The Paper aims to elucidate the industrialization of Vinylon of Kuraray, a domestically-developed synthetic fiber, as an attempt to solve the resource problem of Japan. This paper makes an effort to devise it from three viewpoints of the mind-set of top management and engineers, the continuity from prewar to postwar, and the interaction with society and economy (such as the industrial policy, the differentiation fromr other firms, and the market needs). In Kuraray, the limitation of resource had influenced from the technology development to the product development in Soichiro Ohara's thought of substitution of natural fibers, an executive with strong individuality. As a result, though the times' character distorted the search for optimum market, the recognition about new product was modified due to the change of society and economy as well as the slump of business and that resulted in the creation of optimum market. This is a general management phenomenon except the times' character and suggests the importance of marketing in the process from the development of new products to the establishment of market. That is to say, Kuraray set out to develop Vinylon for the purpose of self-sufficiency of fiber resource and the substitution of natural fiber as an “essential fiber” at the beginning. However, to strengthen the ground as a synthetic fiber, it is necessary to respect the fiber's function and to explore new uses, develop product, and promote sale of product taking advantage of the feature of synthetic fiber, which the natural fibers have not. Though the delay in establishing the market resulted in the slump of business, the change of persons' cognition brought about the new idea and practice of marketing. The public offices' needs created by policy have indirectly supported the change. As a result, Kuraray succeeded in establishing the position of Vinylon in the way of practical use clothing and industrial materials.
The study analyzes a steel plate purchasing system for automobiles, which exists between steel and automobile industries, from the perspective of genetic theory, with a focus on a centralized purchasing system. The centralized purchasing system is a system in which an automaker attempts to procure steel plates not only for its in-house use but also for the use of parts and other manufacturers. The centralized purchasing system differs among automakers. The controlled self-supply method employed by Toyota is the most efficient; how has this method been developed and formulated? Toyota's centralized purchasing system for steel plate procurement began during the World War II. At that time, Toyota was using direct supply method. The company then eventually developed the current efficient controlled self-supply method after twists and turns, including the virtual abandonment of the centralized purchasing system at one point. During such process of development, Toyota's procurement policy that included long-term stability, co-existence and co-prosperity, and self-dependency had been important. The existence of the policy and that of parts manufacturers and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, which developed based on synergistic effects with the policy, has enabled the adoption of the controlled self-supply system. Also, the purpose of the centralized purchasing system has evolved from an initial response to the procurement difficulty of steel plates to the current system with the rationality of competition that excels in “Quality, Cost, and Delivery.” In other words, Toyota's centralized purchasing system has not been based on prior agreement; nor has its development been following a linear path.
This paper discusses issues related to the marketing strategy carried out by Nippon Gakki. In spite of numerous restrictions on sales, such as cost, size, and the need for periodical tuning and long training periods for users, the Japanese piano and organ market developed rapidly during the high economic growth period (1955-1973). What was behind the market expansion during this period? Mainly, it is attributed to three different factors: music education, credit sales, and the dealership system. Modern music education using instruments only began in the postwar period. The Japanese government officially announced the new school curriculum guidelines in 1958, which clearly stated that ‘students have to play the organ in school music class.’ This new curriculum boosted the demand for keyboard instruments, especially organs (reed organs). Around the same time, Nippon Gakki tried to further expand the market by encouraging early childhood music education, through the Yamaha music school. The second factor was the use of Yoyaku-hanbai (savings-type installment sales) which a Japanese sewing machine company created in the prewar period. This method was used by Nippon Gakki and Kawai Co. to enlarge the market to a wider income group. The third reason for the expansion was the dealership system of Nippon Gakki, which changed its system into a force that could achieve an ideal musical education, using the management resources of the dealership. Nippon Gakki grasped the trend of the times to firmly gain a competitive advantage; furthermore it constructed a stable marketing channel which was reinforced by the synergy of the three factors mentioned above, in addition to the territory system, the dealer-support system and the evolving sales force organization. This resulted in Japan becoming the largest piano and organ producer and consumer in the world.