From Research and Testing Room Vol.9
November… hot drink season
Hello again, it’s Kita from Classic’s research and testing room!
We are already in the middle of November… there is only one and a half month left in 2020! Usually in Japan, people change their wardrobe for autumn and winter in October, but around here, we do not need jackets or heavy coats until November.
As we start to feel the winter coming in, my evening drinks also change from icy sparkling drinks to something hot to warm me up.
Danger past, God forgotten… or NOT!
my job is to identify quality related issues and suggest solutions to improve the quality. The moment when I see the actual improvement because of the action taken based on my suggestion is the moment which leaves me a real pleasure of my work.
During the winter, the risks of damage and fungi infection to flowers become lower than the other season. Because the temperature difference between the air in the refrigerator and the outside air become smaller, naturally, condensation does not occur as much when we take flowers out from the refrigerators. Obviously, completely opposite happens in the hot, humid summer.
Now the summer has passed and we suffer less from such damage and infections, but not because we have found a solution, because of the trick of the nature. What I want to emphasize here is that we need to find a solution if we have a problem! We should always remember and think about the countermeasures for the issues we have encountered no matter when or how often it happens. Again, we have to find a solution to a problem!
Yes we are going into the winter holiday season, and we have plenty of works to do for upcoming holiday and New Year. That is true, but we also have to spare some time NOW so that we won’t repeat the same quality issues and claims again and again for the next summer. Just as flowers take time to grow, so do our steps to ensure better and the best quality.
Even if the immediate danger is passed, God is something we must never forget. When we do our works, we should always keep the quality in mind as our No. 1 priority and plan then do things only Classic Japan can do.
For a while now, I have been doing a research on a group of flowers to find a way to prolong its vase life. Fortunately, I have found one effective method and was able to gather some data to back up my findings, too. As a quality inspector, I proudly shared my discovery and gave advice to the buyer.
Then, the buyer pointed out that this new method may kill the effect of the current treatment or procedure.
First of all, we need to have a deep discussion to find a better solution. I am always very happy to hear other opinions or suggestions. However, when asked the reason why the grower is doing such treatment, the buyer replied “because they have been doing so for a long time—it’s a custom for them.”
I was shocked.
Those growers do a procedure without any scientific backups or data as evidence but just because it is a customary practice to do so?!
I am usually a gentleman (mostly), but I got very frustrated to hear that.
As a gatekeeper of quality, my job is to bring up quality issues and suggest possible solutions for them, but there are some moments when I feel like I am talking on a wall. At those times, I turn into a fighting quality inspector and raise my voice to fight for the quality. When such effort ends in vain, I feel like I am boxing my own shadow (sad).
Fortunately, we all share a mind that “quality is our No.1 priority,” so we always head to the same direction in the end. Quality is something worth to fight for.
Every day, we strive for the satisfaction of our customers and smiles of end users. In order to make them happy, we must always remember to appreciate them for choosing our flowers.
Many companies write “thank you” on the packaging of their products, and personally I think it is a very nice idea, but does those message actually affect the quality of flowers? It may sound absurd, but I did an experiment comparing the quality of flowers packed in a box with the appreciation message and a one without.
The result was…
not so surprising! I did not find any significant difference.
Despite that, I still think it is very important to show our appreciations to our customers in many possible way. I have put forth my opinion to sales promoting divisions. Yup, I am a fighter!
Import business—so you need English, but what else?
We are an import company, so we gather flowers from around the world. Naturally, we need to communicate with the growers in English, and English language ability is a must for a buyer.
However, this does not mean that you can be a buyer if you can speak, listen, write, and read English.
What kind of conversation are you going to have with the growers? Can you talk about the quality of flowers with those professionals?
If you think about our everyday operations, the buyers do need to have knowledge related to flowers, quality, and how they are grown—so we have conducted a test.
I have listed 20 easy questions for a beginner’s level like below:
Q： Flowers release water vapor into the atmosphere. This process is called ( ). The water moves from flowers, stems, and leaves, but generally the amount of ( ) from leaves is the largest.
–Fill the ( ) with a word.
Anyways, all of my colleagues have written the correct answer “transpiration” for this one! (I was so relieved!)
If we keep building the knowledge about flowers and quality, we can communicate exactly what we are facing as a quality problem now and have a very deep conversation with the growers. I believe that our honesty and persistency will add up to the trust we have been building with the growers, and surely leads to the stronger relationship with them.
Class-chic life with flowers
This time I wrote this blog entry in a very serious (and a bit upset) tone, but I hope you now have an idea about how much energy we put into our everyday activities to deliver quality flowers to you. Of course, we have some rooms for improvements, but we hope that you will enjoy our flowers at home whenever you want. We will continue to be the promoter of # class-chic life with flowers.