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Introduction of Group Companies
From Value One Summer 2004 No. 5
The Isuzu Group boasts an industry-leading transaction volume of 1.1 million tonnes. The Isuzu Group aims to break out of the antiquated industry structure and is introducing various reforms, such as the creation of subsidiaries and the introduction of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
Reforming the Awareness of Employees through Spin-offs

The Isuzu Group started to create spin-offs from the main coil center business in 1988. By changing Oume, Yamato, Takasaki, Ota and other bases into subsidiaries, the company has sought to raise the awareness of its employees and make operations more efficient. In 1996, the Production Technology Division and in 1998 the Information System Division separated from the main company. In addition, in January of last year, the Purchasing & Sales Department and the General Affairs & Accounting Department, which represent core headquarter functions, were transferred over to subsidiaries.

President Takashi Suzuki explains the aim of the creation of these subsidiaries as follows: "We want the person in charge of each department to have an awareness as a manager. Management is another word for responsibility for results. When one becomes a manager, one cannot make excuses. Our company has historically been a company of merger and acquisition, so we wanted to change the awareness of our employees."

President Suzuki, whose theory is that "the coil center is old economy," believes that as large profits cannot be obtained in this mature industry, the only way to survive is to cut costs by boosting business efficiency, etc.

The key for this initiative is the IBICS ERP system using IT technology developed in 1996 by the company. The Isuzu Group handles approximately 1.1 million tonnes of steel products every year, and processes some 90,000 different items. Through computer management of the information for all orders according to the quality standards and delivery periods required by each customer, the company was able to greatly reduce costs. It was also able to eliminate various overlapping tasks in the steel plate distribution process with trading companies and manufacturers, thereby speeding up complicated administrative work. Set to replace the IBICS system, the next-generation ATOM system, which took three years to develop, will enter full operation this month.

President Suzuki shows a lot of ambition: "I always think in terms of what I can do as a Metal One Group member. The major contribution is profit, but I would like us to think together about joint business strategies such as expansion into the Chinese market." Asked about cooperation with Metal One, he answered: "I would like to eliminate needless duplication. Fostering greater efficiency and speed are becoming increasingly important for the formulation of a group growth strategy."

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