Episode 4: “Rising SMEs 300” Award
Finally, it has been done to construct the foundation of the factory buried 20-meter underground. Now, external constructions have been started such as rain-water permeant reservoir, external and underground buried plumbing.
The size of a reservoir exceeds beyond our imaginations. It makes us realize the scale of the new factory, which had been unimaginable until now.
For interior, the colors of inner walls, floors, as well as grater cranes have been determined. Although it is a small step each, it is something like adding colors to the black-and-white design draft.
We concentrate to the works at hand, even though we are counting down the day to complete the construction. In this spring, we received two delightful news: “Rising SMEs 300” award by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and “Excellence in Quality” award from Stanley Electric Co., LTD.
Some of our staff breathed sign of relief, and others turned new leaves. Many different thoughts are emerging here.
Awarded for “Rising SMEs 300”
Total 300 companies out of 3.8 million SMEs in Japan were selected for “Rising SMEs 300” award by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The aim of the award is to encourage continuous and steady growth of SMEs, which support foundation of Japanese economics. The selection processes focus on three categories: Productivity Enhancement, Demand Increase, and HR Acquisition. The best practices in each category are selected for the awards.
Mizuki Co., LTD was awarded for the best practices in innovative product developments, establishment of new service, vitalization of local community, and international competitiveness.
There are several reasons why Mizuki Co., LTD was awarded. Some reasons are our efforts and approaches, but another is -Needless to say- our customers’ expectations and trusts to our products. Mr. Mizuki, president of Mizuki Co., LTD, told us as follows.
“To be honest, I had never thought about the award during my work. Speaking in the extreme, I had thought that it was OK to be a company nobody knew as long as we did the proper works. However, existing markets are getting smaller along with births of new markets, nowadays. We need to think of “Making good products” as well as “Awareness of Mizuki.”
So that, we have focused on “Countermeasure against Zero defects” and “Delivery date management” at work site. Also, we have cooperated with outside partners like designers, and also with public sector agencies like JETRO. Such activities led to the award.
Quiet dedication for increasing “Awareness of Mizuki”
We had worked only for productions of precision fasteners since Mizuki founded. We had never tried to make our customers to know our efforts or approaches. However, as Mr. Mizuki mentioned, we have focused on increasing “Awareness of Mizuki.” For strengthen public relation of Mizuki, the key person is Dr. Kenji Onodera, Deputy Director, Dept. of management.
He is a registered Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Consultant, and had consulted many companies for advancing businesses to overseas and improving their managements. He told us about the award Mizuki received as follows.
“I had worded with Mizuki Co., LTD as an outside partner and a registered consultant to support Mizuki’s overseas advance until 3 years ago. I arranged visits to Silicon Valley, and advised uses of grant funding. By discussing with Mr. Mizuki, I understood his sincere attitude for business efforts, and had started thinking to join Mizuki to support their fruitful advances. So that, I’ve joined Mizuki, and now, I’ve been working for re-organization and financial affairs of Mizuki.
Speaking of “Rising SMEs 300”, you may feel that 300 companies are too many to be selected. However, there are more than 3.8 million SMEs in Japan, and only one out of more than 10 thousand companies were awarded. It is really hard to receive the award. From my experiences as a registered consultant, I know that this award is really noteworthy and highly credible since Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan have conducted assiduously for long time.
From the very start, Mizuki has manufactured highly precise products, and our efforts have run smoothly including delivery date management. So that, I had expected that we would be selected in 300 companies someday. However, I had never imaged that we could receive the award so soon.
However, I realize that Mr. Mizuki have invited to speak at seminars hosted or sponsored by national governments for three times, and also invested several times to small seminars. So, there are many chances to make known about Mizuki. Such small step each leads to the award.”
From a small company making screws to “Rising SMEs 300” awarded company
Moreover, Dr. Onodera told us that the award was crucially important not only for outside the company, but also within the company.
“Because we are a manufacturing company, it is very important to have prides, which we are manufacturing good products. From that perspective, the award brought us a huge pride. On the other hand, the award leads to think we cannot manufacture or deliver defect products. Such pressure make us grow in a good way.
Additionally, it is my private matter though. When I was asked what kind of company Mizuki was, I could only say it was a SME making screws. I had no way to explain well that Mizuki manufactures good products and wins the trusts from our customers for long time.
However, Mizuki won the endorsement from the government, and many of my friends know about the award. So, I would like to write “The Company I worked selected for Rising SMEs 300” in next New Year cards. “
Go on to next stage by memorizing the award.
While interviewing Dr. Onodera, we realized that our Mizuki were supported by many efforts and thoughts, brought by each individual associate. Mr. Mizuki told us he would like to tell the following messages to our staff about the award.
“We could receive the award thanks to all of our customers who trusted us, as well as all of our staff who faced to their trusts and worked hard in the field. As a president, I appreciate each one of our staff members. Even though each efforts are so small, I realize that such small efforts lead to a huge accomplishment. We set our goal to be ‘commanding No.1’ and ‘World class company lasting 100 years’, and move on along with all of our staff members consciously. “
Mr. Mizuki also told us an idea to make gifts for business partners and those who help our businesses in commemoration of the award. Taking this opportunity, we get motivated to move one more step forward.