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New Year Message from President and CEO (abridged version)

January 4, 2018
Ichiro Okamoto
President and CEO
Nippon Light Metal Holdings Co., Ltd.


New Year Message from President and CEO (abridged version)


Please accept my warmest wishes for 2018, and GO ANZEN NI*1.
Every year, I begin this New Year message with a statement to the effect that “safety takes priority over everything else.” However, the safety record of the NLM Group is certainly not at a level that deserves praise and it is clear that, for all of us, our level of awareness and our activities in this regard are still not sufficient. Taking “safety takes priority over everything else” as our slogan again this year, let us work to build a better workplace. 

Many events unfolded around the world in 2017, but for ourselves in the NLM Group it was the second year of the Midterm Management Plan that began in fiscal 2016, and a year in which we achieved robust results. I believe that we are now well within striking distance of our ordinary profit target of ¥28.0 billion for the full year of fiscal 2017. Looking back, ordinary profit fell in fiscal 2012 due to the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake, but since then we have managed steady and continuous growth in profits. Moreover, as this is the final year of the Midterm Management Plan, we are aiming to achieve the ordinary profit target of ¥31.0 billion for the fiscal year that we set in the plan. Our performance today has been built on the past efforts made and the difficulties overcome by our colleagues of years gone by. I would like us to keep that feeling of the responsibility we have for future performance as we move forward, breaking down the obstacles ahead of us one by one. The future is not something for which we wait, but something that we ourselves create.

The environment in which our business operates is by no means an easy one, but we of the NLM Group are committed to pursuing growth strategy. Rejecting complacency with the status quo, we will take on new challenges, seeking growth as a corporate group that continually creates new value for customers.
To achieve this we must always strive to be an organization that generates the highest value on behalf of customers. We must ensure that customers feel, at the bottom of their hearts, that they want to work together with the NLM Group.
I think there are many people for whom the word “value” brings to mind simplistic concepts such as “technological superiority” and “price advantage.” However, in the developing complexity of today’s world, is “value,” as conceived by the customer, really as straightforward as that? When taking the measure of the value to the customer, it goes without saying that delivery and quality service should be considered, but should we not also take into account the trustworthiness of the company and of the product, the sparkle in the eye of each and every worker, the positive attitude and the sense of responsibility?
What we should not do is decide unilaterally what the customer is trying to achieve, or what their problems are, and push them into buying what we consider to be “value.” Instead, let us shorten the distance between ourselves and the customer, or stand in their place and exercise our powers of imagination to determine what strategy and tactics we should adopt. While I would like us to have grand dreams and lofty targets, in practice we must also pay attention to every step we take, so that we move forward steadily and surely.
The point at which the “value” of the customer crosses the “strengths” of the NLM Group, or the point at which lines drawn from those ideas intersect ahead of us, is the place that we should discover the elements of our new business development and growth.

We have the sense of group unity that has been nurtured through our “Yokogushi Development Platform*2,” and flexible business units that enable agile cooperation at the project level. We have “Create–Make–Sell,” by which I mean that sales, production, and development are integrated within our business units. We have a mechanism for cycling through PDCA using product profit and loss management methods. We have wide-ranging inventory management and production systems that cover the production line, sales and distribution, and which have been honed by long years of NPS*3  activities. And, more than anything, we have ourselves, these irreplaceable human assets that have been formed by the experience of having fought and come through many battles together.
It may be that the road we are traveling is different from the road that materials manufacturers have followed up until now. But let us have faith. Let us have faith that this is the most suitable road for the NLM group. And believe also that we will leave a road behind us as we go.

This year also, let us achieve growth steadily, step-by-step, in the direction of “Team NLM - Groundbreaking Innovator of Aluminum and Beyond.” GO ANZEN NI *1.


*1 GO ANZEN NI: A word of greeting that shares “Safety takes priority over everything else” and wishes for mutual safety and health

*2 Yokogushi Development Platform: A cross-functional platform for developing multifunctional products

*3 NPS (The New Production System): A management method of Japanese manufacturing by The NPS Management Institute, which is based on the Toyota production method



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