episode 00. Felling for leather.


In leather making,
there is no end.

Masakazu Majima
Chief, Headquarter Sales Division, Sales Department


23rd year at Sanyo. My job is going to customer's place, planning and serving a product. At first, I was in rawhide section. After that moved to a post-tanning section called wetblue section. Finally, I moved here, to sales department ten years before.

First, I have to think how can I answer customer needs, what they want to make, and make a conclusion. Then bring these data back to our factory and tell our technician precisely. Luckily I experienced in many work site. Of course, all of them are my friends, and we've working together for a long time. And this is why we don't have any problem in communication between us.

We have staff who specialized in production. The more accurately I tell them what customer want, the more efficiency of the production increase. In case, I told them wrong instruction. The leather will come out different, and this is my responsible. Explain only once and the thing comes out perfect? The world is not that sweet. We have to repeat making sample until the customer says "OK."

Recently our client side has changed. Many of them wish to make their own brand. They want to make something great. Of course, they're very careful choosing the material. In our factory, we have a tanning pit which rarely see in Japan nowadays. We revive in order to give a customer best vegetable tanning leather.

I think big company also started to change. For instance, began to use their own brand rather than doing an OEM, or try something else that they can do. I'll be happy if our company can be a supporter to our customer and supply them with the best quality material. Because it's vital in their competition, and relate to our future order.

The leather is a something from nature; sometimes it's difficult to use, but on the other hand, it's fascinating. You will know when you see our Kip skin. Unfinished leather or "Crust Leather" is gorgeous, and it's Sanyo's characteristic.

When I see the product that uses our leather, I would like to have one. Not only shoes but also a bag, when it becomes a finished product, it totally changed! With an experienced hand of professional, our leather has become something special.


Newly, our customer introduced one furniture company, and we're making a sample for a sofa. If the thing goes well, it would be something interesting. I would be appreciated if our leather can be use as a furniture product.

I'm a leather lover. I use many products from our customers, such as bag, shoes, and name card pouch. The longest leather goods I ever use is my leather shoes; I've been using this leather shoes for over ten years. I bought it since I moved to the sales department. Maintenance it properly, it can use for a long time.

I also have a private connection to a customer. When we're talking business, I have no choice but to agree when their age is above me. (laugh) After work, we have dinner together and no business talk. Occasionally, because I'm married, we talked about married life or how to marry someone. I think this kind of relationship plays a significant role in our mutual trust in business.

From now on, I want to spread more Sanyo Leather brand in both domestic and international. Even in the local market, there's an area that we can't enter yet, the international market also no exception. I think if somewhere in the world, which everyone is wearing leather shoes, then Sanyo Leather will have a standpoint.

The good things about Japan Leather is a quality, Or I'd better say it's our earnestness. I heard from our customer that a certain foreign tannery company had sent the product that obviously different from what they ordered, in our perspective is unbelievable. No matter how hard of the requirement is, we definitely make it. Reliability is the most significant.

I feel that in leather making, there is no end. It always has an another goal. There's no ending when it come to customer needs. Unless the world is stopping, nothing can be good forever. Customer sides are also using "KAIZEN" method to work against this competitive world.

Many people see us as a big tannery company and feel like it is hard to approach. In fact, you just come can talk to us, and don't worry about quantity. For instance, in Leather Fair, there are people who want to create their brand come and looking for leather. We currently accept a small lot of production too. The generation is changing. Our working process also needs to change.