Culturally, trees have a significant appeal as well, as far back as written human society can recall. From passages in The Bible and transcripts of the ancient Egyptians to 20thcentury book references like J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of The Rings trilogy character Treebeard.
One of the cultural staples of Japanese architecture is the wooden house and the Sumitomo Forestry Group has been involved in the forestry business for over 320 years since its foundation in 1691. More specifically, Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. is one of Japan’s leading timber and building materials trading companies with a steadily growing custom-built detached wooden housing business.
The company’s housing business sells about 9,000 custom-built detached wooden houses per year and each one yields housing specification data. The customized equipment for the kitchen and bathrooms, the construction materials for all columns and beams, maintenance history and much more gets recorded and filed. With thousands of homes being built annually, this means Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. needs to maintain a data set in the hundreds of millions.
The company built a database to house all of this valuable information. Unfortunately, it required each department to request a search to process the data on an ad hoc basis anytime the user department, materials department, or quality assurance department needed access. This data extraction process became onerous both in time and costs.
To make matters more challenging, as the data growth continued to escalate, the data retrieval tool was unable to keep pace and could not search the full data set. Detailed data searches were very difficult in the time it would take each department to cull the results into meaningful insights. These growing limitations meant Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. would need to completely change the way data was processed.