Executive Message

2016APR 11

Let's be true professionals that are recognized even outside of the company
Vehicle & Solution Business Operation, Chief General Manager, Toshizumi Kato

April 11, 2016

In the Vehicle & Solution Business Operation in 2016, we will focus on activities in two main areas: "management that strives for the upper limits of consolidated profit ratios for each key model," and "a declaration to become a professional."

Why is "management that strives for the upper limits of consolidated profit ratios for each key model" so important? With development, manufacturing, and sales bases scattered across the globe, it can be extremely difficult to determine which models are generating what degree of profit. For example, in the case of Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs), CKD parts are manufactured in Japan, then the vehicles are completed at YMMC and sold by YMUS. We can't see how much profits are actually generated without the consolidated posting of development costs, raw material costs, and sales promotion expenses in Japan, and at YMMC and YMUS. This is true of all kinds of products; for example, generators that are developed in Japan, manufactured in China, and sold in the United States.

Let me tell you about one experience I had when I was working at YMUS. At the time, the exchange rate was between 70 and 80 yen on the dollar. Almost every business aside from parts was operating in the red. We had to do something. Up until that time, the local staff had only been looking at sales performance, so we showed them the consolidated numbers for each model, along with development and manufacturing costs in Japan, and made it clearly visible which models they should be selling most actively.

From this point onward, in the relevant business divisions, we will increase the visibility of numbers in terms of "Management that strives for the upper limits of consolidated profit ratios for each business." By setting targets for each model based on those numbers, it should be possible to identify actions (target management) for each individual; that is, "What do I have to do to achieve those targets?" I want you all to become professionals in your respective fields; for example, finance, development, or assembly. If you are in sales, work to improve pricing. If you are in procurement, do your best to reduce costs. This is what I meant by a "declaration to become a professional." Already, all of the staff in the above areas have written their declaration ? either "I am a professional in ___," or "I will be a professional in ___ two years from now" ? and have posted that declaration where it can be seen. Eventually, I would like to put in place a firm foundation for employees around 30 years of age, to improve their awareness of what kind of professional they aim to be.

Being a "professional" means you are confident that you could support yourself even if you left Yamaha Motor. You are confident that if you went outside the Yamaha Motor Group, you could secure an even higher salary. But you work at Yamaha Motor because you like it. To me, that is the definition of a true professional.

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Speed is emphasized above all else. Work demands both accuracy and speed, but at times, these two elements are in opposition. When that happens, if you have to decide which one should take priority, without question, you should choose speed. Even if you must sacrifice accuracy to some extent, if you begin quickly, then there will be time to make adjustments later. This is how I feel, based on years of successful experience in B2B sales.