Apple stands out as the world’s most recognizable model. Few shoppers have ever heard of Seiko Advance. However, when Apple CEO Tim Cook spent three days in Japan in early December, he made certain to go to the unsung firm — and tweet about it.
In an interview, Cook instructed Nikkei that Seiko Advance is the “cause” Apple was in a position to launch its prime-of-the-line iPhone 11 Pro in a brand new color referred to as Midnight Green.
Seiko Advance is an ink producer. Included in 1950 as a paint provider, it’s an instance of an extended-established firm that managed to adapt to a new age. It additionally exhibits how Japan’s technological spine has endured at the same time as a few of its brightest enterprise stars have pale. And its story tells us one thing about Cook, whose knack for managing procurement was one of many causes Apple employed him in the first place.
Often, producing inexperienced ink entails pollution like halogens. The corporate, nevertheless, developed a cleaner approach that provides excessive shade accuracy and sturdiness, stated Yukinori Kabe, a gross sales supervisor. This appealed to the environmentally aware Cook dinner, who additionally praised Seiko Advance’s plans to change to renewable solar and wind energy in 2020.
Seiko Advance is a minnow in contrast with Apple. It has 160 workers and annual gross sales of a number of billion yen, or tens of thousands of dollars. Apple reported $260.2 billion in gross sales for its newest fiscal year.
Their collaboration started in 2011 — a watershed year for Apple. Legendary co-founder Steve Jobs retired attributable to his battle with most cancers and died that October. Cook, who had joined Apple in 1998 after he provides chain administration at laptop maker Compaq, caught Jobs’ eye, grew to become everlasting CEO.
That very same year, a Seiko Advance gross sales consultant acquired an email from the tech large. Apple needed the corporate and different ink makers to ship representatives to the U.S. to elucidate their merchandise.
Toshio Hiraguri, now Seiko Advance’s president, despatched Kabe to make a pitch to Apple officers in command of improvement. He was not conscious of Prepare dinner again; then, the two males met for the primary time this December.
One may say Seiko Advance had been making ready for many years. It had already produced inks for industrial merchandise, together with home equipment and autos. The enterprise expanded as Japan’s economic system grew within the years after World Struggle II.
In 1972, the corporate formed a technical alliance with a U.S. ink producer that boasted superior screen printing technology, which permits printing on all kinds of supplies. The partnership helped Seiko Advance improve its personal display screen printing methods — nonetheless, the core of its experience.