YAMAHA: In Pursuit of “Kando"

Kando – n. (Japanese) - the simultaneous feeling of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that people experience when they encounter something of exceptional value.

In this, Yamaha and I are kindred spirits. We both achieve to provide our customers with Kando through our products and services. Yamaha does it through their products and I do it through my web designs, both of which reach global market. So just how can we help our customers get their “next Kando”? Simple. High-quality, high-value products and services, stellar value for money, super usability, and an unparalleled user experience. Now that I mentioned them, it doesn’t sound so simple, right?

In fact, “daunting” might be a more appropriate word to describe my stint with Yamaha. But as always, I went full gear head-on with the task at hand, no matter how daunting it may be. I have had several tasks at Yamaha, and repeat orders are always a good indicator of customer satisfaction.

Let me walk you through the tasks I did for Yamaha. From little to big, each task was unique, and always made the next Kando one step nearer, for Yamaha’s stakeholders.

1. Designed the website for Yamaha Motor Solutions

With a global brand such as Yamaha, designing the website was a great challenge. Yamaha Motor Solutions is the IT arm of the company, and it is operated by the best guys in Lotus Domino Applications in India. Because of the worldwide reach of the company and the many millions of dollars it generates, a website is close to indispensable to the company.

2. Created the website for Truly Yamaha

Yamaha is probably the best known brand for bikes and bikes. With the great market Yamaha has for its bikes and bike-related products, it is only natural that a website be made available to provide information to its customer base 24/7. Aside from being informative, the website is very easy to use, providing easy information on dealer info, bike info, apparels and many more. A website such as this is a great example of the correlation between websites and business earnings.

3. Created the Knowledge Management System (KMS)

A very grand and ambitious project, the Yamaha KMS serves as an intranet for all Yamaha employees all over the world. As the name implies, this system is a portal for employees to share information, best practices, solutions to problems, and any information that should be shared among colleagues. If an employee encountered a particular problem, this KMS will most probably be filled with information that may resolve the problem. KMS serves both as an efficiency tool and at the same time a camaraderie tool among Yamaha employees.

Because of the many complexities the KMS presented, a pool of designers and developers was formed just for this project. I was fortunate to belong in the pool, and to work with equally equipped experts in the field. 

One of the complexities the KMS presented was the language barrier. KMS was available in three languages: English, Japanese and Chinese. “Lost in translation” was an ever present threat, and which we developers avoided at all costs. Apart from the language barrier, there was also the cultural barrier which we had to be sensitive to. Our main users were our employees and we had to respect each employee’s sensibilities. Yamaha is a very conscientious employer who believed in the principles of sustainability, and one true test of sustainability is keeping the employees satisfied. 

At the same time, there was just too much information that needed to be contained in the system, which needed to be presented to the KMS users. Information can only be useful if the recipients can actually find, understand and interpret the data, and this was a question in technical capabilities among us developers. Most of all, KMS had to be so attractive so as to encourage the employees to share knowledge in the first place. 

I was a greenhorn when I worked on Yamaha KMS and it was my first large scale project. Good thing I did it right or I wouldn’t have been as successful as I am now.

Whether that Kando is acquiring the next bike, or getting the most recent knowledge on bikes, or simply crafting the best website, Yamaha and I will always share the same passion for the pursuit of the next Kando.

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