Ninety-eight Years in All

We held a retirement party for Mr. M and Mr. I who have made a huge contribution to ISOWA for a long time. I’d like to look back on their histories in ISOWA.
Mr. M joined ISOWA in 1961 and Mr. I in 1967. Together they’ve been working for 98 years in all. That’s remarkable.

When Mr. M joined our firm, the office had already been transferred to Kasugai, but he started his career nevertheless in the former office in Nagoya. At that time there were 30 people. And there were only five employees in the technical division.

My father went to the U.S. and commercialized the Flexo-folder gluer under a technical cooperation agreement. That was back in 1970, and the machine had the functions of a printer and carton former. Since then Mr. M has played an important role as a specialist.

Mr. I joined six years later. He recalled that ISOWA had about 70 employees at that time. “I was so glad I could join ISOWA, because I always wanted to work for a final product manufacturer rather than a parts manufacturer.”

Unlike Mr. M, he went through a lot of different divisions and finally he got to the technical division. He has been mainly in charge of printer slotters.

The other day, he came to me and we had a little talk after hours. He loves golf, but he’s not good at playing golf. We played together several times many years ago and always competed for the lowest position. That’s what I really liked about him.

He started the conversation by saying, “ISOWA has changed.” I was just wondering how he felt about it and was anxious about what he was going to say.

“Meetings between different groups never happened before. There was a great distance between the various groups. On the other hand, it became quite a typical thing for the design and manufacture sections to meet and talk quite frankly.”

I was more relieved than happy to hear that. I have been working on changing our corporate culture, although sometimes I have to ask too much of our staff, especially of veterans such as Mr. I and Mr. M, but he expressed his opinion positively like that. It really was a relief.

I’ve been trying to reduce our company debt. But lately I’m starting to feel that the way we have improved our debt ratio is really by increasing our assets through more efficient use.

This is far from enough, though. We have to push forward with the reform.

Mr. I talked to me at the end of the party and said, “I often see ISOWA’s service trucks around my house. Every time I see one, I will quietly root for it.”

We will do our best so you two don’t have to worry. Thank you so much for your 98 years.


When I decided to work with ISOWA

Last weekend we had a customer at our office who came all the way from Tokyo.  We’ve been doing business together for three years now. That’s not what we'd call a long-term relationship, especially in the cardboard business where equipment sometimes lasts over 20 years.
But he suddenly said, “Actually, we decided to do business with you at your father’s farewell party. I remember you saying at the funeral that your predecessor had been working hard to get Rengo to use their machines someday. And I could see that the spirit was coming down to the next generation, with a clear process of development.


“That was exactly what we were trying to do too. So that was when we made up our minds.”
Those words really inspired me. We will never make him regret it.
We must always cherish such words from our customers. Let’s not forget the great principles of my father and grandfather about manufacturing.