Sagawa: Swift Communication


Sagawa Express Co. is a leading logistics company in Japan. Started in 1957, the company delivered its first package between Kyoto and Osaka. Since that time, the company has grown to 18 branch offices and 426 sales offices nationwide. The company relies on web conferencing to bridge those distances, and keeping nationwide management fully informed while improving both customer satisfaction and the working environment for employees. The system allows Sagawa Express to provide uniform service nationwide and is an indispensable tool for transmitting prompt and accurate information.
“In our IT department, we are always working on improving efficiency to meet both customers’ demand and reduce the burden on the driver. Our web conferencing platform enables us to change delivery dates and time easily, thereby reducing the need for redelivery,” said Kazutaka Nambu, General Manager of IT Planning Department.
Sagawa-Product.PNGAlthough the system is used throughout the company, there were many complaints regarding the audio and video components. Users had difficulty hearing conversations from the speakerphone — voices were muffled, and a cracking sound often interrupted the meeting. In addition, in the company’s large conference room, where often up to 30 team members would meet, the speakerphones’ microphones did not adequately pick up the voices of participants sitting at the farthest end of the table.“It is stressful and time consuming when it is difficult to hear others speaking. Participants were constantly asking, ‘Can you please say that again?’ It also resulted in lot of misunderstandings,” explained Nambu.
On the video side, the camera often cut off participants closest to the camera from the field of  view, which required a lot of manual adjustments. The other problem was that the company only had a few systems, requiring IT staff to move the system from one conference room to another and reconfigure it before every meeting.

We chose Yamaha because of their ability to deliver audio that is clear, natural and comfortable for all participants

“Connecting the PC and the audio communication equipment to the large display installed in each room and checking the connection took roughly 10 to 15 minutes. With meetings throughout the day, that’s a lot of time and effort spent setting up the equipment repeatedly,” said Takanori Ohta, Assistant Manager of IT Planning Department.
Sagawa Express required a system capable of integrating with its chosen web conference system, that would provide high-quality audio for the near and far-end participants as well as high-quality video, and would be affordable enough to be installed in every conference room, eliminating the setup spent before every meeting. The IT team began to research solutions that would fit these requirements, a process that ultimately strengthened the company’s communication at the front end. They compared solutions from multiple manufacturers, including Yamaha’s speakerphones and Video Sound Bar collaboration system.
The IT team visited Yamaha’s demo room in Tokyo where they experienced the quality of the UC solutions first-hand. Although the demo produced excellent quality sound and video, the IT team wanted to test the solutions live in Sagawa’s conference rooms before making a final decision.
As part of a trial run, IT installed the Yamaha YVC-1000 speakerphone and CS-700 Video Sound Bar in one of their conference rooms for use during management and branch meetings. This trial confirmed Yamaha’s ability to deliver audio that is clear, natural, and comfortable for all participants. With the success of the trial, the company moved forward with a full-scale deployment at the Tokyo headquarters as well as the Kyoto head office and the base in Osaka.
The company chose the YVC-1000 for its large conference rooms because it can connect up to five Sagawa.PNGmicrophones, which would accommodate audio pickup for the roughly 30 participants joining a meeting. The intuitive design provides fast, simple connection to a PC via USB and/or to smartphones with Bluetooth®. Featuring Yamaha’s adaptive echo cancellation and other unique sound-processing technologies developed over the years, the system facilitates stress-free conversation.
For the smaller conference rooms, the company selected the CS-700, which is suited for small conference and huddle rooms. The CS-700s were installed on video carts equipped with a large display and PC. This would allow the CS-700 to be used anywhere. With one device, Sagawa Express could introduce far greater audio intelligibility to the meetings as well as eliminate the clip-on cameras the company had been using previously. The CS-700’s wide-angle camera perfectly captures   every participant, even those on the edge of the room without having to change settings every time, eliminating setup from the beginning of meetings and solving the problem of cutting participants out of the field of view. In addition, the operation was simple as launching the UC application and starting the meeting, allowing users to get started without extra support from the IT team.
The greatest effect of the Yamaha’s UC solutions is the tremendous improvement in conferencing quality, creating a virtuous circle of communication. Every word can be heard during meetings, eliminating stress and miscommunication while boosting productivity for users. In addition, it eliminates the configuration and install time and effort the IT was spending on every meeting, helping the department realize substantial efficiency.
The company is exploring how the system can also enable them to use web conferencing in new ways, make it easier for individuals to join meetings from their smartphones and tablets as remote work continues to increase, open communication channels between headquarter and branches for improving service and customer satisfaction, and as part of the company’s business continuity plan for unforeseen events such as natural disasters and accidents. With the introduction of Yamaha’s products, Sagawa Express upgraded its remote communication and allowed the company to provide even better service to its customers and employees.