Challenges in “Creating New Standards”

Teraoka Seiko/DIGI took its first step when it invented the first “dial type spring scale” in Japan in 1925. At that time, scales had used a sliding counterweight to indicate the weight. Records show that people made fun of the newly invented scale saying, “Who’s going to use such a product,” causing the company to have a hard time selling the product. However, its convenience and high performance came to be appreciated because with our spring scale, a pointer on the dial instantly showed the weight. The product became established as an indispensable tool for food stores in five years, and was accepted as the new standard for scales.

This episode at the time of founding has been relived repeatedly in the subsequent footsteps of the company. Since joining the company in 1977, I also have witnessed many scenes of development that brought about the creation of new standards. For example, when the company developed the world’s first “thermal label printer,” in which I myself was engaged as an engineer, I still remember very well that, despite our struggle to commercialize the new label printer, all quarters were wondering that “there was no way such a product could be sold.” However, after launch of the product, we received greater-than-expected inquiries from customers not only in Japan but also abroad, and the product eventually achieved recognition as the world’s new standard for label printers. On this occasion, I realized that creating a new standard is creating a new culture.

Teraoka Seiko/DIGI has always endeavored to “create new standards” since its foundation. There are two reasons for this. One is our desire to “excite customers.” It is identifying the hidden needs of our customers through their eyes and matching them with our technical possibilities to create breakthrough products or services. We continue our attempts without giving up, by trial and error. We take special joy in having our customers say, “We have never seen a product like this before,” or “How can you do such a thing,” upon development of such products or services. And with this joy, we are able to take on new challenges to “make our customers more delighted” and “surprised further.”

The other is to capture business opportunity. Products or services merely catching up with the changing world will soon be commoditized and cause our business to get caught in a price war. On the other hand, innovative products or services that change the world will provide great benefits to our customers as well as stable profits to our company. Needless to say, innovative products or services are not always accepted. However, to face the challenge, with no fear of failure, is the source of growth and our commitment to our customers and ourselves.

For our customers, and for ourselves, we at Teraoka Seiko/DIGI will continue to face challenges in “creating new standards and new culture.”

Takashi Katayama
President and CEO