The following is an excerpt from the New Year’s speech made by NYK president Tadaaki Naito as business opened for 2016 at the company’s head office in Tokyo.
Happy New Year. As we open business for 2016, I would like to share my thoughts with you.
This year, we will reach the halfway point of the five-year medium-term management plan, “More Than Shipping 2018” (MTS2018). Looking back on the first two years, efforts in each business division have allowed us to stay on track with the business plan. However, as we head toward 2018, the final year of the medium-term management plan, we need to assess where we stand in 2016, the midpoint of MTS2018, to achieve the plan. We must conduct a comprehensive review of business plans in each division and revise the plan. By clarifying action plans in each business division, the goal of each employee will become clearer, enabling the NYK Group to work as one and press onward to 2018.
The outlook for 2016 is not very clear, and this can particularly be said for the container and dry bulk markets. We must remain focused on the vision laid out in MTS 2018 without being swayed by the surrounding environment. Taking this opportunity, I would like to once again share with you our aims for the future.
• Construct a diverse, robust business portfolio that is profitable under any market condition.
To achieve this goal, we must keep our assets light in highly volatile businesses, while securing business with stable freight rates.
• Integrate our ingenuity with our technological capabilities to provide competitive services favored by customers.
Above all, it is important that we differentiate ourselves from competitors and take advantage of “creative solutions” in all businesses.
• Ensure strong gemba (on-site) capabilities through the elimination of the 3 M’s
To ensure true cost competiveness and added value, we must maintain a strong gemba coupled with an awareness of and efforts to eliminate any persisting 3 M’s, i.e., muda, mura, and muri (muda: non-value-adding activities; mura: unevenness in production or work activities; and muri: excessive burdens).
• Transform the organization to one that excels in business intelligence
It is important that we realize high-quality, competitive services from the perspective of both hardware and software, and flexibly and proactively incorporate objective analyses based on big data.
This year marks the second year of creative solutions promotion activities led by the Creative Solutions Group. I have a compelling sense of urgency telling me that we must relentlessly promote self-transformation in a variety of ways. If not, we will fail to keep up with the times amid a rapidly changing business environment. In my first year as president, I felt we were able to achieve more than I had expected through a variety of activities. In this second year, I hope that initiatives brimming with creativity continue to increase further.
It is said that the plans for the year are laid on the first day; hence, it is important to have a dream as the year begins. My dream is for the NYK Group to take its innovative shipping technologies, which have developed over a history spanning more than a century, and integrate those technologies with an advanced adaptability, moving beyond the framework of traditional shipping and transportation to further evolve into a corporate group that continually pursues cutting-edge transportation services. Let us not be hesitant in changing ourselves, and let us have the wisdom to continue making the most relevant decisions. I want us to be recognized by our customers throughout the world as a partner like no other, one capable of pairing safe, high-quality transportation with flexible responses and foresight that no other company can imitate. And I would like each of you to have your own dreams. Let us make 2016 a rich and fruitful year for us all.
I would like to end by wishing you and your families an abundance of happiness and prosperity for 2016.