The Effective Technology- and Resource-Management Strategy of Established Japanese Company: A Case Study of Toraya, a Traditional Japanese Confectioner
Kana Sugimoto, Takao Someya, and Shin’ya Nagasawa
Graduate School of Commerce, Waseda University, 1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan
The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the effectiveness of the management strategies of the traditional Japanese confectioner Toraya. Rapid technological development and the demands of knowledgeable customers have made growth more difficult for manufacturers. We assume that the practices of longestablished manufacturers are best for others to follow. Toraya has been a high-value-added confectioner for almost 500 years. The reasons for its sustained competitiveness are described in this paper. We use the 3Cs analysis to clarify the business circumstances of the Japanese confection industry, the 4Ps analysis to explore Toraya’s structure, the strategic experimental module analysis to show the reliable value that Toraya offers its customers, and the Value, Rarity, Inimitability, and Organization analysis to explain its long-term success. The results reveal that Toraya has employed a low-technology strategy utilizing artisanal skill instead of machines and provides an excellent consumer experience that attracts customers. This is a sustainable competitive advantage because it takes years to establish and is not easily imitated. However, Toraya’s simple and effective management practices could be adopted as industry best practices.
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