The quality of communication ‘became convenient in every aspect’ has improved, and store management as well as warehouse operation has changed efficiently. Corporate culture of ‘everyone participates regardless of positions’ has also strengthened positively.

Amina Collection Co., Ltd.   Interview with Mr. Sawato, Mr. Maehara, Mr. Murata, and Mr. Koyamauchi

Amina Collection Co., Ltd.

 

President Sawato Shindo (photo)
Supporting HQ, System management room Manager Masami Maehara
Merchandising HQ, Logistics div. Manager Satoshi Murata
Retail sales HQ, Shop innovation div. Area manager Shinya Osanai

Based on the idea of ‘Recreating folklore (folk culture)’, Amina Collection Co., Ltd. distributes traditional clothing, interior and costume goods nationwide. They introduced LINE WORKS in order to activate the information sharing system between the headquarters, the logistics warehouse where delivers goods directly to the retail stores and branches, and the retail stores located nationwide. We interviewed President Mr. Sawato, and Mr. Masami about LINE WORKS introduction. Also, we interviewed Mr. Satoshi, who is in charge of overall logistics warehouse management, and the area manager Mr. Shinya about the detailed usage cases of LINE WORKS.

Tell us about your company and individual roles.

– President, Mr. Sawato :
Based on our company philosophy “Walk with the Sun”, we import clothing and goods from nationwide and sell them online. With the aim of making the company atmosphere more actively, we are striving to make changes to our company. 

 

– Manager, Mr. Satoshi :
As a Product Distribution Dept. head of Traditional Goods Headquarters, I am in charge of general management on warehouse, goods, and employees as well as general affairs. The warehouse that I am managing deals with every stock from our company, and it is more than 25,000 SKU(Stock Keeping Unit). Currently, we have about 100 employees. They are divided into Loading and Shipping department. They load and ship a large number of commodities everyday. 

 

– Area manager, Mr. Shinya :
As a local manager, I am in charge of branches located in Kanto, Shizouka, and Karuizawa. I spend half a month in stores and the other half at the headquarters. 

 

– Manager, Mr. Masami :
As a member of Information Systems Department, I am in charge of company and branch systems as well as LINE WORKS operation management.

What were the issues before the introduction of LINE WORKS?

– President, Mr. Sawato :
Before introducing LINE WORKS, we have been utilizing phone calls, emails, and computer messenger software as a means of interoffice communication. Official communication was mainly held with emails. However, because the emails could only be checked with a computer installed at each branch, a lot of employees felt uncomfortable with email communication. For this reason, shadow IT, using personal accounts such as using LINE for business purpose, has become serious problem to us. While searching for a resolution to solve this problem, we found LINE WORKS. 

 

– Manager, Mr. Masami :
It is impossible for System Management Department to manage the communication held through LINE. Also, if retired employee is still remained in the chatting room, there is a high risk of sensitive information leakage. Moreover, it was troublesome to share LINE IDs every single time. LINE was convenient to use for personal use, but inconvenient for business purpose.

 

– Manager, Mr. Satoshi :
Previously, we used computers installed on-site and PHS to either deliver instruction or contact the employees outside the office. At that time, if we were to deliver detailed instructions on site, we had to go to the computer or print out the instructions. Thinking back to those times, it was a situation with full of unnecessary steps. For example, if our customer wants to make choices among the goods available in various color or pattern options, we had to actually print the attached photos and deliver it to the site. For this reason, we were finding a solution to reduce such work burden.

 

– Area manager, Mr. Shinya :
Scheduling with colleagues was very hard. Because we could only check the schedule through computers at the headquarters, I had to communicate with them through LINE.

What was the decisive reason that drove you to turn to LINE WORKS?

– President, Mr. Sawato :
Our company culture is to share information regardless of positions and this corresponds with strengths of LINE WORKS. Up to this point, we have been using all different tools such as email, messenger, and schedule. For this reason, we have been also thinking of adopting an all-in-one service tool that can manage everything at once. In this sense, we felt that LINE WORKS is a perfect fit for us. Since employees are already familiar with LINE, we thought that LINE WORKS can also be used without struggling. And eventually, this can lead to an overall communication and business efficiency of our company. We started to utilize LINE WORKS at the moment of the introduction by renting out the smartphones to the employees. We are currently using about 230 IDs for full-time employees.

How exactly LINE WORKS is being used?

– Manager, Mr. Masami :
LINE WORKS is used mostly to contact the leader in the warehouse. I am basically working in the office, so it is crucial to keep in touch with the leader and get an idea of what is going on at the field. Currently, we use a group chatting room to manage what instructions the leader is ordering to each field employee. From loading to shipping, depending on its process, there are about 10 groups have been created with LINE WORKS. Each group includes leader, headquarters sales representative, Store Innovation Department, and product development members as necessary. 

 

In the past, when unexpected accident occurs, the leader had reported to me about the issue. Then, I contacted the representative again to make decision on countermeasure. Whereas, we are now using LINE WORKS to communicate directly with the person in charge. If I join that chatting room, I can immediately understand the situation and countermeasure. If necessary, I can join chatting room even later and this is one of LINE WORKS’ convenience.

 

– Area manager, Mr. Shinya :
Managing schedule became much comfortable. I often have to closely contact and affiliate with the 9 local managers, managers of each branch, and colleagues from Store Innovation Department as well as from other Departments. While doing so, I also have to implement the business. After the introduction of LINE WORKS, however, it is now possible to check others’ schedules, making it easier for me to figure out their conditions of the working schedule.

What are the effects after the introduction of LINE WORKS?

– Manager, Mr. Masami :
The biggest change is that we get more opportunities to make judgements at the field than before. Walking inside the big warehouse means that there is increase in walking time. Therefore, it is important point not to walk as much as possible. When we have to find the goods from the warehouse, we no longer have to go back to our office, in which the computer is located, to find out the location of the goods. Instead, we can now check the location through LINE WORKS installed smartphones. And we think this is the biggest advantage of the tool as well. Furthermore, if problem occurs, we can not only check the result but also the situation as well as the background of the problem through LINE WORKS chatting. This enables us to make decisions for problem resolution faster than before. 

 

– Area manager, Mr. Shinya :
I believe that it became comfortable in every aspect. Previously, it was hard to continue communication since I could not find out whether the recipient read the email or not. After the introduction of LINE WORKS, however, it evoked a feeling of speed along with the notion that I can deliver information to the recipient in a prompt manner. Therefore, I feel like as if all the employees are connected through LINE WORKS. Efficiency has also increased throughout the working process. When using emails in the past, if there was an issue which needed to be discussed within all the employees, it took about half a day to come up with the final decision. After the introduction, however, it took only about an hour. We can also handle the work while heading to the branch offices.

 

 

 

– President, Mr. Sawato :
I always thought that the communication which everyone can talk freely about the issues is very important. As office communication has become active than before, both quality and quantity of the communication has also increased. It is because LINE WORKS was well matched with our company culture, which is everyone participates in the communication regardless of the positions. 

 

I think it is very important to share their own ideas or meeting logs with others, instead of keeping them on their own. It is also a great advantage that LINE WORKS makes it possible for us to make such information sharing possible. Unlike phone calls, LINE WORKS enables sharing information at preferred time frame. With this, I believe that LINE WORKS will be the main tool, which replaces the phone calls near in the future.

 

※ All details, affiliations, and positions specified were gathered at the time of interview.

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