A hybrid matching service using a deep pool of knowledge provided by industrial coordinators and an IT-based accurate search system
Linkers aims to develop two great innovations: realizing a creative and ingenious matchmaking beyond the existing framework by using the combination of a broad perspective from industrial coordinators, who are thoroughly familiar with respective fields, and an IT-based accurate search system; and thereby restructuring industry effectively to maximize the productivity of the society of Japan.
Accessibility of technology information is a key to save Japanese industry
I became well aware of issues of the Japan’s industry structure when I was involved in a photovoltaic solar panel manufacturing business at a major consulting firm. In fact, profitability of Japanese manufacturers was unexpectedly much lower than that of those in Western countries.
A cause of the problem I thought was the closed nature of Japanese industry structure with less information sharing among companies about value chains (a process to create value). That is not just a problem for the photovoltaic solar panel manufacturing business; that is a typical issue of the whole industry in Japan.
In Japan, mobility of personnel is low against the background of the conventional lifetime employment system and so a horizontal network across companies in the same industry tends to be poor, leading to less information sharing. By contrast, in the Western countries with high labor mobility, it is not rare that a person changes jobs several times in one industry. Such a high mobility helps companies in an industry to communicate each other and they can use shared information to facilitate their activities to improve their profitability. In this way, efficiency and productivity of each sector will organically be maximized.
I thought that if Japanese companies make their technology information accessible to other companies and a new communication network is built, small- and medium-sized enterprises can find more business opportunities, which contributes to the Japanese industrial productivity.
Highly specialized coordinators made a breakthrough
To help companies’ technology information to be accessible, I founded Dissty (present Linkers) in 2012 and set up an SNS for sharing information of various value chains and discussion. Business persons and engineers, however, were bound by confidentiality obligations and not willing to provide information, and so the SNS was not able to become an active community.
After giving up on this project about three months later, we launched an online exhibition system, eEXPO, where small and medium sized businesses can advertise their own technologies and products.
During the first year of operation of eEXPO, as was the case with the SNS, few companies willingly made their own technology public and the system had not worked well as expected.
We had visited about 400 small and medium sized enterprises to hear each company’s information and found that there were “industrial coordinators” who have strong relationships with local manufacturers. By building a nation-wide network of influential coordinators, we finally realized information sharing about technologies which had not been made public until then. Consequently, a very high matching rate was achieved which would be impossible with conventional method in the manufacturing industry.
A new connection creates various new innovations
Linkers will keep improving our business matchmaking approach to provide you an opportunity to find a suitable partner which had not been available in the traditional closed industry structure. Also, by being a hub of collaboration between businesses, we create a new industrial structure where numerous innovations occur and maximize the productivity of the entire industry.
Restructuring industry and maximize the productivity of society
With a declining population, Japan’s GDP is expected to shrink constantly. To pass on a wealthy society to the next generation, we should increase the productivity by facilitating communication and sharing information.
We remove barriers preventing large enterprises from accessing technologies owned by small- and medium-sized enterprises and realize a business matchmaking on more equal terms, and thereby contribute to build a wealthy society with high productivity.
Idea of Japan Craftsmanship Company
“All-Japan” support for small enterprises to grow into globally competitive businesses
There are various obstacles for small- and medium-sized enterprises with great potential to advance into the overseas market.
To eliminate their bottlenecks such as language barriers, a shortage of capital, and a lack of human resources together at a time, nation-wide support and coordination are required.
Involving financial institution, the government, and local municipalities in building a stable support system; this is the idea of Japan Craftsmanship Company which Linkers are seeking to realize and a development scenario in the period of “Industry 4.0” where Linkers can take a leading role.
We strive at all times to achieve this big goal.
[Trust] Win the trust of all stakeholders
We believe a relationship built on trust is the most important thing to create, maintain, and develop a connection. We ensure compliance with laws and regulations and, as a platformer, spare no effort to gain the trust of our clients, partners, employees, and other related parties.
[Freedom] Think freely, exceed expectations
Doing only what you are told to do and not realizing your full potential cannot create anything new. We pursue results beyond expectations using unique ideas and taking voluntary activities with a sense of responsibility.
[Speed] Realize the highest performance in the shortest time
To maximize the productivity, we should run through the right route as fast as possible. We define the clear goal, identify the shortest, most effective route to achieve it, and go through the path while modifying it if necessary.
[Essence] Take a broad view of the situation to grasp the essence
We see things from a wide perspective and grasp the true nature of the problem. We identify the most critical issue to be solved, work out and apply a solution to gain the greatest performance by the smallest effort.
[Development] Break out of the mold, keep developing
Development of each staff member leads to development of Linkers, and development of Linkers to development of the manufacturing industry in Japan. We keep that in mind and grow steadily toward our big goal without sticking to the status quo.