Follow Up System
The "Permanent Staff to Support Companies" system that is unique to Saga values the ties between people. Staff that have been appointed by companies will continue to be the point of contact even after a transfer and will follow-up with attracting companies on a permanent basis to ensure that companies that are expanding into the Saga market can operate with confidence.
The system, which has been well-received by many companies for its sense of smooth and speedy support from the position of attracting companies, has been used to attract 76 companies (*) since its establishment in April 2004. This is able to be done precisely because of the staff that knows well the history and background at the time of a company's expansion into the market.
(*) March 2017
Permanent Staff to Support Companies system
Since there is no change in persons responsible even with staff changes, consistent support can be provided in light of the history from the beginning of relocation to Saga.
Staff will visit the head offices and prefectural offices of attracting companies and provide the latest information about the prefecture, as well as inquire about requests and problems the company may be facing.
As the point of contact for the prefecture, staff will be available at any time to respond to queries or requests from the attracting company, quickly connect with the staff of the attracting company, and respond/support as soon as possible.
Upon request, staff will be present in the position of the attracting company when exchanging ideas and during negotiations with relevant departments in the prefectural government with regard to procedures and adjustments after entering the market.
Upon request, staff will be available to assist when officials from the head offices and prefectural offices of attracting companies visit the prefectural office and to help with site visits within the prefecture.
The End of Expansion into the Market Is the Beginning of the Real Relationship
EWM Factory moved into the market in Saga City in October 2006.
The person that President Kenichiro Tomonoh appointed as his company's permanent staff was Mr. Kazunori Washizaki, who, at that time, was the person who recommended President Tomonoh to move into the market in Saga as the staff in charge of attracting companies in Tokyo. Even ten years later, this relationship has not changed, and when there is something to discuss, Mr. Washizaki is the first and foremost person that President Tomonoh consults.
The opportunity for advancing into the market is based on the word of the permanent staff
Originally our company was involved in IT work in Tokyo. Ten years ago, offshore (*1) opportunities to develop business overseas were thriving, and there were not many ideas about expanding near shore. (*2) However, rather than develop human resources overseas, I felt that there was meaning in taking on the challenge to develop the skills to connect Tokyo and the local youth in areas around Japan, and I decided to develop a local base in Japan. At that time, I met Mr. Washizaki who was in charge of the sales office for Saga Prefecture in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.
- Offshore: Entrusting/orders for the development of systems and software to overseas business operators and subsidiaries with inexpensive labor costs
- Near shore: Using and implementing local resources for system development, operation, and maintenance.
Yes. There just happened to be a vacant office for IT companies in Ai Forest Hills in Saga City at that time, and I recommended to Mr. Tomono that if he was thinking about setting up a local base, he needed to think about Saga Prefecture.
Actually, at that time, I learned for the first time that programs that could be used by our company were available in Saga Prefecture. Normally, when I hear that an area is looking to attract companies, many times this often targets factories. I think that there are many people who do not know that categories of businesses, such as IT companies, can be targets for attracting companies as well. When you start to develop a base from scratch in a rural location, there are various challenges that must be faced, including finding the best office location or gathering local human resources. Therefore, we were very grateful to have public support for this. When we heard about the detailed proposals for offices and support available from Mr. Washizaki, we decided to move to Saga immediately.
Thoughts about permanent staff
In a relationship with a public institution, often a staff member will suddenly change at the end of the fiscal year. However, it is important to continue to have someone who knows about the history of the company's advance into the market to date, and what kind of company it is and its objectives, even if they change. It is the permanent staff that can be consulted at any time if something comes up.
Even when I am away from work, I am able to continue to associate with President Tomonoh because of our common feelings about Saga. If I have another chance, I would like to work together again, and am happy if that work is for Saga.
To companies that are considering expanding into Saga
Generally, when talking about attracting companies, I think that there are many cases in which companies only transfer a part of their businesses to rural locations.
However, our company transferred our main business from Tokyo to Saga, and now Tokyo has shifted to the role of being our point of contact with customers only. Today, in a world that is not ever expanding, we must carry out repeat trials to create new business. When you create a new venture, you are limited in what can be done only by yourself, and therefore, it is important to cooperate with a variety of players.
Saga smoothly promotes cooperation that goes beyond the walls of companies and industries, or government and academia, and therefore, I consider it the most optimal place to carry out trials to create new business. Including cost hurdles, there are many interesting things that can be done in Saga that cannot be done in Tokyo. Maybe in Saga, an idea may be born that could not be considered among the concrete surroundings of Tokyo.
Here, "Conekuriya", an old house that is an important cultural property of the city, was renovated and developed with everyone's ideas and power. Now, there are a variety of unique approaches that have started in Saga. If you are interested in Saga Prefecture, as in my case, why don't you feel free to send an inquiry and listen to what they have to say.
There will surely be an opportunity to meet with your own permanent staff that you can rely on!