Friday, August 3, 2012

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Internship Specifics

It's me again!

It's been four days since I moved to Shizuoka and while there have been a couple of bad apples, there have been a lot fantastic developments!

You might remember that I wrote about Japanese company dormitories, but it turns out that the place  I'm staying in is basically just a spacious apartment which the company owns. The biggest benefit is that I can invite my friends or family without having to worry about rules!

Mr Suzuki (the employee taking care of me) is extremely kind! On the first day he picked me up from the train station and took me to the apartment. From there, we went to the company and he briefly introduced me to everybody. Although I'm doing an internship, it really sounds like the executive director has a view to actually employing or contracting with me as a business partner to sell their products in the UK. He keeps saying "Although you're here for an internship, I want you to try your best to get into a position where we can sell our goods in the UK". Everything feels very real now!

Before I was accepted onto the Shizuoka Business Internship Programme, I had to write an essay explaining why I wanted to join the internship programme and what kinds of things I hoped to learn from my experience. While I thought that writing such an essay was just a formality, it turns out that the company director took an interest in my essay, and gave me some further essays to write based on its contents.

As a part of my training, I need to consolidate what I learn at the company and put it into words (in Japanese, of course).

Key Internship Learning Points

(1) 原価について (Costing)


"With a view to improving costs, how are direct costing and and cost accounting used?"

(2) 看板方式制度の実施について (Implementation of the Just-In-Time Production system)


What kind of production system should Marutaka Techno adopt? (e.g. Toyota's JIT system, Cell production, Overeseas Production etc).

(3) 価格について (Pricing)


Please suggest what kind of pricing policy should be set for health-related machines (such as the ones produced by Marutaka Techno).

(4) マーケティングについて (Marketing)


Please suggest areas for improvement regarding the marketing and selling of Marutaka's products.

(5) 良いセールスマンの条件はなんですか? (How to become a good salesman)


Please write about improving interpersonal skills (with a view to improving business negotiations etc.)


So those are the five main things that the director wants me to learn during this two-month internship. When I say "five main things", it doesn't really seem like a lot but there are so many different things contained inside each topic.

I've already learned a lot in the last couple of days and I'm sure that I'll let a lot more in the next two months. Today I was introduced to all of the products made by Marutaka Techno, and I'll post a few photos here until next time!

Can you guess where we sell these products? Who might the most common end users be?

 These photos show the majority of the products made and sold by Marutaka Techno. While it's easy to see that some of these are massage chairs, the other ones may be a bit more mysterious. Although I don't have time to explain them one by one right now, I'm going to talk about them in detail and try to explain the production processes. Marutaka Techno employs a couple of different production processes, but I'll just say that its main production system is Cellular Manufacturing.

 That's all for now, but stay tuned for more interesting news from LET'S DO AN INTERNSHIP!


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