Photo: Nami Fukutomi

Nami Fukutomi
Chairman & CEO, Landscape Co., Ltd.

Landscape has been committed to a non-competition management policy since 2015.

We had previously supplemented our uSonar cloud service with functions such as sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation (MA), and credit management.

Paying too much attention to customer feedback without due reflection however, tends to result in bloated, overly complex functions that the majority of customers don't need. This can lead to senseless high performance, much like the superlative Japanese home appliances described in The Innovator's Dilemma. The SFA and MA functions we developed and added in this way became undifferentiated commodities, resulting in excessive and unprofitable competition.

The insight I gained from reading Focus by Al Ries was that Landscape should specialize in only the areas where we excel. From this point, we decided to think of coexistence as non-competition and to specialize in our core competencies and leave adjacent areas to other firms with advantages in those areas.

Our core competency is the comprehensiveness of our data on 8.2 million business locations. We refer customers looking for SFA, MA, credit ratings, BI, and other functions to companies with the most optimal functions in those areas.

This strategy has resulted in:
(1) Former competitors becoming partners.
(2) Enabling our sales staff, as experts, to make the best proposals for our customers.
(3) Allowing us to provide objective consulting support through connectivity with adjacent products.
In addition, this new approach has bolstered both customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction.

The company was named Landscape at its inception with the idea that we are not a star nor a supporting actor nor the sets on the stage. We do, however, wish to be the background that is always in the customer's sight.

I feel the idea of non-competition fits nicely with the origin of the company name Landscape. We aim to be the most non-competitive company in Japan.

I look forward to your continuing support and cooperation.

Note:My ideas about non-competition were largely informed by Chapter 4 "Cooperative Strategies" in Competitive Strategy for Non-Competition, written by Professor Hideo Yamada from the Waseda Business School.