Purchasing Operations Employee Interview

Sales Department
Deputy Manager

Shintaro Yamaguchi

38 years old, 16-17 years with the company

Q. Why did you join the company and what was your career path after joining?

I joined the company as a part-time employee, but the following year I was approached to work as a full-time employee and was promoted to a permanent position.
For the first few years after joining the company, I deepened my knowledge of apples while working as a forklift operator on site at the orchard. After five or six years of on-site experience, the president asked me if I would like to try my hand at purchasing apples. and I took on the responsibility of purchasing apples.
After some time in purchasing, the president said to me, “If you are going to buy apples, you have to sell them,” and I became involved in sales as well. The scope of my work has been expanding rapidly.
While working as a sales representative, I hear people outside the company say, “Marujin’s fruit selection is of high quality. But it is not easy to maintain this reputation. If we seek quality, the quantity of fruit selection will decrease, and if we prioritize quantity, the quality will decrease. The entire company is working to achieve both quality and quantity, while continuing to devise new ways to achieve this goal.

Q. What are the difficulties, rewards and interesting aspects of your job?

As I continue to operate my business, I think I have recently gained the ability to anticipate the market. What is important is a relationship of trust. How much information can I obtain through repeated conversations with customers? Through the accumulation of information, I have come to be able to catch the market and anticipate the future.

I am also involved in purchasing, and until now it has been my policy to purchase as cheaply as possible. However, the recent trend is to buy high quality apples and sell them to the market at a higher price, even if the price is a little higher. We are now shifting in the direction that it is better to buy slightly better quality apples because there is less loss when we purchase at a higher price. In any case, it is not a sales job that ends with the sale of the apples; I am responsible for selling the apples I purchase myself, so it is both challenging and difficult. It is a very deep job.

Q. What are your future goals and what do you want to work on?

As a company, we would like to pursue both the total quantity and quality of apples we handle. Right now, we handle about 220,000 boxes per year, but our goal is 250,000 boxes.
To achieve this…we need to change our fruit selection system. Of course, we are not cutting corners at the moment, and everyone is working as hard as they can with a goal in mind. Even so, it is difficult to overcome this obstacle, and I would like to break through it.

In my personal life, I have a 4-year-old, a 2st grader, and a 4rd grader. I would like to continue to balance fatherhood with my private life.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

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