Takimaki is a Japanese SME company that was started in the year 1990 and mainly operated from Tokyo, Japan. The company produces a wide range of consumer electronic products. Some of these products include DVD and CD players, televisions, MP3 players and hi-fi equipment. The company can manufacture and produce such goods by making use of technologies that have been licensed by larger multinational corporations. When the company was started, they had only five employees and in less than thirty years have grown to accommodate over one hundred employees. The Takimaki management team have succeeded in making the company go international to take full advantage of the benefits that international companies possess. One such benefit is the access to a wider array of technologies which in turn allows the company to avoid heavy reliance on multinational companies who have monopolized several technologies in the manufacturing industry. Another benefit that the company will gain from going international is that the production costs will most likely reduce. For the company to succeed internationally, they must do some research about the markets out there and which opportunities they present for the development of new goods and services that will satisfy not only consumer needs but also consumer wants. The company also needs to be aware of issues they will face at any given time. Such issues may involve ethics, managerial concerns, environmental issues, and the social constructions of areas in which they choose to operate as such issues could be both beneficial and detrimental to the company based on how they capitalize on them.
Regarding development of new products that will help them tap into the agri-food industry, the company should focus on both the short term and long term opportunities that are available to them. In respect to the short-term opportunities, the company should focus on the development of new products such as weatherproof entertainment systems, tough monitors, and CCTV systems. Regarding long-term opportunities, there are several areas which Takimaki can take advantage of and break into new markets all over the world. These areas include solar power systems, Tracking systems (both for products and livestock - microchips), Integrated farm management systems, for example, those used in dairy farms and Sensors such proximity and temperature sensors which can be used for safety measures in production plants.
The business can also go into the manufacture of agricultural tools that incorporate nanotechnology. Such tools include nanocapsules and nanoparticles that can be used for the treatment of diseases in animals and to enhance the absorption of nutrients by plants thereby making them grow faster (Coleman, 56, 2007). According to research and development that has been done in different parts of the world. These products are gaining popularity all over the world and therefore present a large market for the company.
In their quest to expand into the agri-food business industry the company will have to adopt the use of some agricultural materials that are seen as friendly to their workers, their consumers and the environment at large. One such material that the company would benefit from using is organic plastic. This is plastic that is biodegradable and will eventually decay, unlike the conventional plastic that is used (Grant, 42, 2008). There have been several companies and organizations that have been preaching the gospel of going green to save our environment which is what gives us clean air and water along with many other natural resources that we need (Grant, 45, 2008). If Tamaki was to adopt the use of organic plastic to make some if not all of their electronic devices they would instantly appeal to the branch of consumers that understand and support the going green cause - which is a market that is steadily increasing.
Another organic material that the company could make use of is Organic Integrated Circuit boards. If the company were to start using organic IC boards whose components are all biodegradable in all their devices and to advertise this fact, then they would be able to infiltrate the consumers within the going green market (Ward, 34, 2018). They can also make use of plastics that are made from different organic oils such as grape seed oil which is mostly known for its skin and beauty benefits. Because plastic is made from oil, it is possible to substitute the type of oil used to make plastic and therefore offer a safer solution for the manufacture of plastics (Freudenrich, 48, 2018,).
The innovation of these new products is closely tied to Research and Development, social innovation and corporate social responsibility. For the company to start manufacturing aggressive research such as a cost-benefit analysis to determine which one of the products described above offers the best returns while having a good production cost. The company chooses to do this by making use of a checklist for each product. The checklist included the materials needed for manufacturing, the cost of those materials and any other resources that the company would need for manufacture. The checklists were used to determine which items were cheap and easily procured. Upon completion of this analysis, the company decided to settle on weatherproof entertainment systems, CCTV systems, nanotechnology devices, and temperature and proximity sensors.
Being that most of the products the company has chosen are electronic there is the for software integration in these devices to endure that they not only function but also do it efficiently. Regarding software development, the company would face a few issues especially if they wanted to develop their software. Some of these issues include the fact that some software in the world have been made global which leads to very high competition within the industry (Ewesi-Mensah, 23, 2003). There is also the fact that a very high level of software expertise is needed to come up with software from scratch and then debug it and make it work in the way it is supposed to. Software development is also very expensive, and it would, therefore, be more suitable for the company to use open license soft wares for their hardware products until they can mitigate all the issues that will come with software development. Regarding such opportunities, they could partner with a software company to use their software in the production of their goods and in return the software company can find out the limits of their software's and begin to improve them.
The shift by the company from conventional materials to those materials that are better suited for the environment contributes to both social innovation and corporate social responsibility. Regarding social innovation, these goods meet the needs of society in that they meet social needs such as health (Lee, 36, 2017). Environmentally friendly products are safer for the human population. This means that the working conditions of Takimaki employees will improve while the consumers will be able to enjoy the benefits of these products exposing themselves to any potentially harmful substances. Regarding corporate social responsibility, the company has the responsibility to make sure that their manufacturing process is not endangering members of the society and the use of these 'green materials' rather than the non-biodegradable plastics and harmful chemicals mitigates the effects of the manufacturing process on the environment and the society at large.
For such a shift to occur within the business, the management team must come up with strategies that would serve to convince all their stakeholders as to why these changes are necessary and how they will each benefit from them (Ferjan, 15, 2014). The Takimaki stakeholders include the consumers, the workers, the company shareholders, suppliers and the government. Resistance is one of the biggest hindrances to change within a company undergoing internationalization (Ferjan, 16, 2014). All these groups of people stand to benefit from the changes made if the company were to implement these changes. The use of renewable energy sources will benefit the company shareholders in the long run because the company will be able to maximize on their profits by saving the money they would use to fund their non-renewable energy sources (Bjornlund, 18, 2009). The biodegradable materials and alternative packaging materials would benefit both the workers and the consumers. The workers would work with equipment that has fewer chemicals and therefore ensure their safety while the consumers will have the knowledge that they are doing everything they can to support the going green cause which will act as a source of relief for them. If the company were to adopt these changes, their revenue would increase, and therefore their contribution to the economy of whichever country they are operating in will increase due to the different types of taxes that they pay to the government. In this way, both the government and the citizens will benefit from these changes. The company could come up with predictions for the positive effects of these changes to all their stakeholders for two years and present them to the individual groups. Doing this will serve to bring the stakeholders on board which will cause less resistance to the changes and will therefore positively affect business operations for Takimaki.
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