Kochi Technical Center
On December 3rd, 2018, we opened a branch office in Kochi, Shikoku. Kochi is about an hour flight from Tokyo, a prefecture that faces the Pacific Ocean, and is famous for good seafood and produce. We selected Kochi because it's a remote location with not many IT companies but with three universities resulting in many graduates who cannot find proper jobs. Above all, we value the character of the people in the area; polite, refreshingly frank, and with a good disposition.
If you want to improve your business throughput, you must identify where the bottlenecks are and to provide more resources to ease these. One of the bottlenecks in our operation was identified as the testing procedures for our newly developed products.
In order to fulfil market demand, we prioritize the features to be improved and developed. However, we found that the testing processes took much longer than expected, and new features for release were delayed frequently. Since our product is used by so many people, we should not release it without it having been tested properly. The more thorough the tests are, the more time is required.
Making Kochi Technical Center as the main place for quality assurance seemed very rational; it will improve one of our bottlenecks. We are now in the process of quickly establishing a testing team there. As we go along, we will have some of our processes currently in the Tokyo office moved to Kochi to solve other bottlenecks. I am foreseeing some good engineers joining us there, or some in Tokyo might even want to be relocated to Kochi. As a result, we will have a part of development operations moved there as well.
My dream is to give every employee the opportunity to stay there for about a month per year. This is to refresh the working environment, so employees rediscover their motivation which might improve their levels of creativity. A new and natural environment like Kochi compared to Tokyo seems to be one of the biggest advantages there. We'd better make use of that. In the future, we will call it "Kochi Creativity Center."