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New Year Message from President and CEO (abridged version)

January 6, 2020
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 2020, and GO ANZEN NI*1.
“Safety takes priority over everything else.” The vision of safety the NLM Group strives to attain is that of using activities closely aligned to the workplace to build a culture in which people do not become injured, or cause others to be injured, for whatever reason. I ask you all to take steps to build workplaces with absolutely Zero-accident, by cultivating a sense of kindness towards your workmates, not permitting even one dangerous act, and speaking up without fail when you notice something.

This fiscal year, which is the first of our mid-term management plan, we were forced to revise down our results forecasts. We can blame this on various factors in the business environment, but making excuses by pointing to things that we are effectively unable to control will not change anything. We must interpret the deterioration in our results since last year as meaning that our approach and our strategy are still lagging behind, and are not yet well-suited to, the rapidly changing world in which we operate.
Since Nippon Light Metal Holdings Co., Ltd. was founded in 2012, we have recorded continuous growth in ordinary profit. Is it not the case that in our hearts the dominant attitude is one of resistance to change, of saying to ourselves “This is fine; once we get past the cyclical downturn, we can enjoy a return to growth, just as we did before.”? I believe that the only fate that awaits corporate groups that have been complacent about their modest past successes is decline, followed by a dramatic plunge into the abyss. The world changes every minute of every hour. We must be determined to grow, and pursue continuous transformation of our own accord by taking on new challenges.

As I see it, there are three approaches that we must take. The first of these is to use our skills as a “MONOZUKURI (manufacturing) company” to enhance the value of our products, win out against fierce competition, and ensure that the customer selects products from the NLM Group. In this way we will work to increase our market share. In other words, this is about becoming the ultimate “MONOZUKURI company.” The second is to expand the “software” parts associated with “things,” by which I mean services and so on, rather than pursuing our strengths in “things” alone. In this way we will expand our business domain. We will create value for our customers by taking scrupulous care over every detail and adopting a thorough approach to marketing that gets to grips with their potential needs. This means transforming ourselves into a corporate group that derives earnings from both hardware and software in a way that transcends the conventional wisdom of the materials industry. The third is to further expand our activities abroad, where demand is still expected to record significant growth, using the “MONOZUKURI & something extra” approach, which we have developed in Japan, to meet customer needs overseas. This year I want us to continue to focus on these three simultaneously.
Either way, I want you to prepare yourself to accept that routine work, which is the same today as it was yesterday, does not exist. Change is constant. As a corporate group that continually faces up to new challenges, we will work tenaciously to maintain our growth record in this difficult environment.

Last year we moved the head office. By concentrating as many divisions as possible in one place, and adopting hot-desking, we have sought to create a space in which new insights bubble up one after the other, day after day. Rather than allowing things to precipitate slowly, we are striving to nurture in this new location overwhelming geysers of energy that shoot high into the sky like magma. From this noisy and sometimes discordant environment, we expect important collaborations to be born, collaborations that will influence whether we live or die, and facilitate the evolution of a new NLM Group, unafraid of change and overflowing with energy.

Companies are all about people. Each of us must think carefully, engage in invigorating debate, and join hands as we stride towards the future. Each of us should find satisfaction in our activities, and pursue them with energy. In this way we find fulfillment. It is my earnest wish that we work again this year to create such a corporate group. By retaining a keen awareness of our strengths, and carefully considering our customers’ ideas, we will free ourselves from the spell of rigid thinking that we have imposed upon ourselves with the label of “materials manufacturer,” and make further contributions to society. The ideal is to become just such a corporate group. Although it is a gradual process, I feel that we are beginning to make that vision a reality.
Everyone, let’s achieve growth steadily again this year, one step at a time, following a great vector as 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


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