Deokhwan (Colin) Ahn
With the western culture and technologies floated into japan around 130 years ago, first selected high-quality Japanese soap Kao (Sekken) was born, according to Kao group. In order to produce a premium product that is made in Japan and to compete with the foreign brands, Tomiro Nagase, Founder of Kao, turned his stated-of-the-art refining and blending technology to bring unique innovation to the people’s lifestyles. The Kao has been consistently delivered products that offered innovative and high-quality values to support people’s daily lives. For example, Kao Shampoo in 1932, Kao Washing Power (Kao Sentaku) in 1951, Laurier sanitary napkins (the first in Japan to use polymers for absorbency) in 1978, Sofina cosmetics (skincare based on science) in 1982, Bubble bath additives (promotion of blood circulation with carbon dioxide) in 1983, Merries baby diapers (the new functional materials and processing technology) in 1983, Attack (the world first compact detergent) in 1987, Quickle Wiper for smooth and easy cleaning in 1994, Healthya (first mass market green tea "food for specified health uses") in 2003, MegRhythm (soothes fatigue and stiff muscles with the warmth of gentle steam) in 2006, Foam Color (easy-to-use hair dye for even color) in 2008, Attack Neo (the world first ultra-concentrated eco-friendly liquid laundry detergent) in 2009, and Flair Fragrance (fabric softener with fragrance sensor) in 2011 demonstrates how much the Kao strived to create revolutionary items not only to satisfy its customers but also to make the world better place to live in. In recent years, Kao has launched various innovative products with new functions and values. This is the Kao's spirit that has been sustained over the years since its founding and is known as Yoki-monozukuri. According to Kao group, it continues to strive to create the originality that will be the basis of Kao’s new future because it is the next wave of innovation for the future.
The goal of Yoki-Monozukuri, based on the Kao-way, is to provide excellent products and value for consumer. Yoki, which literally means excellent, and Monozukuri, which means developing and manufacturing the products, combine together to influence positivity to the community. That is, Kao’s employees always carry and perform based on the Kao-way. It is to gain sincere satisfaction from its users and flourish the people’s lives in the world by providing good products and values.
Kao made great efforts to improve its organizational strengths by having core competency. In 1995, according to Kao group, the company built fundamental management principles: Business principles, which formed the basis of corporate activities, and action guidelines, which formed the basis of employees’ actions. Junichi Kashiwagi, who is in Human Resource Development Division of Kao, argues that in 1997, corporate ethics—business activities and individual...