Support for establishing new factories abroad.
Utilizing Bridgestone Software’s expertise in systems to meet worldwide needs.
In response to this, Bridgestone has built new tire factories to expand overseas. Bridgestone Software’s vital mission is to support the launch of new tire factories. This time, we interviewed two employees who are playing an active part as the main members of a project.
Joined in 2008. Production System Department
T.N. works in the Kyushu branch. So far, he has worked on a project to start new factories in India, China, and Hungary, as well as the introduction of a new production system in existing factories in Brazil, Argentina, etc.
Joined in 2018. Production System Department
H.M. works in the Kyushu Branch. She belongs to the Global Tire Production System Section to oversee the development and maintenance of production systems and operations related to system maintenance agreements for overseas factories.
Starting a new overseas factory from scratch
With the rising demands of Bridgestone tires around the globe in recent years, tire factories are starting one after another in EU and Asia in response to market needs. As the only company specializing in information systems in the Bridgestone Group, we take part in a project to establish an overseas factory from the planning phase. Our team is in charge of a broad range of operations from design, system introduction, on-site test runs, and staff education to consulting to help improve product quality and establish standards. Project leader, T.N. told us that “While minimizing costs, we are working toward improving the quality and stability of production to support development and maintenance for Overseas users.”
Communicate over and over without fear of failure
“We struggled because we did not have any experience in having direct contracts with overseas factories,” said H.M., who is one of the project members. In addition to her role in system maintenance, she concurrently takes charge of contract operations. “When I directly negotiated with local representatives abroad, one of the most challenging aspects was communicating in English, which was not a native language for either of us,” continues H.M., “Thanks to support from other members in the company, we had finished having a contract with overseas factories., I was very relieved. T.N. also said he had learned to overcome communication barriers through trial and error in English. “At first, I could not enough introduce myself to others. However, after I was given advice to not be afraid of failure in the on-site training, I eventually became able to communicate without flinching to use gestures and draw pictures to communicate.
The joy of creating a system together from scratch
T.N. told us that they faced challenges one after another when starting a factory from scratch. “Factory has be built on vacant land, introduce new facilities and equipment, local staff has worked, repeat test production, and ship products. We experienced many setbacks because we were clueless in many ways at first. Despite the situation, we completed a factory by working with many partners inside and outside of the company. I become especially glad when I actually see that products are being created,” said T.N. with a sense of contentment. H.M. said she finds joy in her work when she communicates with other overseas factories' members. “I am glad when we receive a maintenance request from them and hear the words of appreciation for solving their problems.”
To deliver better quality to the world
As long as people around the world continue to fondly choose Bridgestone’s tires, overseas factories will continue to operate in the future. T.N. emphasized that “To provide the same quality on a global basis, we think our support for development and maintenance is essential. There is still more room to improve quality and efficiency. I would like to grow up at a personal level, and by sharing our knowhow with younger employees and to continue contributing to their operations.” H.M. talked to us about future goals from the perspective of signing contracts. “We successfully created a precedent of directly concluding a contract with an overseas factory. For the future, I want to reduce the lead time required for the purchasing process by realizing direct ordering and purchasing transactions for system development.” Bridgestone Software will continue to meet global needs through our support for launching overseas factories.