YKK Stories

2020-04-06 Issue 141 – Fundamental Behavior 14 – Invest in relationships

April 6, 2020
Author: YKK
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YKK has a great corporate culture. The “Cycle of Goodness,” “Management Philosophy,” and “Core Values” clearly show the importance of enhancing long-term relationships based on our Fundamental Behavior “Invest in Relationships.”

When I think about “Invest in Relationships,” I remember two things.

The first was a question and answer session with Mr. Nishizaki and Transportation Fastening Materials (TFM) Director Mr. Thanh Nguyen at the Fastening Business Planning Meeting last year. Thanh’s answer to Mr. Nishizaki’s question on acquiring new TFM business was, “TFM’s business partners recognize YKK as a ‘Fastening Solutions Company’ and not just a zipper manufacturer, and when they face challenges in fastening applications, the first thing they do is contact YKK. These efforts and relationships are the key to getting new business opportunities.” It is precisely because Thanh and the entire TFM department have invested considerable time and effort in building strong relationships with business partners that YKK is given the first opportunity. I was impressed with their effort.

The other is something my mentor said. When I first joined YKK 27 years ago, he said, “It takes at least 10 years to regain trust once it has been lost. Never do anything that damages your credibility (such as lying, breaking promises, being late, or insulting others).” Just as I was leaving college and becoming a working adult, he gave me the gift of understanding the importance of trust-based relationships. You should also keep in mind that trust can be compromised easily by the little things.

As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day.” It sometimes takes years to get things done. The same is true of building relationships, which are not something that can be accomplished in a short period of time. Every day, day by day, through hard work and daily practice, we build relationships. However, being more proactive should make it easier and less time consuming to build relationships with each other. “Investment” is crucial. “Investment” is, in other words, “to think fairly, honestly and amicably from the standpoint of the other party and continue to provide the best service repeatedly” to all stakeholders.

As of this writing, the new coronavirus is rampant around the world and many are facing difficulties. The United States is no exception, and the new coronavirus is spreading in Georgia, especially near Atlanta. Business leaders, including President Jim Reed at YCA and President John Smith at USA, are repeatedly sending messages to employees. They are spending a lot of time ensuring that employees continue to work safely and with peace of mind, and are undertaking various initiatives to continue to provide products and service to customers. And in this difficult time, they continue to encourage everyone to be positive.

Under difficult circumstances, business leaders are practicing “Invest in Relationships.” That’s because they believe that as trust-based relationships grow stronger, we can unite and overcome the difficulties, and YKK can continue to grow.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see how strong and steadily YKK can grow if not only business leaders but each one of our employees were to consciously enhance their relationships?

Nelson Takemoto
Director, Information Technology Group
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.