Tsutomu Usui, President and CEO of Kyosai Technos Co., Ltd.
Multi-vendor repair and support using one-stop service
24-hour monitoring of devices all the way on the other side of the planet by applying IoT
"If you are looking for repair services for measuring instruments and electronic devises which are no longer supported by the manufacturers, keep an eye on Kyosai Technos.” This sentence in the company brochure represents the company's history and their valuing ideas. The cycle of the new product releases has been accelerating these days, thus manufacturers often stop making products they have developed just a few years ago, and eventually cut off maintenance support as well. Kyosai Technos catches up to the needs of users who wish to continue using the products. We interviewed with Tsutomu Usui, President and CEO of Kyosai Technos about its business model that he achieved through a long process of trial and error.
A call center that summarizes inquiries and orders from across Japan
Mr. Usui joined Kyosai Electric Co., Ltd., which was run by his grandfather, when he was 28 years old. Kyosai Electric at that time was a subcontractor mainly engaged in the build-to-order manufacturing of electronic devises. He recalls that the company was required to produce inexpensive products, as Japan was moving to low-cost country for monozukuri (manufacturing). “We introduced an expensive machine that cost hundreds of millions of yen for manufacturing parts, and we worked overnight to make parts that cost just less than 1 yen. Sometimes the machine broke down. Then we requested on-site repair service, and we spent hundreds of thousands of yen for repair cost in no time. I wondered why there was such a big price disparity between the parts manufacturers like us and the machinery manufactures like them, even though both engaged in monozukuri (manufacturing).” Mr. Usui came up with a challenge in maintenance field which can be differentiated by technology, speed, and service, as a way out from price-focused monozukuri (manufacturing). "When your smartphone is broken, I’m sure you wish them to be repaired as soon as possible, even though the cost is somewhat expensive. I tried to find new opportunities for this need.”
By receiving repair requests regardless of the manufacturer, employee's technical skills have been also trained naturally.
"Repair of one equipment accumulates as our data, and eventually becomes our property. Since we can directly grasp reactions from customers, we can work with pride.”
The business started as an in-house project of Kyosai Electric and went independent in 2005. It has recorded a steady increase in profits since then.
Technical team, which is a life-prolonging factory of precision equipment
It is customer satisfaction that determines the value of the service. Kyosai Technos focuses on this idea thoroughly. They established 9 support bases including headquarters across Japan in order to speed up the repair. A bonded factory inside Kansai International Airport was also created, to respond quickly to the requests from overseas. Broken devices from around the world are brought to a bonded factory by international logistics companies and get repaired without any customs duties or customs clearance. The whole process takes only 3 to 4 days. They value the sense of speed as if customers using a laundry service.
In addition, the application of IoT enabled "remote monitoring solution" with Internet-connected electronic devises. "We can constantly monitor devices all the way on the other side of the planet. We developed our own equipment that allows remote rewriting of programs at the time of trouble occurrence.”
Mr. Usui stresses that the real value of the service is determined by communication, although the various systems are in place. "Not to mention technical capabilities, employee's words in response to call centers, explanation at the time of delivery, and contents of the report will have the greatest influence on every matter. Therefore, we are putting special emphasis on business etiquette training.
Devices collected from across Japan waiting for life-prolonging work
Mr. Usui, who has repeated major decisions so far, says, “We are eliminating business models that someone will lose. For example, by using our repair service for products which are no longer supported by the manufacturer, end users can reduce costs without discarding or buying new products; manufacturers can get their work, that they cannot deal with, covered; we can gain more profits as we can directly communicate with users. I realized that this is a sanpo-yoshi (triple win) business model. A negative business that forces someone to sacrifice or condemns endurance contest is somewhat fragile.” Mr. Usui remarked that they could make a success as a result of choosing a way for everyone to be happy. He concluded that he would continue to develop business in the future while respecting this spirit.