YKK Stories

2019-09-02 Issue 112 – Fundamental Behavior 10 – Be process driven

August 30, 2019
Author: YKK
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Let’s check the definition of “Process” in the dictionary. I found the definition below in the Cambridge Dictionary and found significant meaning in it.

It says, “Process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result.”

This means that we should always follow a “process” if we need to achieve a result.

Our Fundamental Behavior “Be Process-Driven” tells us that we should create strong systems/processes that bring us consistent performance and finally will be our foundation.

In my opinion, there are two important points which we should keep in our mind always to respect “Be Process-Driven.”

  1. Continuity
  2. Flexibility


As YKK, we have a big responsibility to supply high quality products and better service everyday, every moment. Because that is our customer expectation, we can’t miss it. Through my over 25 years’ experience in YKK, frankly speaking, I have had some bad experiences where I lost my customers. When I look back at why it happened, I could find that I didn’t respect the “Process” correctly. That’s why I can say now that we should always keep respecting the process. As you know very well, the customer may leave because of one critical mistake.

Sometimes it can happen that people think “I would like to do this task this way even when the rule or process is different because it’s easy/comfortable for me.” But let’s stop a moment and think once again about why we decided on that “Process.”

We have more than 80 years of history, and this gives us tons of knowledge, skills, technologies, etc. And through layering that knowledge, etc., we make it our “Process” to promise high performance to our market/customer. We can be proud of that and rely on that.


At the same time, our “Process” must be flexible enough as well because our market, technology, and circumstances are always changing and we should adjust ourselves to suit for them. Therefore, we should not be a “silent commentator” but a “positive proposer.”

With such proactive discussion and consideration, we can consider improving our process even more and we can give better performance to our customers. Then, we can gain further trust from them and create better relationships.

On the other hand, flexible process improvement gives us better benefit such as cost down, shortened lead time, etc. Therefore, we must always watch/think if there is issue or points on which we can improve.

Continuity of process is protective action to keep customer trust in us. And flexibility to process is aggressive action to improve ourselves. Thus, process must be action that we take in order to achieve a result.


Ethan Sakamaki
Vice President, Snap and Button Products Business Leader
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.