What became a significant business opportunity for Honda Trading America (HTA) started out as a simple program in 1972 to export U.S.-made products, utilizing empty cargo space on Honda’s Pacific fleet of ships.
As Honda’s U.S. manufacturing presence grew, HTA’s focus shifted to supporting Honda’s U.S. and global manufacturing operations, which provided a critical link between Honda factories, its materials suppliers and other trading partners.
Its operations expanded to include such diverse activities as the procurement of raw material for Honda’s U.S. factories and many of its component suppliers; the procurement and recycling of precious metals such as platinum and palladium used in catalytic converters; and the coordination of international supply chain logistics.
“I asked myself, ‘How can our company survive in America?’ Of course, we have survived for the last forty years. But can we do another 10 or even 20 years? The company constantly has to be taking action and improving,” said Chief Operating Officer Nobuhiko Shiozaki, who assumed his position in April.
While HTA’s business has been growing throughout the years, Shiozaki sees a need to adjust its Honda Trading: Depending on the American market revenue model to ensure long-term growth. He also aims to improve delivery times, increase efficiency and raise total output.
Shiozaki’s primary focus is to improve QCD (Quality, Cost and Delivery) efficiency by changing the mindset of his employees. Instead of only setting targets, he will lay out strategies to reach them.
“People have to enjoy the company. With happy people, the business will grow. You shouldn’t be comfortable. You have to think about the next generation for the sustainability and continuity of the company,” Shiozaki said.