【The Voice of Professional】Mr. Yamanaka, President , GOGYOFUKU Co., Ltd. - PREX Island
Lecturers / Specialists Working style
【Voice of Professisonal】Mr. Yamanaka, President , GOGYOFUKU Co., Ltd. 
*Q. (PREX staff)
*A. (Mr. Yamanaka, President of GOGYOFUKU Co., Ltd.)
Why GOGYOFUKU tackle to improve management quality?
Mr. Yamanaka, you aim to create an ‘interesting’ company for your customers, employees, employees’ families and society with ‘management quality improvement’ as it axis. What made you take up ‘management quality improvement’? What have been its positive points?
In the middle of the turmoil of the Great Han-shin Awaji Eearthquake, after I quit my job as a salaried worker and returned to the family’s GOGYOFUKU business, I began to wonder how I should manage the company and thought it would be best to get an MBA.
To get started, when I began to study ‘management quality’, I thought it more important to get the employees to have motivation and find their work interesting. I began to reform and innovate management quality. This was acknowledged and we received an award like Kansai Quality Award etc. and people from outside came to look at us.
Even if we ourselves explained how good our company is, nobody would understand us or accept it. However, when we received such awards, outsiders began to acknowledge us; ‘the company’s well managed, isn’t it?’ The media introduced us. Long ago, it was ‘What’s that company? I’ve never heard of it.’ It then became ‘I’ve heard about that company.’ Little by little the company became known, and I think this helped increase staff motivation.
Through measures taken to improve management quality, the GOGYOFUKU Creed: Management Philosophy, Quality Policy, Staff Image, Behavior Guidelines, Human Resources Development strategies, etc. was involved. This, as the basic policy of GOGYOFUKU, is made known to everyone in the company, cooperating companies, and customers. I think this is necessary in order that we can inform others of what we think, get them to understand us and for the continuation of the company.
What is keiei hinshitsu (management quality)?
Future of GOGYOFUKU
At present, what is the most important thing for you?
I suppose you could say, making our customers happy or company growth. If you don’t meet customers’ needs your products won’t sell. That’s easy to say, but it’s far more difficult to know what needs you have to meet. The company’s theme for this fiscal year is ‘return to the basics, and work more and more on product development’.
For the company to grow, it needs products. In recent years, emphasis has been put on quality control. If too much emphasis is put on quality control, things like the product development team ending up being busy checking product labels happens, and as a result, time for product development becomes limited.
Because of this, from this spring, we have increased the number of staff working on product development and have made their role clear. During the process of product development, they listen to the customers and work with them to create products. We are shifting our management resources more to product development. No matter how interesting it is for the employees to work, if the company doesn’t grow, eventually it will not be good for the life of each employee.
The company has taken on 5 new employees this fiscal year and explained to them that our future investment will be in increasing product development human resources and increasing product development.
Also, which is unusual for small and medium-size businesses, we have introduced a monthly settlement system and announce the content to all the company’s employees. On top of that, each month, besides the monthly sum which is set aside for bonuses, we announce that an additional sum is added when there has been a certain percentage increase in provisional operating profits.
Until now, the bonus total sum was decided at a board meeting. While some employees thought that if bonuses were smaller, it meant there would be an increase in company profits. However, that’s not so now. Bonuses are reflected in how much is earned through their work, so all the staff now want to increase production.
If you say, you should employ more people when the company is busy, employees believe that this will be affect the company’s balance sheet and reduce the amount of their bonuses.
In this situation, staff know that although it will require some forbearance, employing 5 new employees is necessary when we think to 5 or 10 years ahead. I believe you have to explain things in a way that employees can see that ‘if you do this, this will be the result’.
What is the secret that GOGYOFUKU produce such an various products?
Your company is regarded as a business model, a sales model and as a company that is ‘interesting’ for both your customers and employees. Also, the word ‘interesting’ is just perfect for describing your 400 delicacy products: iya-senmai-zuke, Ikanago-no-kugini, Binchotan cashew nuts, Sarami slice. Sweet and spiced Hokkaido tsubu-gai and Gouda cheese dry-cured ham roll which don’t appear to be your everyday delicacy, but are unique and make you want to taste them. Mr. Yamanaka, how or what do you feel about your products?
GOGYOFUKU products are like ‘AKB48’ (a popular female idol pop group). We always produce new products that are unique and popular. We produce products that are suitable for each occasion and season, like the lead performer in the center of the group changing every now and then.
While it is usual for products that don’t sell to be dropped, like a popular group’s leader who falls out of popularity being dropped, ideally, products should be more like SMAP (a famous former popular male pop group) where each product is strong and the group is strong. I want to produce products that are popular with the young and old, male and female.
- Date : May 20, 2020
- Name : Mr. Yamanaka, May 20, 2020
- job name : President