IT Study Tour 2016

Digital Transformation: exploring technological developments in Japan and China

The 2016 IT Study Tour was built around a ‘Contrast Programme’ format, designed to highlight the most recent developments in IT systems and systems architecture of a variety of companies in both Japan and China.

Topics addressed during the tour include:

E-commerce and food

Mobile technology

Robotics in logistics warehouses

Disruptive technology

Customer profiling and Supply Chain




This study has given me valuable insights into how Japanese and Chinese companies within grocery, logistics and IT adapt to the digital changes in society.



Great opportunity to get comprehensive overview on trends and best practices.





It has shown us companies that have taken necessary steps to ensure future growth as also competitiveness in the digital landscape. As the speed of change in our industry is faster than ever, a study tour like this is key to keeping pace and understanding necessary actions to be taken in our own business.



The IT Study Tour is an invaluable networking and benchmarking opportunity. Its duration and dynamics allow you to consolidate new learnings (people and business) understand different cultures and get inspiration to further improvement.





Seeing the digital transformation in a completely different cultural context and sharing knowledge with other peers was a great asset of this Study Tour.








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  • Sunday, 8 May 2016 - Japan +

    19.00 / Welcome reception for participants in Okura Hotel, Tokyo Japan

  • Monday, 9 May 2016 - Japan +

    AEON – Distribution Center and Kasai Store

    AEON is the largest retailer of multi format in Japan and is expanding its business in China and South East Asia. AEON is an IT driven entity and its supply chain management is highly supported by IT. We will visit its hub distribution center and see the following operations:

    • Supply Chain Management Strategy of AEON Group.
    • How to utilize IT in the supply chain (CPFR, RFID and Cart Rack management, GPS equipped truck).
    • Sustainable Logistics (Modal Shift).
    • New concept of service targeting ageing society.


    Hitachi will offer insight into the areas of Corporate and Social Innovation, AI and Big Data Technology, its SAP business and Cloud Applications. The visit will include:

    • An overview of the company and its history with a focus on Social Innovation business.
    • A presentation by Hitachi’s leading researcher on its developing technology and prior research in AI and Big Data area, focusing on “Human Big Data”.
    • The company’s current joint initiatives including high performance platform and data analytics.

    DINNER, kindly hosted by HITACHI

  • Tuesday, 10 May 2016 - Japan +


    Yamato Transport is the largest “Door to Door Parcel Delivery Service” company in Japan. Their service is well known under the brand name “TA-Q-BIN“.The company has set up its own distribution network and created its own IT system. We will visit:

    • The company’s IT center
    • The latest large-scale distribution center in Tokyo


    Lawson, Inc. is the second largest convenience store franchise chain in Japan behind 7-Eleven. The store originated in Cuyahoga Falls, near Cleveland and Akron, in the USA, but today exists as a Japanese company. We will visit the store and regional distribution center in order to observe the actual operations.


    Canon will provide in-depth insight into the company’s Versatile Collaboration System (VCS), Rich Collaboration System (RCS) and Network Video System (NVS). Highlights include:

    • A close look at VCS equipped with camera, projector and distance-sensor.
    • Insight into the collaborative nature of RCS in generating innovative ideas.
    • How Canon NVS can quantify customer's profile & behaviour to impact on store layout.

    DINNER, kindly hosted by CANON

  • Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - China +


    Founded in November, 1998, Tencent has grown into one of China's largest and most used Internet service portals. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life through Internet services. Tencent provides value-added Internet, mobile and telecom services and online advertising under the strategic goal of providing users with "one-stop online lifestyle services". The visit will include:

    • Overall digital landscape in China
    • Company and key products with a focus on Wechat
    • Digital marketing trends with case studies sharing

    Store visit: METRO China

  • Thursday, 12 May 2016 - China +


    Alibaba Group was established in 1999 by 18 people led by Jack Ma. Alibaba Group has grown into a global leader in online and mobile commerce. Today the company and its related companies operate leading wholesale and retail online marketplaces as well as Internet-based businesses offering advertising and marketing services, electronic payment, cloud-based computing and network services and mobile solutions, among others. This visit will feature:

    • Alibaba introduction and key business
    • Megatrends Driving China's Consumer Economy and How Mobile E-Commerce is Transforming Chinese Retail
    • E-Commerce Media Ecosystem: How the Alibaba Ecosystem works on 11.11 – biggest 24-hour sales event
    • Globalisation (cross-trading), Logistics, Omni-channel, Mobile
    • Ali Cloud: New Generation of Green Data center
    • Supply chain Customer analysis
    • Campus visit and networking lunch (kindly hosted by Alibaba)
    • Visit to Kuaidi (tbc)
  • Friday, 13 May 2016 - China +


    Huawei is one of the leading ICT solution providers with a very strong presence in the carrier (operator) market globally and growing quickly in the Enterprise market for IP & IP solutions. Huawei is the most global Chinese company and is respected as an innovation leader. The visit will include:

    • Intelligent Retail Solutions Experience: Smart Store
      • Digital Price Tag Goods price changed in real-time / Digital Advertizing Launch a advertize in real-time
      • Social Media Advertizing User Scan QR Code and access to wifi network
      • Portal Page Advertizing User access to the wifi Network
      • Customer can customize their own advertize page
    • IP and IT infrastructure for datacenter and cloud evolution (30 minutes)
    • R&D center - Mobile broadband exhibition center
      • World leading wireless technology development center.
      • Best outlook to the next 5G generation.
    • Networking lunch (kindly hosted by Huawei)
    • Visit to OLE SUPERMARKET and YIHAODIAN head office
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Who will be participating in the study tour?

Only retailer and manufacturer members of The Consumer Goods Forum were invited to participate and the group is limited to a size of approximately 30 participants. The study tour is attended by Chief Information Officers from the retail and consumer goods sector, including senior managers involved in IT-development and digital innovation coming from around the world.



The IT Study Tour has been developed by the IT Committee for the members of our global association. The committee is made up of a group of senior level IT executives representing member companies. The committee steers activities in the area of Information Technology. The group anticipates the needs of our association’s members and determines what are the top-of-mind issues in the retail and FMCG business and addresses these issues through tailor made Study Tours for members of the Forum.

The IT Committee

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