ITO Corporation
Board Of Directors
President Eiji Arai

ITO Corporation is creating new value and proposing solutions that give back to our clients and society

Thanks to the support of our partners everywhere, our firm celebrated its 63rd anniversary in 2016. I, Eiji Arai joined the company fresh out of college in 1980, and I have been here for thirty-six years, or more than half of the company’s history. Our operating principles include "creating value through new combinations", "contributing to clients and society," and "proposing the best and leading solutions".

Meeting the growing demand for speed in the age of IoT, and offering advanced solutions that meet client needs

Following advances in IoT (Internet of Things), our customers' desire for speedy support is growing by the day. As a trading firm selling industrial machinery, we are increasingly called on to put ourselves in clients' shoes and deliver advanced and cutting-edge solutions.

We carry a rich lineup of high-quality products that include both our own and those developed by the various manufacturers with whom we partner. With the growth of IoT, however, it is not enough to only provide items with high level of specifications; providing comprehensive solutions quickly has become an important point of differentiation. To that end, we are working company-wide to incorporate this sense of speed into our daily operations.

The solutions we provide our clients are designed to make automation a reality, in turn achieving reduced power consumption, greater efficiency, and better safety. We work in markets as diverse as large-scale dams, energy-production systems, logistics transport machinery, and more. With the advance of IoT, the information aggregated on active machinery and the latest market data can both be obtained instantaneously over the Internet, which in turn means companies must anticipate market changes and adapt to needs more nimbly than ever before. We, on the Board of Directors believe that feedback from the market is an important consideration that should be used to improve the quality and safety of our business proposals.

ITO President Eija Arai

2020 as milestone in our expansion west of the ASEAN region

In 2013, we welcomed our 60th anniversary. The Board of Directors took this as an opportunity to launch a "second founding" of the company with a set of new company-wide goals. By 2020, we are aiming to raise our group-wide revenue to 4 billion JPY. This mid-term goal will allow us to pursue continued growth. The domestic Japanese market is already at a point of saturation. By turning to the Middle Eastern market westward of the ASEAN region, we are pushing ahead in raising our share of overseas revenue and achieving our new company goals.

We have launched a new initiative called the Innovation Challenge — a dedicated team focused on expanding our service network into the Middle Eastern region. This represents the first time a Japanese manufacturer of industrial machinery enters the Middle Eastern region, so this new team will be building a domestic distributor network and help sell the downstream products manufactured by our customers. Clients' expectations for what we can deliver are bigger than ever before, so this team and its members will serve as a central nucleus that brings together expertise from throughout the company and takes action.

Making a successful expansion west of ASEAN comes down to more than our history as a technical trading firm and team of engineering experts. Beyond that, we must continue growing our ranks with a team of international personnel possessed of wide knowledge, sharp sensitivities, and global experience. Drawing on the knowledge and networks of human capital that these people bring, the board of directors believes it can make this new milestone a reality.
ITO Corporation President Eiji Arai.jpg

Creating an open workplace culture where President Eiji Arai engages personnel directly

Our sales teams aim to provide clients with the best solutions for their needs, and we have implemented an internal company social network service to pool our resources whenever a single salesperson cannot arrive at an ideal solution. On occasion, I, Eiji Arai, offer my own direct advice when I feel it will speed up the decision-making process and lead to the best possible solution to a client's needs.

Our team is working together to be a company our clients rely on and from which they always expect the best. We want our clients to always expect that by reaching out to us they can get new business process ideas, find new leads in solving technical dilemmas, and have a trusted partner who will unsparingly pursue every approach to make their requests a reality.

Executive Vice President Hiroshi Ito

My mission is to help provide a good working environment for all of our employees

I serve as chief of the Planning and Marketing Headquarters, one of our staffing departments. Our department is deeply involved in HR work such as hiring and education, organization, and systematization within the company, and in shaping corporate policies. We do work that is deeply involved in helping people and our company to "evolve", and I am keenly aware of the weight of our responsibilities.

My mission is to create a corporate culture and a work environment where employees can fully make use of their abilities. I hope to accelerate the growth of our company by organizing the framework of corporate mechanisms and policies to enable employees to pursue fulfilling professional lives, and by helping to form our corporate culture and corporate foundations. That way, I feel that we can hire motivated employees who are attracted to the lively employee and corporate culture, and to the many growth opportunities we offer. In other words, I feel we can attract people who can naturally embody our corporate philosophy, the "ITO Value".

The employees who continuously demonstrate leadership from the time they are junior employees, regardless of their titles or positions, are the ones who will forge the future of this company. In other words, I believe that by expressing one's opinions from when they are a new hire, and by practicing how to draw out the opinions and the abilities of other team members, our employees are nurturing the skills required of a leader. Anyone who is curious and takes action will naturally extend their point of view from domestic matters out into international activities, and I think that those who have experienced the value of diversity have the potential to trigger innovation. We hope to recruit those who want to work together to create an international company that continues to innovate, without being bound to the old frameworks of a trading company.

Propose ideas aggressively and actively

In order to promote proactive, proposal-based sales, it is important to provide an opportunity for individual employees to give rich input based on their experiences and knowledge. In particular, we would like to establish a mechanism and an environment where it is possible to actively make overseas business trips, since that is an opportunity that provides a lot of input to our business. This will also lead to improving our organization through the sharing of experience and expertise by employees who have gone on overseas business trips, via our in-house SNS and in-house meetings. To make overseas business trips possible in an environment where we are busy with a large amount of day-to-day work, the understanding and support of surrounding team members is essential.

Going to see things first-hand. Experiencing. Meeting people. These experiences leads to new ideas and insights, and I am working to develop a corporate culture where experiences and ideas gathered in this way result in better proposals and services for our customers.

Executive Vice President Hiroshi Ito

Change is essential for advances in new business areas

The company has started a medium-range plan with efforts to accumulate technical expertise and know-how in the latest technologies such as robotic sensors, energy efficiency, environmental engineering, and other business areas. In particular, we are trying to create a focus on automation solutions centering on robotics as one pillar of our business. We would also like to support the value chains of our customer businesses by making proposals ranging from international purchasing to overseas marketing.

In order to expand into these new business areas, the idea of "change" is constantly required in our company and in our employees. We expect many people to feel a sense of resistance toward frequent changes, however we expect that our employees will constantly keep changing and innovating. I strive to convey the sense that "there is a larger risk in not changing." Change and transformation are big words and the words themselves can lead to a sense of resistance, but it is easier if when approached as an "evolution" made with small changes every day, resulting in a sudden notice of big changes and leading to the experience of success.

If it is possible to change the awareness of the company and its employees, and to have the common goal of "creating innovation as a trading company," we think that new benefits and values will arise naturally for us to offer to our customers.

Executive Vice President Hiroshi Ito

Enhancing our employees’ experience, to create interesting work together with our clients

We naturally focus on employee training and human resource development systems to develop the abilities of our employees, but we also value giving various opportunities to each employee so that they can have a wide variety of experiences. For example, we offer the mechanism and environment to increase work experience through participation in Hannover Messe, the world’s largest exhibition of industrial machinery in Germany, as well as through business trips to Silicon Valley. We also developed a mechanism called the "ITO Innovation Challenge" where any employee can make new project proposals, enabling us to participate in activities such as robotics competitions, which is both uncommon for a trading company and which extend beyond our normal day-to-day operations.

When our employees all keep their antennas up, we can realize our corporate philosophy of "creating new value for our customers via new combinations and pairings". By always delivering new value to our customers, we hope that our customers will feel that it is interesting and fun to work with ITO Corporation and that transactions with ITO Corporation are a valuable experience to be treasured. To have our customers feel this way, and to earn their business for many years to come — I believe that this is the ultimate ideal for our company.

Director Ayumi Furui

A switch from systems engineering to operations management

Currently, I am a supplier relationship manager at a foreign technology firm, primarily responsible for the creation of operational strategies. I have always had a strong interest in the operations of small and medium-sized enterprises, and after working as a systems engineer at a foreign financial institution, I made the switch to the technology industry.

My first encounter with ITO Corporation came while I was attending a business school in New York. I heard about ITO Corporation from the Executive Vice President, Mr. Ito, who was my only Japanese classmate at the time. I remember being extremely excited upon hearing about this company with a long history transforming itself. Due in part to this relationship, I was contacted by Mr. Ito again some time later, and I became a non-executive director in 2013.

Continually and generously investing in talent

My role within ITO Corporation is to offer support in ensuring the healthy operations of the company from a neutral standpoint as a non-executive director. The most important aspect of a company is its workforce. It is for this reason that we at ITO Corporation place importance on personnel training focused on the development of our employees’ potential. ITO Corporation strives to create an environment of generous human resource development, including an education system, overseas business trips, and training courses. I believe that our efforts can be held in high regard.

The blossoming potential of each individual employee leads to the evolution of our company

In order for ITO Corporation to grow, it is necessary to evolve the company while adapting to an ever-changing environment. To achieve this, we create a corporate culture whereby individuals can develop their potential, and where ideas and opinions can be freely exchanged, regardless of age, experience, and gender. By allowing each employee to grow and providing them a position where they can succeed, ITO Corporation’s own innovations are born from our employees’ ideas. I believe that this cycle will be the driving force for the company’s evolution.

ITO Director Ayumi Furui

Yoshihiro Oyama,
Managing Director, ITO Thailand

The Board of Directors responded to global challenges. They have expanded beyond Japan into mainland China and Thailand.

The key to success in a global market is expansion. Mr. Yoshihiro Oyama, who has more than 20 years’ experience with ITO, was promoted in 2014, to be Managing Director of ITO (Thailand) LTD.

ITO recently had a conversation with Mr. Yoshihiro Oyama who will be taking care of ITO business in Thailand. We talked about his experiences working aboard and what motivates him.

The 3 most important factors for successful expansion of a business into other countries

Cultural Changes:
Mr. Yoshihiro Oyama: When I try to speak Thai with Thai people, the Thai people always respond well, praising, encouraging me and showing admiration.

Relationships & Respect:
Mr. Yoshihiro Oyama: Building a relationship between people, based on mutual respect is one of the keys to success in business dealings.

Nowadays, golfing is a sport and leisure activity which is very popular in Thailand. So now, I always play golf with my customers and their friends over the weekend. Also, we recently had a birthday party for one of our staff members and went on a company trip with all of our staff. Everyone seemed to be very happy when I join all of the activities with them. The close and friendly atmosphere that we have in Thailand is totally different compared to what we have had in the past in Japan. "Absorb, change and adapt" really work!

The blossoming potential of each individual employee leads to the evolution of our company

Mr. Yoshihiro Oyama: The first thing I felt about doing business overseas was the importance of taking an aggressive approach. In particular, when we launched the local business in Thailand, we started from scratch without a single customer. As they say, "nothing ventured, nothing gained," so I was always thinking about new business developments and other strategies we could pursue to always be proactive.

Expanding Local Business

Mr. Yoshihiro Oyama: When you are thinking of expanding a business overseas, if you don’t act with a sense of speed, you will lose work in no time. If you have an idea, just do it. I’m committed to that approach.

Thailand Managing Director Yoshihiro Oyama