HARIO – History and Philosophy
The message of the Kaizen strategy is that not a day should go by without some kind of improvement being made somewhere in the company. -Masaaki Imai, a Japanese organizational theorist and management consultant
HARIO, which means ‘The King of Glass’, is a Japanese company that significantly contributes to the development of the international specialty coffee culture.
The company was founded in 1921 and specialized in producing high-quality, heatproof glassware equipment for medical uses and science laboratories. After many years of research, it successfully started to manufacture the eco-friendly Hario Glass, using 100% natural minerals to refine heatproof glass.
Since 1949, HARIO uses its know-how to create also household items, including coffee brewing products: drippers, kettles and manual grinders.
In 2005, the company launched its most famous invention: the V60 Coffee Dripper.
HARIO is an inspiring, successful company and well equipped to handle any challenges it may face in the future. It pursues the truth of nature and the well-being of people.
What is the key to HARIO’s ongoing success?
The company’s daily activities are based on the fundamental principles of the Kaizen philosophy and art of life.
Kaizen (Kai = Change; Zen = Good)
Kaizen stands for the continuous and never-ending processes of learning and improvement. It doesn’t matter how good a product or service is, there is always a possibility of further improvements.
It’s a life-philosophy that is based on the believe that big results are created by many small changes that were taken patiently over a longer period of time.
The Kaizen way of life includes everybody in the community. Nobody is excluded. Every day, everyone is motivated to contribute to the success of the community by making small improvements.
HARIO, as the CEO Yasuhiro Sibata points out, is built around its people. Yasuhiro listens to all of them carefully. He gets inspired by the creative ideas of his workers and the opinions of his customers.
“Every day at the company I drink a coffee. I allow an employee, new or old, to make a coffee in front of me. Together we engage in a conversation and bond together,” Yasuhiro says. “In that moment we are no longer boss and employee; we are two people enjoying coffee together.”
“We are manufacturing from the viewpoint of users with good quality control,” he says. “If I receive 10 ideas from my salesmen and designers, they are usually all the same. But out of the 10 if there is one that is totally different to the others, that’s the one design I will choose.”
When asked if coffee can be better than it already is, Yasuhiro answers boldly: “It will be better.”
With this philosophy in heart and mind, HARIO is doing things right. The company continues its creative and inspiring journey.
But we all can do it too.