12/22/22

Two overseas guests to ISOWA

In December, we welcomed two guests across the border.

The first guest was from Thailand.

 


This is a photo from 6 years ago.

The gentleman in the photo visited ISOWA for the first time in 6 years, and we had dinner together last night.

When we had dinner together 6 years ago, he asked me questions from various aspects about our company’s management philosophy and corporate culture.

He immediately took notes as I explained each of them.

I was impressed by his enthusiasm.

I gave him a shikishi (Japanese-style message card) on which Tsunobo(my wife) had written a Japanese message, "Kitto saku (it means surely it will bloom)," with a calligraphy brush as a gift.

There is a reason for this: his name is “Kittisak”

I was sure that "Kittisak" would bloom in the near future if he kept running his business like this, so I sent him the word "Kitto saku" with my wish.

When I met him this time, he told me that he keeps the photo and shikishi on display.

And he also said, “Since you told me the idea of "Employees' Happiness" the last time we had dinner together, I've been running my business based on that idea for these six years. As a result, I was able to lead my company to great growth with ISOWA's machines.”

What an incredible story he told!

See! I knew he had been blooming!

And again, last night, he asked me a number of questions about new initiatives at ISOWA over these six years, and he promptly took note of my answers on his phone.

Proving that, the thank-you e-mail I received late at night said, "I wrote down the 8 points tonight. I will put them into practice as soon as I return home."

I was impressed by his sincere attitude, which was the same as six years ago.

This is exactly what “Making folks happy in the corrugated world” means!

It was a blissful reunion.


Thank you, Kittisaku-san.


Here is the story of the second guest.


International Paper Board Industry is one of the corrugated industry trade magazines published by Brunton Publications from the U.K..

Mr. David, a reporter of the magazine, visited us for the first time in a while.

His first visit was in August 2008.


Then he came here for the second time in August 2012.



 And this was his third visit to ISOWA.

As you can see above, we have both grown old over these 14 years.

He also appeared in ISOWA’s centennial commemorative magazine; therefore, I dedicated the commemorative magazine to him before we started the tour.



Though it's all written in Japanese (laugh.)

Since he is very interested in ISOWA’s approach of improving the corporate culture, he asked me a lot of questions about that apart from the main interview this time as well.

As a result, the interview, including the factory tour, lasted nearly four hours.

Afterward, we had dinner together and talked about various topics for another two hours.

As a machinery manufacturer, ISOWA is passionate not only about technology but also about “people (involved with machines)” and “(their) feelings.”

We could have a great talk as he shares that idea.

“Let’s meet a little more often from now on,” I said.

“Please take me to ISOWA’s customer’s factory next time,” he said.

“Of course!” I replied.

I would have a variety of topics ready for next time.


See you again, Kittisak.

See you again, David.


11/10/22

Two overseas exchanges

I’ll introduce you to two overseas exchanges we had recently.


The first is about Mr. N, who began working at ISOWA in the middle of October.

We started to hire new employees by recommendations of other ISOWA people.  For now, only service technicians.  


I interviewed one of the candidates, Mr. N. 


He has a degree in computer science from a university in the Philippines and came to Japan 9 years ago after graduation.


He had little chance to speak Japanese because his former place of work was almost all Filipinos, so I talked in English with him.


I said, “Did you hear anything about ISOWA from Mr. M, who recommended you to us?”


He answered, “I heard about work, only that ISOWA manufactures machines of corrugated paper, and I heard that ISOWA people are all good people.”


I think he understands that not only “What you do” is important but also “Whom you work with.”


America, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, China, Korea, and the Philippines.

With the additional cross-cultural exchange, I am looking forward to seeing what new fusions will be created with us. 


The other overseas exchange we had was about Mr. Ron, the president of ISOWA AMERICA Inc.

I had talked with him online for the recent two years, but now, he has come to Japan after three years, and I had a face-to-face and long talk with him!


I realized a good point of a face-to-face talk once again because we could feel the passion of each other.


On the day of Mr. Ron’s return to America, Mr. O, Mr. A from Export Department, my wife, and I went to dinner with him. 

 

Ron, Mr. O, and Mr. A are all good fellows, and we had a fantastic dinner together, suitable for the restaurant’s name, “TGI Fridays!”


(We went to dinner on Thursday, though, ha-ha.)


Basting on our discussions in the meetings, let’s do what we all need to do in Japan and the U.S. to win bigger success in the US market!


10/25/22

ISOWA tour with a new type of machine



23 customers from 8 companies visited ISOWA to see the new type of machine from the beginning to the middle of September.

To welcome customers day after day, many ISOWA-bito and TASUKE-bito (staff from partner companies) changed their schedules each time and cooperated in preparing for the machine demonstrations.

 

Thanks to that, we also were able to show the various machines currently being assembled. Above all, we think the customers were able to feel the atmosphere of ISOWA's manufacturing site, which produces "i-machine."

 

One of the customers said, "As soon as I came to ISOWA, I felt the passion."

I asked, "Wasn't it "over the top," and not just "passion?" (laugh) The reason I asked was that someone in the past said he felt it was "over the top."

 

ISOWA-bito always welcomes our visitors. Some people say they feel "passion," while others say it seems "over the top."

 

This is because of the various values. 

 

Do we respond to everyone conservatively, or do we put our own values upfront and leave it to the customers to decide whether they like it?

There are various thoughts, but for me, I want to have something that describes ISOWA's uniqueness and stick to it.

 

I always think that I want to value "difference" rather than being safe and value "acceptable."

 

So, I was very happy to hear the customer say they feel "passion."

We will continue to aim to be a company that outpours enough passion to be “over the top"!  

 

Mr. Y, who presented his ISOWA story (Jibun-gatari) with a machine behind him, is a technical engineer. He did the presentation while emitting " passion" in his own way.


Also, even if it is the same machine, it is enormous. It cannot be developed by one engineer, and multiple members work together as a team.

 

There is no specific employee in charge of Jibun-gatari (ISOWA story), but various ISOWA-bito are in charge each time.

 

Various customers came to this tour almost every day to see the same machine.

 

So, I thought that one of the members who already did the ISOWA story would be doing a presentation today, but it was Mr. I, who newly presented his ISOWA story.



"Making folks happy in the corrugated world."

 

Everyone in ISOWA thinks and works towards this same big vision, but there are 300 ways, as there are 300 members.

However, everything is connected to one corporate philosophy, vision, and strategy.  

 

We are still halfway there, but we will aim for that as team ISOWA.

 

I was thinking about this while listening to Mr. I. presenting his ISOWA story.

 

Once again, I want to thank all the customers who came to ISOWA, as well as ISOWA-bito and TASUKE-bito.

9/22/22

Muito obrigado


Even through the tough situation of the pandemic, two customers from major corrugated box  companies in Brazil, Mr. César Sousa and Mr. Lindomar Lima, visited our company.


One of them ordered our machine for the first time and it was the final checkup before installation.

The other customer already owns ISOWA machines. They are competitors but they have a good relationship. So, they visited us together.



Please take a look at the bottom part of the welcome board which I held in the group photo. We wrote small letters “and Andre-san”.

Yes, the person who stands on the right is Andre Fazzolari who works at ISOWA America. He is responsible for the Brazil area.


As we usually do for our customer, some members did presentations of their ISOWA story (we call it “Jibun-gatari”.) This time, it was a little bit different because we did it not only in English but also in Portuguese.


The person in the middle front was Mr. S who is responsible for North and South America. Mr. T on the left is engaged in the research and development of the control device.


In the plant, Mr. I did a presentation in front of the new machine. He will go to the installation.

He has installed other machines in Brazil before and he is an ISOWA-bito (ISOWA-person) who loves Brazil very much.


“I am always willing to visit the customers in Brazil!”


When they entered our plant, they liked the neat and clean environment.

Furthermore, when they first saw the new machine, they claimed “We got very excited at first sight.”

Also, they were really satisfied with the result of the test run.


Since they fitted into the atmosphere of our company through the ISOWA discovery tour and the test run, they offered us a group photo and took a selfie.



We had lunch twice. Including cheap eats such as Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake). They enjoyed Japanese food very much.



This photo was taken when we went to a ramen restaurant near our company.

Under the hot weather, they were engrossed in eating the piping hot ramen saying “Bon!”

They got sweaty and accidentally spilled soup from the ramen and it stained their shirts. Their legs got numb because of the Japanese-style seat. Still, they enjoyed it.


At the end of the two-day stay at our company, they told us that they really wanted to join ISOWA. haha

They requested to get an ISOWA uniform and I was happy to give them. Again, they said “Photo! Photo!”




I said, “Please order our machines continuously, and visit us every time. I will give you our uniform anytime.”

They answered, “We look forward to it.”


We are very happy that they liked our machine, and they also liked ISOWA people and our corporate culture. I look forward to their next visit.


Oh, before that, I have to go on tour to Brazil after the machine installation.


Muito obrigado. -Thank you very much.

8/9/22

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of ISOWA-Bito

 


 Following celebrating 50, 40, and 30 years of anniversaries, this month we celebrated four ISOWA-Bitos for their 20th anniversary on the job. 

I had actually planned to have them speak in front of everyone about how they felt about their 20 years, but due to the deteriorating situation in COVID, we had to postpone the company-wide morning meeting and celebrate with a few members of the Employees Support G. and me.


Mr. S (back row, center)

 Since no personnel could adjust hydraulic equipment at the time, he was given the opportunity to follow his seniors to become a specialist in hydraulics. He studied hard and indeed became a specialist in hydraulic equipment. From there, he further developed his skills and became an assembly leader. He is now in a position to nurture his successor. So, I hope he will talk a little more. And before that, a 'smile'! He was smiling when he was giving his speech, but in the picture, he is back to his usual Mr. S self... (haha)


Mr. Ni (back row, left)

As soon as he joined ISOWA, he became the ace of ISOWA's baseball team, surpassing all of his seniors who were the aces of the team at the time. 

Now he is the ace of ISOWA corporation. 

And next, I’m expecting he will become “a big ace” of us.


Ms. K (front row, left)

Aims to be the first female coach!

The speed and precision of your work is perfect. The only thing left to do is to put on a smile.

Yes, just like in the picture.


Mr. No (back row, right)

After working seven years as a TASUKE-Bito, he switched to work as an ISOWA-Bito.

So he actually has been working at ISOWA for 27 years. 

So, in 3 years, I will celebrate him with an award for his 30th anniversary on the job. 

I’m expecting he will become a representative of the support department in the future.


Actually, there is one more person, but his family member has been sick since last night, so he had to cancel his participation in this celebration. I will write about this later.


All of them were new graduates hired person at the time except for Mr. No, who transferred from TASUKE-Bito.


They were the first members hired when I rebuilt the struggling recruitment process after I became the president.

I hope they will continue to exert themselves and become the driving force of ISOWA.

I have great expectations for them.

Thank you for 20 years!


7/22/22

Newcomers!

New ISOWA-bito (new-hire) who joined ISOWA in April had training until the end of June in each department.

In the sales department, they had presentations with the theme “what is waku-waku(which means exciting) business in ISOWA like?”.

Here’s the digest of their presentations.

 

Mr. I

Mr. I said “I love crafting. When I saw the test sheets and cases that would be thrown away, I thought that there are opportunities to make them into another craft.”

It’s wonderful if they can be up-cycled (not recycled) like Mr. Shimazu, the corrugated board artist from the movie ”Tabisuru Danboru (Traveling to find Corrugated boxes -2019)”.   I asked him to make this happen while I am still alive.

 

Mr.Sa

Mr.Sa. found that “waku-waku” has two opposite meanings.

Then he listed the favorable points and unfavorable points of the sales department and integrated them.  What an advanced idea he has!



Mr. M

Mr. M always makes a clear response to each question and idea from the audience.

It’s great!

He summarized the features of the ISOWA Web Store and gathered them into a catalog.

It was quite elaborate.

 

Mr. K

“I listed more concrete images of the abstract word ‘waku-waku’,” said Mr. K.

“I divided the list into two groups and extracted a common denominator from each group.”

He converted the abstract word to concrete images and abstracted their common factors from them.

It’s not easy to reconvert an abstract word to another abstract image through concrete images of the original abstract word.



Mr. Se

Mr.Se compared the interesting features of the sales department to “onsen” (Japanese hot spring).

I asked him “why do you think so?”

He answered, “even though they may all look alike, you can find differences in each when you enter”.

Such a unique perspective. I guess he has a high ability to think in the abstract.


Mr. C

“Whether you can win the order from the customer or not is a result.  You can feel ‘waku-waku’ in the process of receiving the order.  Even if you fail to win the order, you can feel another waku-waku by thinking about what you can do for the next opportunity,” he said.

I was impressed by his idea. It is splendid to have such a way of thinking at the time of new employee probation.





I appreciate each ISOWA-bito who completed this new-hire three-month training in each department. Thank you so much.

New ISOWA-bito, don’t forget the following guiding principle:

First, brighten the atmosphere.

Then, extend a hand.

And, take the initiative as much as you can.

Above all, safety first.

Go for it!

6/7/22

Nice story on the way to a business trip to the Kansai!

I’ll introduce you to two nice stories during a business trip in the Kansai area.


The first is the Osaka Domestic Sales Department of ISOWA.


I stopped in the Osaka Domestic Sales Department for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic had gone around.


Although it was established in 2011, more than 10 years ago, it has been kept clean, and I felt like it was a newly built house.


The blog at that time is here↓↓

https://blog.goo.ne.jp/h_isowa/e/e5721e5a9d857e4a672604a22331db8e


Now is here↓↓


When I told this to the members of the department, they said “Thanks to Mr. I, it has always been kept clean.”


Thank you for the nice work, Mr. I!


The other is something our customers told me.


When I visited M corporation on the way to the business trip, Mr. S, their president, said that “Mr. A, who is the service technician from ISOWA and who is responsible for them, is most excellent !!”


“Mr. S trust him more than us! (ha-ha)”, Mr. M, their chief, also said.


Then, I visited T corporation, Mr. T, their president, said that “Mr. O, who is the service technician from ISOWA and who is responsible for them, is doing very well!”


I was very glad that our service technicians, who have always served our customers in the front lines, were praised by two customers.

I felt as if I were over the moon!


I think it is the company with the best corporate culture in the world that our customers praise, not only our service technicians, but also all ISOWA people.


We aim that will be able to hear our good reputation from our customers, even if it takes many years!