered in FACTORY.
factory_master_flow

It's a pretty hard operation

When it first started, there was a lot of frustration...

  • Saving nearly ten Excel files as CSV files, converting newline characters, and deleting BOM was all done manually and took time and effort
  • Excel functions were used to check the entered data, which made files heavy to work with...
  • It was hard to make an Excel function for checking, so they needed to be checked by humans
  • Item lists were long, some data was duplicated, and there were also input mistakes
  • It required repeated checks and revisions in a checking environment, and it took a lot of workload
    operation_image

Improvement was needed

We made the following improvements to get rid those annoyances.

Review of the Excel Input Format

First, we reviewed the Excel format.

  • Removed unnecessary items that were created for potential future uses
  • Removed duplicates or items determined by other input values
  • Added assisted input with Excel functions
    We reduced the burden of inputs by removing unnecessary items and reduced input errors by about 75% by using Excel functions and input rules.

Automating the Excel-to-CSV conversion

Next, we developed a tool to convert Excel files into CSV files in Golang.
excel_to_csv

  • We Automated the Excel reading, checking, and converting to CSV
  • The number of Excel functions was optimized by using a tool to do checks that were done by Excel functions
  • The tool developed in the Go language supports minor revisions even when items are added to an Excel file
    By automating Excel-to-CSV conversions, we reduced the amount of effort needed and manual operation mistakes, and made it possible to complete tasks that used to take almost a day in just minutes. By making the tool do all of the work that we did mabually in Excel, we were finally free from having to dedicate our time into just being Excel experts! (Personally, this was my favorite part)

Summary

In this article, I shared about how we improved the master data management of FACTORY. We reduced out time spent reviewing Excel formats, automating conversions to CSV files, and reducing input mistakes. However, we still are facing issues. In particular, communication between planning and development takes up time no matter what we do, so we are thinking of changing the input-to-verification environment in order to streamline the checking process. We will continue to improve our master data management and provide an even better service.

Conclusion

KINTO FACTORY is looking for new partners. Please check the job listings below if you're interested!

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We are hiring!

【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(リーダークラス)】プロジェクト推進G/東京・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。