Building Materials BusinessBusiness Details
Anticipate the desired function, and build comfortable housing to match the needs of the times
The Building Materials Division Headquarters brings together all kinds of materials related to the living environment, such as system kitchens, prefabricated bathroom, air-conditioning equipment, equipment for houses that use electricity exclusively, plumbing equipment & materials, house exteriors, and construction materials, so as to contribute to the creation of comfortable dwellings. In addition, by providing products and systems that are kind to both people and the environment, such as those related to the environment, energy-saving technologies, clean energy, healthcare and barrier-free living, we breathe new life into home and office environments.
* Department names and positions are based on the time this interview was conducted in October 2019.
what is the mission of the Building Materials Division Headquarters?
Our goal is to boost the construction industry through proposals that anticipate the future
The Building Materials Division Headquarters is a department that is engaged in BtoBtoC business for housing and offices. From the perspective of a primary agent that sources products from manufacturers, such as housing equipment and materials, life-peripheral equipment, and construction materials, we have transactions with a wide range of companies, including housing manufacturers and builders, condominium management companies, and the customers of secondary wholesalers. Supported by the three pillars of new builds, remodeling, and non-residential, we provide wide-ranging proposals for comfortable dwellings that satisfy not only the companies that are our direct customers, but also the end users who actually live in the houses.
The people to whom we submit our proposals tend to be in management, and the operating environment of such companies is significantly affected by changes in laws or tax laws, and by governmental policies. What is required are proposed solutions that take trends in the wider world into account, and anticipate the future. For example, the setting up of smoking rooms in restaurants and offices in accordance with revisions to the Health Promotion Act. Going forward, the forthcoming EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN is leading to an intensification of activity related to the provision of hotels and accommodation. In order to mitigate any concerns that managers may have regarding the business, and to energize the industry as a whole, it is also important to hold study meetings to explain from a consulting perspective how to grow company sales over the long term, and to make proposals accordingly. We arrange warranties and campaigns for products in order to please management, and this requires planning capabilities such as attaching special benefits and so on. As a salesman, it makes me happy to see such initiatives being reflected in my own performance in the form of increased sales figures. I also feel a good deal of satisfaction when a setup that I created enables customers to post profit consistently.
What are the strengths of the Building Materials Division Headquarters?
Developing original products that utilize both construction and planning capabilities
Our strength lies in our ability to provide unique solutions tailored to the customer’s needs by combining a variety of materials from different manufacturers. Another strength is our construction know-how, which other trading companies do not possess.
Since I joined the Company, a sense of crisis has permeated the division, based on the idea that we will be unable to differentiate ourselves from other firms if we simply wholesale materials as trading companies have done in the past. In order for the division to consistently grow revenues, it is necessary to be continuously developing new marketing approaches that are suitable for the times in which we live.
In the 10 years since I joined the company, the target customers and companies to which the Building Materials Division Headquarters sells have changed significantly, and this has also led to the emergence of new strengths. One of these is construction capability. For new builds we can assemble facilities and equipment, while for properties being remodeled we can do everything from demolition on site, to assembly, to connecting water pipes and so on. When required we also perform process management, hold meetings with subcontractors, make plans regarding the construction, and check on progress, taking on responsibility for the site up to the point where it can be handed over.
Today, with greenhouse gas emissions increasingly being seen as a problem, business proposals that use environmentally friendly products are attracting attention. We hold “environmental solution fairs” at regular intervals, providing information that is relevant to trends in the wider world and to the topics in which customers are interested. In addition to broadening our customer base, this allows us to deliver the latest information to existing customers.
It is in this context that we have launched the “ZePlus” original housing concept. In the Net Zero Energy House (ZEH; houses designed to consume net zero primary energy over the course of the year through the installation of highly insulated and energy-efficient facilities) market, which had been the exclusive preserve of major housing manufacturers, by working with regional builders and providing the know-how to take on contractual responsibility for part of the operations, we can construct ZEH housing going forward in which the attention to detail of the builder still plays a part. In a construction industry where the shortage of employees continues to be a problem, proposals for structural materials with a high degree of workability are also welcomed by customers. With the number of model homes beginning to increase nationwide, we will continue to recommend them with confidence.
What role does the Building Materials Division Headquarters fulfill with regard to society?
Contributing through the business by addressing environmental problems and workstyle reforms
Yamazen is promoting the Green Ball Project, which incorporates measures to sell and popularize energy-saving equipment whose effects help prevent global warming, and has been endorsed by many other companies. Through this project, the reduction in CO2 achieved by energy-saving equipment sold by Yamazen can be visualized, leading to a balance between business and the fulfillment of social responsibility. This gives me a real sense that I am helping, albeit in a small way, to resolve global environmental problems through my day-to-day sales activities. In addition, I hope to contribute to the workstyle reforms of the customer by proposing mechanisms that improve the efficiency with which sales are generated by even a small amount.
Based on the social issues of the environment and workstyle reforms, we are actively making sales approaches to companies in industries where we have not yet had any transactions. This environment allows us to think freely and make proposals so that we can somehow be of assistance for companies in increasing sales together, regardless of the industry and type of business. Even within the division, there is a culture of supporting new business, and of letting people take a vigorous approach to such matters. Going forward, I hope to extend our cooperation with other divisions to broaden the possibilities, and combine the various materials available in the world today to provide solutions to a wide range of customer problems.