Survey of Corporate Personnel Affairs & Training Department in 2003 conducted by Benesse Number of valid responses: 504 (companies) vol.1 Globalization Phase 4 By Hiroshi Nishimura The global business environment of Japanese companies is now moving into a new phase. With the spread of the Internet, the globalization of “manpower, materials, money, and information” continues to advance rapidly. GTEC would like to serially examine two fields of interest. First, what are the effects of the borderless expansion of information accompanying the spread of the Internet? Secondly, how are the abilities required of the leaders and other businesspeople engaging in global business changing? The Globalization of Japanese Companies is Now Moving into Product Planning and Development The globalization of Japanese companies has advanced in four phases. 1)Phase1: Exchange of Materials In the first phase, Japan imported cheap raw materials and developed products to sell overseas. Materials were exchanged and trading companies played an important role. 2)Phase 2:Cost Reduction In the second phase, Japanese manufacturers transplanted their production divisions offshore to reduce distribution and labor costs. 3) Phase 3: Introduction of International Standard In the third phase, the introduction of international accounting standards as the world moved toward borderless fi- nance strengthened the administrative divisions of Japanese companies. Up until this third phase, Japanese manufacturers sought to procure materials directly and produce goods at low cost. Overall, they were extremely successful in selling high-quality goods at comparatively low prices around the world. At the same time, as is well known, foreign companies promoted the globalization of “service and knowledge.” In the finance and service industries, for example, steps were taken to move information technology and call center operations to India to service the entire English-speaking world. Dell is still moving its call center operations to the optimum locations for its different customer segments. Another important change during the third phase was the accumulation of “production know-how” in countries with low production costs such as China. 4) Phase 4: To the Age of Global One Marketing The fourth and current phase of globalization is taking place in the arenas of product planning and development. Japanese companies can be classified into two types: the conventional types that plan and develop their goods and services in operational headquarters at their head offices, and the less conventional types that seek to transfer their planning and development functions for goods and services to optimal locations worldwide. The latter choose ideal regions with “pace-setting” customers as new operational bases and research the markets in those regions to support their planning and development activities. vol.1 Globalization Phase 4 By Hiroshi Nishimura Companies have two good reasons for planning and developing their businesses at optimum locations outside of Japan. First, the interests and preferences of specific segments are homogenizing globally in parallel with the globalization of manpower, material, money, and information - especially the globalization of information. In other words, businesses worldwide increasingly need “global one marketing,” a form of marketing in which plural activities are conducted concurrently at different localities worldwide towards specific targets. Conglomerates also have less to gain from marketing activities focused on the planning and development of services in Japan, as the Japanese market is basically shrinking. 5) Hegemony of Global Manufacturers in Transition How has this change in the environment influenced companies doing business globally? Let’s look at the case of two leading companies in digital consumer electronics, Samsung Electronics and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Both companies succeeded in minimizing sales lead times and streamlining their data-collection capabilities on changes in customer preferences by incorporating a method of vertically integrated manufacturing that enables simultaneous start-ups worldwide. In the future we will be taking a close look to see which type of company enjoys hegemony: will it be the company with vertically integrated manufacturing methods or the company that excels in modularization, as represented by Dell? Graph1:Priority Areas for Japanese Companies Going Overseas ratio(%) number of cases administration planning and development of goods production sales ratio 27.0% 33.1% 14.3% 25.6% number of cases 147 180 78 139 6) Issues for the Marketer to Notice: English Content and the Development of a Base to Support English Proficiency The abilities to transmit and receive information in real time now make it possible to start-up parallel operations at different parts of the world. The volume of English content on the Internet now surpasses Japanese content by more than ten times. Global business marketers can no longer ignore this huge disparity. Globalization will progress not only in the areas of global marketing and finance, but also in management planning and personnel divisions to support globally oriented staff. Another near future development will be the establishment of a base to support English communication abilities. Graph 2: English Abilities Required in the Priority Areas for Japanese Companies Going Overseas ratio(%) administration planning and development of goods production sales 12.2% 13.3% 5.5% 18.7% writing 4.7% 9.3% 1.6% 1.3% listening 3.7% 4.0% 3.5% 3.0% reading 6.4% 6.4% 3.7% 2.5% speaking GTEC [From Japan! International Human Resource Strategies Project] Unauthorized copying or reproduction of any content on this website, in any form or by any means, is strictly prohibited. All content is protected by Japanese copyright law and international treaties.