Office Relocation Example
Creation of an Office Matching the Corporate Brand Image
Universal Paper Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Universal Paper") is a Japanese company that belongs to one of the world's largest paper manufacturing groups led by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). Universal Paper is the only company in Japan that deals comprehensively with operations ranging from tree planting to papermaking. The company has steadily improved its operating results since its establishment in 2007, and it is also focusing on increasing its staff numbers. To further increase its employees' motivation, Universal Paper decided to relocate to a new office. On this occasion, we asked President and Representative Director Akinori Owaki of Universal Paper about the course of events that led to his company's office relocation, and the company's future prospects.
Cause of Relocation :
Universal Paper Wanted to Improve Work Space and Increase Employee Motivation
In the paper manufacturing industry, which is facing difficult conditions, we doubled our net sales year on year in the previous fiscal year. As a result of this corporate growth, our staff numbers increased to such an extent that we outgrew our office. That was the main reason for our decision to relocate to a new office. Meeting space had disappeared, causing internal communication problems. There was not even enough room for everyone to have a seat in our working space. Those of our employees without their own seats worked in seats that happened to be vacant in each location or in the conference rooms.
Our office in Ginza, to which we had moved in 2011, was almost the same size as our office at the time of the inauguration of the business. We attached importance to enhancing our brand image by using an attractive address in Ginza in a strategic manner. As a result of this relocation, we aimed to resolve office problems, increase employee motivation and boost loyalty.
Further, many of our customers are large companies. We wanted to achieve a comfortable space for constructive meetings and an office in which we would be able to gain their trust, not to mention eliminating problems in our meetings with these customers. That was an additional reason for deciding to undertake the office relocation.
How Ken Facilitated Relocation :
Appreciated its Approach of Preparing Materials in English to Support Our Efforts to Gain the Approval of the Parent Company
Experts seemed to notice problems in our previous office as soon as they saw it. As a result, numerous salespeople visited our office with materials introducing prospective properties. But the great majority of these salespeople merely forced their opinions on us. In contrast, a salesperson from Ken Corporation visited us again and again to find out about our needs and make proposals based on what we wanted.
Ken Corporation provided us with considerate support in other areas as well, in addition to introducing prospective offices to us. For example, because we are foreign-owned, we had to gain approval for our office relocation from our parent company overseas. Ken Corporation prepared presentation materials for that purpose in English and supplied us with additional explanations in English. We decided to engage Ken Corporation for this office relocation, as we appreciated its approach of providing the support we needed by putting itself in our position.
How Selection of Properties Went :
A Pleasant Working Environment That Enhances Employee Motivation
I visited three or four properties in person to undertake previews after carefully selecting them from numerous potential offices, including those introduced by other companies. Among them, I found the Harumi Island Triton Square that was introduced by Ken Corporation to be the most attractive.
I must emphasize that this is the best office tower in the Harumi area. The floors here are spacious. We can also look out over Tokyo Bay from the building's large windows. The tower is a complex whose tenants include restaurants. It offers an extremely pleasant working environment. This property fulfilled our requirements for an office that would enhance the motivation of our staff members, the aspect to which we attached the greatest importance.
Access to the office is easy as well. I thought that this office would increase our customers' trust in us, in addition to making commuting easier for our employees. We decided on this office based on the impression that it was an office that truly suited us as a company seeking further growth.
Outcomes Achieved at the New Office :
Customer Evaluations Gave Us a Real Feeling of Trust Acquisition
With our determination to get things right, we created a floor layout that takes the flows of working employees into account. We worked out the arrangement of the desks and passageways so that our employees could perform their jobs more efficiently. There is improved visibility in this office because it is laid out on one floor. It appears that communications between employees have become easier.
We also set aside a space for casual meetings on the window side with a good view. We arranged larger conference rooms on the side close to the center of the building to enable calm discussions to take place there. Visiting customers have told us "Your office is really big" and "You are growing." We are gaining the strong impression that their trust in us is increasing.
It has been about two months since we moved into this office. Our convenience has improved greatly due to the pleasant surroundings of our working environment. There are facilities such as cafes, restaurants, bank ATMs and a post office in the building. I am also pleased that this office offers easy access to Tokyo's major office districts. We have adopted the management by Olympics system (MBOS) as our business policy. It means setting high targets and working to achieve them, while thinking about how to reach them. Through this office move, we were able to solidify areas that have become our operational foundations. The relocation enabled us to aim for higher goals.
Prospects for the Future :
Aim to Become One of the Top Three Companies in Japan with the Relocation as a Foothold
Thanks to this office relocation, our employees' motivation has increased and they have become able to work more creatively. We will raise the level of our customer services and increase the size of our company from this point on. We currently have 45 employees, but we are not satisfied with our current size. With the relocation as a foothold, we aim to become one of the top three companies in Japan as rapidly as possible. We would then like to take the top position.
If we can continue growing at the current pace, our present office will be too small in three years' time. When that happens, I think that we will need to rent another floor in this building or move to another building. I expect that Ken Corporation will respond flexibly to our request for a consultation and help us to achieve an office with a high level of business efficiency again.
Universal Paper Co. Ltd.
- 17th floor, Officer Tower X, Harumi Island Triton Square, 1-8-10 Harumi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
- November 22, 2007
- Net sales
- 45 (as of July 2014)
- Business description
- Criteo provides personalized digital performance advertisements that are strongly related to the interests and concerns of each person in a scalable manner.
Universal Paper delivers environmentally friendly paper products in high quality to achieve a sustainable society and affluent lifestyles against the background of the technologies and production capacity of Asia Pulp & Paper, the largest comprehensive paper manufacturer in Asia.
Universal Paper promotes resource recycling through its management, using trees planted on vast tracts of land measuring a total of 1,400,000 hectares that it owns in Indonesia and China as raw material.
Comment By the Agent
We won this contract about six months after our first meeting with Universal Paper. The company's requirements changed several times during those six months, and we responded to each change as it emerged.
What we kept in mind was the fact that Mr. Ishizuka, who is in charge of personnel and general affairs, was entrusted with the sole responsibility for the office relocation project, and that the relocation-related tasks would definitely interfere with his regular tasks when they commenced.
We provided support to Universal Paper, conscious of the need to help Mr. Ishizuka focus on his regular tasks.
We think that the adjustments between the Japanese office and the head office made Mr.Ishizuka as anxious about slow replies as we were (laughter).
We felt happiest when we received feedback from Universal Paper after the completion of the office move, thanking us for the improvement in the working environment and internal communications.
Like Universal Paper, Ken Corporation is aiming to reach the top position in its industry. We would like to continue associating with the people we met at Universal Paper, both on and off the job.