We visited the companies in Shanghai (where Furushima started its business with a joint venture and whose importance steadily grows) and Changzhou (whose recent development has been remarkable). Let us here consider the general story in outline and the prospects of the companies:
20 minutes from the port of Shanghai and 30-40 minutes from two airports ( by car ). Shanghai Furushima Fashion and Shanghai Support are both to be found along Chengde East Street, Shanghai.
Inspection service started in August, 1995 and quality testing from April this year, thus strengthening the company’s ability to offer a total service and distinguishing it from its competitors.
Shanghai Support is a joint venture with Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. It is headed by Kunio Furushima, CEO, with Kazuo Frushima, a senior managing director, as its president.
Shanghai Support aims to improve the quality testing services andprevent troubles.Certificates and quality test reports are issued under the name of the Japan Wool Products Inspection Institute Foundation and Shanghai test center based on the test results.
Furushima provides facilities and personnel, and others are covered by the foundation. Shanghai Support is managed by these two institutions. The most up-to-date test equipment is installed, which can handle all the required general tests (Toshiyuki Ikuhara, chairperson of the Japan Wool Products Inspection Institute Foundation). The center handles 3,000 tests per month. Normally one testing involves five different types of tests. There are 10 staff, two of whom are dispatched from the association.
200 employees in Shanghai Furushima conduct inspection of 25,000-30,000 items monthly. Baby wear is inspected in a separate room, isolated from other lines. The walls of this room are covered with special materials which can absorb formalin. The center aims at perfect inspection like its other factories.
One needle detector was newly installed and a total of four detectors will start operating from July. Double needle inspection will ensure the product quality.
Shanghai Furushima plays a central role among its companies in China, since its business started here and its business scale is bigger than its other factories.It periodically organizes training for about five days for its employees and other Furushima companies in China.
Changzhou Furushima started its services with 25 employees, carried out the inspection of 2 million items in its first half of the year and has expanded its scale every year since then.
Now it employs more than 150 people, who handled 8 million items last year and expect to handle over 10 million items next year. From the beginning it has moved into the black and its profits remain high. Its major items are dish towels and female trousers-- more than half of which are denim pants.