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“Kaconavi, a metal processing matching site created by an old man at a small factory”

Yanai Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
“Kaconavi, a metal processing matching site created by an old man at a small factory”
Navigate your company’s processing
“Why isn’t there a small factory version when you can easily find restaurants, beauty shops, and accommodations?”
In the field that supports manufacturing in Japan, it is difficult to match small factories with manufacturers, trading companies, or small factories with other specialties. In an industry where there continues to be a shortage of human resources and successors, there are a limited number of suppliers that match the region and scope of service, and many do not have their own websites, making it difficult to find them on the web.
Meanwhile, in July 2022, Yanai Seisakusho released “Kakonavi”, a matching site specializing in machining.
Keiichi Yanai (hereinafter referred to as Yanai), who serves as the representative of this service, is the president of an active small factory.
Yanai will tell you about the behind-the-scenes process leading up to the release of this service, which took 13 years from the idea of ​​the business to the launch of the service.
What is Yanai Seisakusho, which has been around for over 50 years? Yanai Seisakusho is a small factory located in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture that manufactures ship parts and welds the parts. It was founded in 1972 by Yanai’s grandfather, Katsutaro Yanai. Due to its location in Yokosuka, the company mainly manufactures ship parts for tankers and destroyers.
Yanai was 23 years old when he joined the company, which has been in business for 50 years. He spent his time working on machines from early morning until late at night, learning what he needed to do on-site at a small factory.
[Image 1:×666.jpg] I became president three years ago in 2020. At the age of 50, he took over the role of his father and carried out sales activities necessary for running the company. It was in December 2021 that Yanai, who had been working mainly in the field, started developing the web service Kaconavi.
He says the coronavirus has had a big impact, but the origins go back even further.
In the wake of the Lehman Shock, we reconsider our everyday questions and industry challenges.
It was around 13 years ago, during the Lehman shock, that we came up with the idea of ​​matching with small factories. Although the financial crisis started in the United States, it also had a major impact on Japan. At the time, Yanai Seisakusho was forced into a situation where its production of repeat products, which it had always done, drastically decreased, resulting in a decline in sales and affiliated companies voluntarily closing down or withdrawing from business.
[Image 2:×605.jpg] (Located along the national highway and usually visited by many customers.) With the production work that we do every day coming to a halt, there is a need to do something different than usual to make up for it. At that time, a certain question that I have always had came to mind. “Why isn’t there a small factory version when you can easily find restaurants, beauty shops, and accommodations?”
For me, it was a site I would want to use if it existed. I wonder if there are other people who feel the same way? That’s what I thought. When small factories are saturated with work from various clients, such as urgent projects that require secondary processing, it is common business practice to request a company that can cooperate with them. However, if the companies you can request are difficult to respond to, you may find yourself at a loss and have no choice but to seek help from a processing company you don’t know.
In such cases, it is necessary to use an intermediary, but many people give up on using an intermediary due to the delivery time and financial burden.
In many cases, crisis situations can be overcome through connections between people and on a regional basis, but it is difficult to maintain the same structure in an industry where there is a serious shortage of human resources and successors.
In such a situation, I thought it would be possible to create a system to easily create new connections, such as selling to manufacturers on the site or directly contacting small factories that I don’t know. Based on the service idea, Yanai tried to make it a reality. Nowadays, the word “matching” has become commonplace, but back in 2010, we were unable to properly convey the idea of ​​a “matching portal site” for small factories where people could easily find and meet people. , it was difficult to bring it into shape.
As we took on challenges, sales gradually recovered, and although attempts to realize the idea slowed down at the time, we vowed to ourselves that if something like this were to happen again, we would “definitely do it.” It passes.
In response to the coronavirus crisis, we aim to make a comeback based on the ideas we had at the time.
In March 2020, when the coronavirus began to spread, it had a big impact on Yanai Seisakusho, a manufacturing company. In December 2021, in a situation that reminds me of the Lehman shock, I wonder if it is possible to realize the idea I had back then.
Although it did not take shape 13 years ago, as time has passed, the idea of ​​“matching” has now become widespread. Within a month of remembering this, Yanai took concrete action.
Although I don’t have any experience or skills in web development, I had the idea for the site 13 years ago, such as naming the site “Kakonavi”, placing a map of Japan in the center of the site, and freely disseminating information, so I decided to hire a web production company. When you visit and tell them your thoughts, the conversation quickly progresses.
When creating a new service, even after it’s completed, we work from a small factory’s point of view to determine what functions to add, from checking the system’s operation to ease of use, checking it, illustrations, logo design, and a series of inexperienced tasks. All of the small factories dotting the map of Japan have their own homepages, and we are particular about using photos and text to make them feel like they are friends. In addition, even on the home page, we are trying to show a brightness and expression that conveys a connection with people.
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(Displays manufacturing industry locations using GPS) Kakonavi URL:
When we released the service, we also created a logo. The name comes from “Processing Navigate,” and the font color is gray so that you can tell at a glance that it’s metal. In addition, the bolts are designed to stop at key points.
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(Logo idea at the time)
Yanai repeatedly drew the image on paper and had it shaped using design software until it was completed. Finally, after 7 months of development, the game was successfully released.
Service release and future prospects
The site was launched in July, but there was no response. While searches did not yield any results, we sent out a press release in September, and the response gradually increased, with over 40 companies now.
The company has received coverage mainly from media in its home prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, and the number of inquiries has increased. “I was really happy when I received a message saying that I had seen the site and had made an inquiry,” he recalls.
Even though they have amazing and amazing technology, they don’t have a homepage, so they can’t catch people’s attention, and they can’t get the word out. I have seen many factories like this.
I have also come to realize that the items that we used to manage locally are not permanent.
I hope that you will feel the importance of new connections by transmitting information through Kaconavi.
Currently, the number of registered companies is steadily increasing in order to boost the manufacturing industry. In the future, we will expand not only to cutting processing companies but also to the secondary processing field. “Surface treatment, heat treatment, painting, resin, rubber, wire discharge, molds, injection molding, and recruitment will also be in a state where you can choose according to the field and be able to appeal” by the end of the year. Aiming for 1000 items. says Yanai.
“April Dream” is a project by PR TIMES in which companies broadcast their dreams that they hope to eventually come true on April 1st. We are seriously aiming to make this dream come true.
More details about this release: