Sales Employee Interview

Sales Department

Junpei Murakami

31years old 5th year with the company

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

After graduating, I joined a recycling company and was assigned to a sales office in Saitama Prefecture, where I gained sales experience as a sales representative for the Tohoku area. When I got married, I thought about changing jobs to a company in the Hirosaki area, and that is how I came across our company.

I joined the company as a sales representative, but now I am not only a sales representative but also involved in various missions such as planning and new business planning.

My current roles are as follows.
Purchasing farmland, making operation plans, progress management, and improvement plans.
Work related to the start-up and operation of the processing plant and development of new products (dried apples, juice, dried apples for dogs, etc.)
Planning and operation of crowdfunding
・Impregnation of the company’s management guidelines and the president’s wishes to the executives
・Application for subsidies
・Trademark registration  
Trademark registration, etc. To sum up, my mission is to create a system that will lead to future sales and sales over a long span of time, and to collaborate with external and internal parties.

In addition to planning work, there are of course times when I go into the field and work during the busy season.

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

I originally joined the company because I wanted to do only exciting work! I joined the company because I wanted to do only exciting work, and I have been able to do all the exciting work I wanted to do. I have the most fun when I imagine the future with this company and local people and create a roadmap. It’s almost like playing a role-playing game. Since we are on an adventure to reach a certain point, we are sure to hit a wall. At those times, I have overcome them with my colleagues who lend me their wisdom and strength.

Small and medium-sized enterprises have many challenges to tackle. But I think that is why working there is so interesting.

I used to work in a completely different industry, and even now I feel that there are things I can do and see because I am not completely immersed in the apple industry. I would like to continue solving problems from a perspective that only I can bring to the table.

Also, because I am fortunate to be able to work with people in a position close to management, I have the opportunity to work with highly competent small and medium-sized enterprise diagnosticians and consultants from outside the company,
I have learned the ability to see information from multiple perspectives and to look at things from a bird’s eye view and objectively.

Actually, I have started to read books more often since I joined the company. It was something I never did before. I never imagined I would think that way when I joined the company, but now I secretly want to become a small- and medium-sized enterprise diagnostician. Because of the challenges I face, I now want to grow and do more.

I feel that my growth leads to the growth of the company, and I have learned over the past 5 years the importance of relying on people inside and outside the company, rather than doing things on my own. I rely on others to help me and give me input, and through the output of explaining my experiences and methods to someone else, I am able to organize my thoughts and always think about what path I should take.

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

I would like to continue to create exciting things by myself. My mission is to make the president’s dream come true, but I am conscious that what is for the company is directly connected to what is for this community.

One of the things the president wants to do is to establish an apple school to pass on his knowledge of apple production to the next generation, and I would like to give shape to this idea as well.

I can’t even imagine where I will be in 10 years. But maybe I will be farming. Right now, I am managing a farm for a group company, and being involved in the management of the farm is gradually giving me the desire to put it into practice. I would like to participate in and blend in with the Aomori apple production…I think that if I make my own apples, I will be able to think about things in depth.

General Affairs & Accounting Dept. and Sales Dept.

Noriko Narita

Q. What made you decide to join the company and what kind of career have you had since joining?

28 ago, I joined the firm as a new graduate right after graduating from high school. At that time, there were two senior employees in the office and they were about 15 to 20 years apart in age. I learned most of my work from them. Thanks to them, I was able to solidify the foundation of this job within a year or two of joining the company, which has led me to where I am today.

In addition to sales and accounting work, I am now supporting the start-up of the processing factory. I attend sales meetings and listen to the opinions of consumers, while thinking about what kind of products I should make. I enjoy doing new things.

Q. How difficult, challenging, or interesting is your job?

Sales prices tend to be low in February and March every year, but when we are able to sell apples at a higher price under such circumstances, it is a good thing! I think, “That’s good!

Also, since I am not sitting at a desk all the time in the product planning and processing factory, I am able to make discoveries, which is a good refresher for me. I think about things like, “What kind of packaging should I make that will appeal to consumers? I think about these things as I work.

I have been with this company for a long time, so I feel that things have really changed compared to, say, 10 years ago. Especially since Mr. Murakami joined the company, many things have changed. We started online sales, started operating an Instagram account, and so on.

In addition, I myself have also changed. For example, I am now able to express my opinions in situations where I might not have been able to speak up as I would have done 10 years ago. I feel that there are many things that can be realized only now. I think we are moving in the right direction as a company.

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

We would like to strengthen our online sales. I know that there are apple shops in the same Tsugaru region that have been operating Instagram from early on and have been successful in linking their products to sales. I think it is important to continue doing this in order to connect with consumers online. I would like to continue to send out information on a regular basis and not give up.

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