Interview with Kazunari Takahashi, President

To our customers, we want to be an honest manufacturer.
Our aim is to ensure that customer feedback is reflected in our products.
Kazunari Takahashi, President

What we aim for

Introduction to the President

President Kazunari Takahashi. In 2000, he became the fourth representative director of KARUI Co., Ltd. After graduating from a university in Chiba, one company in the Tokyo metropolitan area will work for four years. After that, he returned to Yamagata and joined KARUI. After engaging in manufacturing and sales work, he is assigned as the representative director.

KARUI's philosophy

We develop, manufacture and sell agricultural and industrial machinery.

To recognize the power of nature, and to appreciate this great blessing, to add our wisdom to this power, and to further improve efficiency and sophistication shall be the basis of development.

By the preservation of the environment alone, this nature is impossible to preserve, and in the development with the purification of the natural environment as a final purpose, the manufacture of customer-oriented products is the basis of management.

"Customer-oriented" is to respond to what customers really want

-Your company’s philosophy is to conclude that “Creating customer-oriented products is the foundation of management.” How do the President think about “customer-oriented”?

I think it’s about responding to what customers really want. Manufacturers like us are prone to get into the assumption that the craftsman “is sure to want this kind of product.” “It’s important to listen to the customer’s voice,” says often, neglecting the customer’s voice, always seeking to improve production efficiency and reduce costs. Our aim is to ensure that such mistakes are not made and that customer feedback is reflected in our products.

-How do you gather the “customer feedback”?

Our sales personnel have many opportunities to come into contact with customers at daily sales activities and exhibitions. Customers’ opinions, which were heard directly, are shared within the company through in-house daily reports, meetings, etc., and then brought to development meetings, etc.

The customer's opinions are quite different. However, I would like you to be satisfied with each of them.

-Nevertheless, it is difficult to reflect all of the customer’s voices, isn’t it?

Yes, the client’s voice is discriminatory. What can and cannot be done is born.

 

We manufacture chipper. There are a variety of things that customers actually crush, even if you speak of chipper. We receive various requests from our customers, but if we respond to a request that a farmer called A wants to do so, that function may be a hindrance to a farmer called B. It is difficult to reflect all customer demands.

 

Nevertheless, we would like to reflect customer feedback. For example, we must at least reflect the common thinking among the three people in light of the requests from A, B, and C. It does not truncate items other than the common term. We will endeavor to ensure that our customers are satisfied with each other.

We will share and discuss the customer's opinions at the meeting.
Everything is difficult, but we would like to reflect customer feedback at a minimum.

To increase "what you can do" to customers-there is still a lack of information. I want to hear the voices of customers.

-How have you chosen what you can do and what you can not do?

There are things that cannot be done technically, costly, or in terms of time. Even if it has good functions, it is meaningless if the price of the product goes up.

However, just because I can’t do it, I don’t deny it from the beginning. “I tried it, but if I improve it, it will cause a problem here,” I will explain to the customer.

-“What are your thoughts on increasing “”things you can do””?”

We would like to improve the strength of the entire company. To do this, we must first gather more customer opinions. I don’t think there is enough information yet. We would like to raise the interview by sales.

In addition, there is a problem that there is a gap between what we think “this is good” and what our customers think is “good”. For example, what is the customer asking for chipper? There are two types of chipper: one is a cutting type, which is ground with a knife, and the other is a crushing type, which is ground with a hammer.

Recently, knife-type products with high grinding efficiency are popular among customers. However, the knife type is delicate, and it is the ladder method to throw gravel, etc., together with branches. If the knife cannot be cut, the workability is poor, so the knife must be managed frequently. The hammer type is less efficient than the knife type, but it crushes even if it does not strike a little gravel or other foreign matter. There are good points in the hammer style too, but now the knife style is in fashion, so some people buy it thinking that somehow the knife style would be better.

Customer feedback is also important to bridge this gap between customers and us. I would like to collect more and more.

There are customers who easily select and purchase a chipper, saying, “This is what it looks like.” As I said many times, there are various things that customers crush, such as trees, shells, and bamboo.

Please careflly examine whether the product you wish to grind can be pulverized by chipper you intend to purchase. Chipper is not a cheap shopping. I don’t want you to regret it because you are going to buy it. This is the reason why the demonstration was carried out. Feel free to ask me anytime you have something you think “Oh?”

Popular knife style. It is delicate and requires frequent maintenance.
Hammer type. Though the efficiency is inferior, it does not strike gravel, etc..

Rather than producing and selling only popular knife-type products, we would like to develop products that reflect customer feedback more and more.

The benefit of nature: the manufacturer. With the development of products that coexist with nature

The benefit of nature: the manufacturer. With the development of products that coexist with nature

-What are your thoughts on the future and what kind of company creed do you intend to adhere to?

As I mentioned, customer-oriented management. Our corporate motto states, “We recognize the power of nature, appreciate this great blessing, and add our wisdom to this power to make it more efficient and sophisticated. That is the basis of our development.” I don’t think I can benefit from that power either if I recognize the power of nature and don’t try to break it.

For example, frost damage of cherries may occur. Frozen frost damage refers to the damage caused by crops where cherry blossoms bloom in April and cherry nuts no longer grow. As a countermeasure to this problem, Sakurambo farmers once burned old tires to keep the atmosphere from frosting. It’s the morning that frosts, so work is done all night. Because they burn used tires, they also cause air pollution. To reduce the burden on farmers and air pollution, we have also developed a frost-proof fan used in tea fields in Shizuoka and a water sprinkling system to wet the ground surface and prevent frost.

We would like to develop such products that do not harm the environment without coexisting with nature.

we would like to cooperate with the government and promote closer contact with the local community.

-Finally, please tell us about your evaluation in retrospect of yourself so far and your outlook for the future

It cannot be said that “something has been achieved”.I have regrets saying “I should have done that” and “I should have done this”. I still have to work hard..

As a prospect for the future, we would like to carry out management with administration, which has not been so much involved until now. For example, Yamagata Prefecture matches the manufacturing industry in the prefecture so that machines required by farmers in the prefecture can be developed. Yamagata Prefecture is a region where fruit farming is so popular that it is referred to as the “Kingdom of Fruit Trees.” In fact, however, the spread of chipper to farmers is not so high. That’s not just Yamagata, but the entire Tohoku region, isn’t it? Therefore, I would like to do my best to make the local people more aware of chipper. If you are a local partner, you will have more time to interact with customers, so I think it’s easier to gather customers’ voices as well. As one means, we are considering deepening our close contact with the local community.

We intend to work closely with the prefecture to increase local adhesion.
I want to be a manufacturer that does not lie to customers.

Message to customers

We want to be an honest manufacturer that doesn't lie to our customers.

-Finally, please tell us about your evaluation in retrospect of yourself so far and your outlook for the future

I would like to be an honest manufacturer that does not lie to customers.

In the manufacturing process, prioritizing A may result in B being sacrificed. Then, the customer who wanted B to be prioritized may think “Why don’t you do B” and a misunderstanding may arise. This is why I prioritized A. I would like to be a manufacturer that does business after explaining it well. We will continue to devote ourselves to the future, so I would like to thank you for your cooperation.

President Takahashi, thank you for your help despite your busy schedule.

Please contact us via e-mail.

The starting point for developing new products was the "individualization" of products in chipper market.