Discovering the Future Together
We marked the start of the new fiscal year in July, and I believe that KKE is continuing to do well upon entering its 57th year.
On September 11, Prometech Software, Inc., with which we have been working closely as a partner for the past six years, won a MEXT Award at the first Award for Academic Startups 2014. Equivalent certificates were also given to the University of Tokyo and to KKE as supporters. On the 12th, I gave a press conference in Kumamoto on the start of a joint venture with the NYK Line. Initially, KKE provided consulting to NYK from around 1990 on optimization problems for LNG ships. These events are like waves: They have appeared fortuitously on the surface of our relationships with academic and business partners due to KKE employees’ ceaseless and continuous efforts. For that, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all stakeholde.
On October 1, KKE welcomed 30 expected employees, including 7 individuals from ASEAN countries such as Iran, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. With their passion for joining KKE, some will be working before April 2015, which is the typical start for Japanese freshmen. With new members on board, we continuously strive to make contributions along with our stakeholders, just as this year’s catchphrase for KKE Vision 2014: A Future Found Together, A Society Built Together.
Application of Operations Research
- Crossing Borders Using Technology -
KKE advocates “Public”, “Local”, and “Global” as keywords for its business activities in order to realize a better society and improve the company’s high-value added services.
“Public” refers to participating as an engineering consulting firm from the initial stage of system or rule establishment.
“Local” refers to solving specific local problems in cooperation with local communities.
And finally, “Global” refers to providing solutions to support the overseas expansion of Japanese companies.
Allow me introduce three of our projects with NYK as case studies that represent these keywords.
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) is a comprehensive global-logistics company mainly focused on maritime transportation in locations around the world. KKE has been actively working on various NYK’s projects, and one of the projects that represents the keyword “Global” is the EAGLE (EQC Aspiration for GLobal Efficiency) project.
The purpose of this project is to pursue the profitability of each container through yield management. It is essential to eliminate the waste caused by forwarding empty containers around the world. KKE is responsible for consulting and formulating IT systems for optimal container forwarding plans by utilizing operations research methodology, which is one of the company’s technical strengths.
NYK transferred their head office functions for the container liner business to Singapore in 2010. KKE’s members who are working on this project visit Singapore regularly for meetings with NYK. In this way, we work side by side with Japanese companies that are expanding their business globally in order to provide them with solutions.
The second keyword is “Local”.
On September 1, 2014, KKE and NYK established a stowage planning center for container shipping at KKE’s Kumamoto office. Kumamoto Prefecture is located in the center of Kyushu Island in the southwest part of Japan.
The stowage planning center was originally located in NYK’s Singapore office. "Stowage Planning" is one of the basic works that support the container ship operations, namely, planning which containers to be loaded into which slots inside container ship at each calling-port. The size of container ship varies from 1,000 TEU to over 10,000 TEU (TEU is a unit to count number of container), and how to stow inside container ship with many containers directly affects efficiency of ship's operation and safety of ocean transportation.
NYK used to centralize this process in Singapore where maritime industry is one of the dominant economy, On the other hand, there is a difficulty in securing long-term talented and experienced human resources, continuity of education, and sharing planning technology and know-how. NYK was also not immune to that.
By transferring the center from Singapore to the Kumamoto office, we were able to realize the employment of talented human resources who want to work continuously and expect to contribute to revitalizing the local economy.
(Left) Kumamoto office of Kozo Keikaku Engineering Inc.
(Right) Commemoration ceremony held in Kumamoto city
The last keyword, “Public”, represents our future vision and projects in progress.
As international logistics is referred to as the bloodstream of the world economy, I believe it is a business domain with high public visibility.
We began developing solutions for projects such as “Symphony”, which aims to enhance the logistics quality of the ASEAN area, where economic development is remarkable.
By utilizing KKE's comprehensive engineering technology, mainly based on the concepts of “Public”, “Local”, and “Global”, and by offering high-value-added solutions, we will continue to empower the overseas business of our customers and the company itself.
Social Systems Design & Marketing Dept.
Publication of Business Report KKE: PRESS 2014
It has been fifty-five years since KKE’s foundation in 1959. Closing its 56th term on June 30, 2014, KKE has published KKE: PRESS 2014, a business report for its 56th term (FYE 2014). During the interview, president Hattori stated: “Our performance (for the 56th term) rebounded steadily and we were able to increase profits beyond our projections…. KKE has committed to being an engineering consulting firm that can represent Japan as a knowledge-intensive corporation of the 21st century… We are confident that in the 57th term, we will be able to show you the development of multiple projects that we have been working on.
Fresh Breeze Blowing – new members in 2015 –
In June 2014, KKE tried recruiting new graduates from overseas and participated in a career fair in Singapore. This was the very first such attempt for both the company and myself.
We participated for two reasons.
- Significant changes were expected in the 2016 domestic recruiting environment, and we thus wanted to expand other prospective channels for hiring new graduates.
- We wanted to increase the number of foreign employees due to the company’s potential for global business deployment.
One of the most important selection criteria was whether the applicant would empathize with our own values. We believe that values cannot be simply measured by numerical conversion. For example, it is one of our values to respect the personal growth of our members through projects that require technical competence, strong inter-personal skills, a customer-based attitude and making contributions to society.
Our president and recruitment staff gave a presentation and interview at the fair, and as a result, we succeeded in recruiting 7 employees from over 200 applicants. I strongly hope that they will stimulate existing KKE members and our business.
There will also be 23 prospective domestic employees joining us in April 2015. I can hardly wait for these 30 new members to join us here in Tokyo. :)
Human Resources Section
Specialist in Recruitment, Koichiro KAWAMURA
Events and News
KKE Vision 2014 – A Future Found Together, A Society Built Together –
October 30, 2014, Tokyo
Hosted our annual event, at which we share our engineering knowledge and future vision with partners and customers from academia and the business world.
Cloud Days Tokyo 2014, Fall
October 15-17, 2014, Tokyo
Exhibited SendGrid, a cloud mail delivery service, at this exhibition for state-of-the-art cloud computing products and services.
The Second European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology
August 24-29, 2014, Turkey, Istanbul
Submitted two abstracts and exhibited at this platform for discussing the major topics of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology.
25th Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions EXPO
June 25-27, 2014, Tokyo
Exhibited at this largest exhibition for the manufacturing industry.
- September 11: Honored with Minister of MEXT Award under the Award for Academic Startups 2014, together with Prometech Software, Inc., and The University of Tokyo
- September 1: Jointly Opened New Planning Center in Kumamoto with NYK
It is election season in the United States and I find the various differences between US and Japanese elections very interesting. Negative campaign ads are quite common in the US, but not in Japan. Here, people are open and talk about politics with friends or colleagues, but Japanese people usually hesitate to do so.
After living in Denver for about three years, there are some parts of Japanese culture that I miss. But the loud street speeches and the noisy campaign cars during Japanese elections are two of the things I miss least. I find it quiet here as usual, and that is really good. How about in your country?
PS＞ Happy Halloween!
Kazuaki Hemmi, Denver Office