Based on Kanagawa, the Sun Medical Corporation provides services such as visiting rehabilitation massage, relaxation massage, and other services with medical insurance. LINE WORKS has introduced in order to enhance the management capacity of executive staffs, who are managing employees. This time, we interviewed Mr. Ono, Mr. Hasegawa, and Mr. Takeuchi about the specific usage of LINE WORKS.
Tell us about your company and individual roles
Located in Kanagawa, our company operates the visiting rehabilitation massage business by a masseur who owns national certificate. We also operate stress-relieving salon that lessens daily tiredness or muscle stiffness using five senses and other related business. We are operating 8 visiting rehabilitation massage stores and 5 stress-relieving salon stores.
I am part of the General Affairs Department, and responsible for managing the company’s vehicle, PCs, and company borrowed cellular phones.
I am in charge of visiting rehabilitation massage business. In addition, I visit customer’s house as a masseur and I manage the schedule of staff members as head of the office, simultaneously.
What were the issues before LINE WORKS introduction?
The number of employees who were only a few at the company’s foundation year in 2000 has now grown up to 130 employees. As the company’s size grew year after year, we believed that the speed of communication would become more important than before. Also, we value people as we put a company’s fundamental policy. Especially, in hopes of improving capacity and becoming outstanding individuals, we actively have been conducting the training workshop for executive staffs.
We all felt that, in order to work faster, it is important to make quick responses to the contacts. We think that there are limitations to enhance response rates using communication tools like email or telephone. Until now, the employees have used bulletin boards on the company’s website installed by each Department manager. Field employees, those who have hard time to meet each other due to different work time, used company’s SNS to contact each other. We thought that introducing a convenient communication tool may enhance communication speed than before.
It was only morning hours that I can physically meet the employees. For this reason, I basically contacted them through company mobile phone or personal mobile phone. However, I often felt uncomfortable with this due to time limitation.
We have used SMS since we rented out 2G phones to our employees up until now. However, I felt that SMS as well as 2G phones were inconvenient to use because contacts need to be re-registered every time when device changes.
What was the decisive reason that drove you to turn to LINE WORKS?
In the fall of 2017, the company introduced LINE WORKS as we changed the company rental mobile phone from 2G phone to smartphone. LINE WORKS, an application available both on the PC and smartphone, was very attractive because we wanted to create an environment where office employees can easily communicate with field employees. I looked over several different tools. However, I gave up on introducing them because employees were unable to get used to them in the trial and there was a need for the training session in order to make every employee member be proficient.
However, when LINE WORKS was first introduced, it was easy to use and well operated without providing additional explanation to employees. Also, Admin function was easy to operate that we were able to control without a manual.
LINE WORKS provides video call feature, and it has been a crucial factor to introduce it since Mr. Ono wanted to hold a video conference. LINE WORKS, unlike other traditional communication tools, was also very attractive because it provides Read notification feature to find out whether a message has been read or not.
When we introduce LINE WORKS, the internal IT Department set up rules such as ‘Messages that arrive after 8 p.m. can be answered the next morning’ or ‘No need to use closing remarks at the end of the message’ to make LINE WORKS usage pleasant. In addition, each business unit came up with different ideas to make a variety of uses of LINE WORKS.
Tell us the specific use cases for LINE WORKS
Currently, a total of 32 employees in administrative positions like senior executives, director of each sales office, and store manager are using LINE WORKS. we can send opinions to the executives easily as well as accommodate with executives’ opinion better than before. Also, there are executives who exchange personal information like ‘My baby has born’ or upload company PR videos via LINE WORKS to share information actively. Our company values ‘A well-communicated environment’ as the most important measure and we think that LINE WORKS is making a huge contribution to create such environment. Up until now, we have been hearing from employees through face to face interviews or written survey. However, I think we will be able to take advantage of LINE WORKS Form functions near in the future.
If the customer is in bad condition and cancel the visiting schedule on that day, we need to make contact immediately to field employees, who are assigned to visit the customer’s house. We can make contacts faster through LINE WORKS than by phone or email. Also, if the sent messages are notified as read, we can assure that ‘the recipients have read the message’, even if there is no reply.
There are times when we care for customers with a team of external physical therapists or occupational therapists whom are contracted by care managers. And we are mostly using LINE WORKS to make connection to their LINE account and exchange information in real time. Up to this point, the telephone calls have been central to our communication. But, there was a limited amount of time to receive the call and communicate through the phone. Therefore, we often had to call several times to find the most suitable time for communication. After the introduction of LINE WORKS, communication became smoother.Also, we can share customer’s health status and family situations on team’s group chatting room, which enables to achieve care system with better customer satisfaction measurement.
Because LINE WORKS enables us to find out whether the message has been read or not, we can make decisions faster than before. If an emergency situation occurs at the field we visit, we have to contact our boss about the issue and ask for the solution. When doing so, if we find out the message is not read by the boss, we can immediately make judgement to contact another boss and ask for the resolution. And this is very convenient.
What are the effects after LINE WORKS integration?
LINE WORKS made company’s overall communication more active than before because it is easier to express an opinion than email or telephone. In order to confirm each other’s opinion, we use LINE WORKS, which has fast response speed and we can use the appropriate tool for purpose with the contact that needs searching or accumulation can be done by email.
We have discussed various company-level agendas such as new plans and responses through face-to-face meetings. But, now we are actively using LINE WORKS Message function to do so. As a result, face-to-face meetings have turned from a discussion to decision making and final confirmation, allowing more time to spend efficiently. The introduction of LINE WORKS created an atmosphere for the new director to express their opinion freely.
We believe that the adoption of LINE WORKS enabled us to achieve a ‘well-communicated environment = better working environment’ and strengthened the connection between our executives. As more and more employees are now expressing their opinions, I think I can hear about them more when compared with past years. Communication and decision-making procedures are certainly faster than before, and we expect that these changes can lead us to better performance in the future.
※ All details, affiliations, and positions specified were gathered at the time of interview.