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2018-06-11 Issue 51 Fundamental Behavior 24 Be An Ambassador
I really love telling people I work for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha. I tell them the name is too long to fit on a zipper so we call it ‘YKK.’ One of three things will happen, they will either 1) recognize our products immediately and they will compliment me on our quality products, 2) they will smile politely for a moment until I tell them we probably made the zipper they are wearing, or 3) still not getting it, I will invite them to look at their zipper. Those in the third group will likely grab the front of their pants and will screw up their faces with their chins pressed into their chest as they try to read the zipper on their pants. All three reactions are fun in their own way.
Of course, this always gets a conversation started. I always surprise them when I tell them we have over 45,600 employees worldwide operating in 73 different countries/regions. I then get to explain that just over half of our business is in architectural products. No matter where we are, I can point out the type of products we make, if not an actual YKK AP door, window, or curtain wall itself. I tell them to look for our brand on the lower right hand corner of any metal door the next time they walk into a bank, or a school, or a church, or a store, or anywhere else, really. This invariably leads to a discussion about the art of extrusion that connects zippers and architectural products.
By then, I am warmed up and on a roll. I get excited when I start talking about our safety equipment and the mission critical airtight/watertight zippers that keep people safe in space and in the frigid seas. This then leads to a long description of our webbing products and the amazing science of weaving and how this leads to lifesaving fall protection equipment. I love it when people make a joke about how we must hate button fly jeans, because then I can say ‘we make those too!’ I then go into how complex and artful that business is. I also get to brag about our snap and button products with eco-friendly finishes.
I could go on for hours about how great our company is, but at some point my wife usually grabs me by the arm and pulls me away. I am really proud of the work you all do for the company and for the communities in which we live, and, if you do not do it already, then I invite you to spend a few minutes on our websites, especially the sites for the businesses with which you may be less familiar. Check us out at www.ykknorthamerica.com and www.ykkap.com, and you will get pretty excited too.
YKK Corporation of America