Showa Denki has successfully fused the philosophies of monozukuri and Magokoro to become a fully-integrated service provider improving workplace environments across the world.
Factories can sometimes be hot, dusty and difficult environments to work in. For companies looking to improve the operating environment of their production facilities to ensure a more pleasurable and productive space for their workers, many turn to the experts at Showa Denki.
Not only does Showa Denki manufacture environmental improvement equipment, blowers and dust/mist-collectors, it is also a work environment measurement provider. As such, Showa Denki functions as a consultancy service, issuing analysis and reports on a client’s work environment, after which it recommends a path forward through the use of its high-quality equipment.
Established in 1950, Showa Denki has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of technologies for airflow. But today, as the company looks to grow and expand on the international scene, CEO Kensaku Kashiwagi’s ambition is for Showa Denki to become a “Magokoro” company, what he defines as a fully-integrated service provider with a manufacturing department.
The term ‘monozukuri’ is closely associated with Japanese manufacturing. However, Showa Denki aims to take the monozukuri manufacturing spirit to a new level through Magokoro, a uniquely Japanese way of showing hospitality and sincerity.
“Magokoro cannot be seen or touched. But we believe that our customers can feel it in our machines, services, and hospitality. Through Magokoro, we believe that we can have the trust of our customers. Trust is definitely not something you can buy with money,” explains Mr. Kashiwagi. “The fusion of monozukuri and Magokoro led Showa Denki to customize each product for each customer with flexible ideas, which has become our strength all over the world.”
Since this 70-year-old company took its first foray into the international market in 2010, it hasn’t looked back. Having established operations in Thailand in 2012 (where it developed the concept for its ‘Windracer’ fan that has proven a hit back home in Japan) to service the nation’s growing manufacturing industry, Showa Denki has expanded to several other markets, including Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico and the United States.
The growing machinery manufacturing and automotive industries offer particular opportunity for Showa Denki’s growth overseas, explains Mr. Kashiwagi, who has ensured that the philosophy of monozukuri and Magokoro are maintained at the company’s international branches.
“When I started our overseas business, I did not use the words ‘Made in Japan’, but ‘Made with Japan’. This means we make the product with the spirit of Japanese monozukuri wherever we are,” he says. “For example, Toyota has a lot of factories overseas and in Japan but the product quality at all plants is the same. I think it is because they maintain their spirit of Japanese monozukuri. My target is to ensure each overseas office supplies products and services with the same spirit of Japanese monozukuri.”
At the same time that Showa Denki has sought international expansion, the company has also diversified its domestic business into the bass fishing industry. As a passionate fisherman, Mr. Kashiwagi spotted an opportunity to sell and distribute sports fishing boats for customers in Japan, leading Showa Denki to sign distributor agreements with U.S. bass fishing boat manufacturers, Charger, Vexus, and Basscat.
“For this business line, we have facilities for boat assembly, and also to perform after-sales maintenance. We also co-sponsor bass fishing tournaments, such as the World Bass Society Pro-Team Tournament in Japan,” explains Mr. Kashiwagi, who saw the move into the boating industry as the ideal opportunity to boost the company’s brand.
Drawing on its 70 years’ experience as a reputed manufacturer of technologies for rotators, Showa Denki has also developed a DC motor for electric outboard motors used in high performance bass fishing boats. The most remarkable feature of this motor is its replacement of a conventional motor with brushes with a brushless design to dramatically reduce maintenance frequency, extend service life and reduce noise – yet another example of Showa Denki’s outstanding monozukuri-Magokoro fusion.