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Zennovation: An East-West Approach to Business Success by Mortimer R. Feinberg, PhD, Adam Taki, Tomio Taki

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CHAPTER 5

Expansion and Distribution Channel Management

The Late 1960s

I was fortunate enough to experience mostly advantages during the first 14 years of my business career and personal life. I had a wife and healthy twin boys, and Takihyo was growing at a tremendous pace. The side projects of licensing for Steelcase, the construction of the Takihyo headquarters in Nagoya, Takihyo’s licensing of Bobbie Brooks’s Stacy Ames brand, and our carpeting wholesaling division were more lucrative than I initially imagined they could be. With the introduction of these new lifestyle-marketed items, women’s Western clothing, and household goods, Takihyo embarked on changing from the old into the new. However, as the company evolved, so did the consumer—requiring us to adapt to a much more sophisticated consumer with new methods of distribution and marketing.

Takihyo needed a new distribution hub to expand and accommodate new demand. Although it is common practice today, Japanese businesses did not at that time have separate distribution centers. It was not until I’d traveled to the United States that I noticed how essential a distribution center would be for Takihyo. These centers allowed more room in the office to be devoted to desks and showrooms, rather than having to store boxes upon boxes of samples and products. On-site storage took away from our productivity in the office, because we were forced to spend too much time contracting messengers to ship samples and products rather than ...

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