Sergio Horikawa, Deputy President of OKI Data Americas, Inc., tells us about OKI, a global brand dedicated to creating effective, professional in-house printing solutions.
Briefly tell us about your organization and its work in the Dallas Region.
OKI Data is a printing solutions company headquartered in Japan. We’ve been producing innovative, world-class printers and cutting-edge printing technology for more than 45 years, driving cost reduction and productivity efficiencies for our customers. Dallas is the headquarters for OKI Data Americas, the printing solutions division of OKI Electric Co., Ltd. From Dallas we coordinate the activities — sales, marketing, all the corporate functions — in this territory, from Canada to Argentina.
We have established a technology center in our Dallas office so that we can develop printing solutions that are suited to each of our target segments. We have a group of engineers working around the printers, customizing and developing applications, and working with the customers to meet their specific needs.
How does your company help other businesses become more effective through digital solutions?
Our focus is on digital printing solutions, rather than analog printing or previous printing technologies. We help customers migrate from previous legacy printing technologies to new digital, on-demand printing. We apply our knowledge of print to help clients select the best media, the best printed format, and the most effective printed communication ways possible.
All the market segments we target today have one thing in common: they all use print to enhance their businesses. It is either part of the things they sell, or it’s integral for improving their customer’s experience. We have solutions to enhance their products or to help put what they sell forward to enhance the customer experience in more effective ways, such as through marketing materials, gifts and promotional products, store signage to increase traffic and attention, security signage, and identification.
What differentiates your company from others in your industry?
There are several differences. We own a lot of technology, so we develop printers and we develop a lot of related consumable supplies. We are small enough and focused enough to customize our products to fit the needs of our customers. Another differentiator is our LED print head technology. OKI launched its first generation of digital LED-based printers 30 years ago, and they remain a staple of modern printing today. It’s a technology we are still improving and refining, and we’ll be rolling out our new, ultra-advanced LED printer in 2019.
We provide printing solutions to our customers in conjunction with world-class business partners. The printers that comprise those solutions can be standard, readily available models or, depending on the customer needs, customized products. These customizations can serve a whole business segment or just an individual customer, and they can be performed either by a business partner with our technical support or by OKI Data at our factory.
What do you enjoy most about doing business in Dallas?
Dallas is a vibrant area, and it has attracted several different types of companies. This brings a new blend of professionals. In turn, it creates business opportunities and business partnerships, which made it easy for us to set up our company here. You can find people that are diverse, and because Dallas is a dynamic area, it’s not difficult to ask new hires to relocate. It’s attractive, and that helps the hiring practice.
On a larger scale, Dallas is centrally located, and it has a very good transportation hub that facilitates our business, covering the entire North American territory. Because we are the headquarters for all Americas, it’s an important hub with good access to Canada and Latin America. Further, with our world headquarters in Japan, there is also direct transportation from Japan to Dallas, which is vital.
Why did you decide to become a DRC member?
The Dallas Regional Chamber presents an excellent opportunity to network with prominent companies and local business leaders. OKI would like to become involved and network with the Dallas business community to cultivate new relationships and build brand awareness within the area.
How has your business changed in the past five years?
Three years ago, we moved our company from another state. As a result, the new location is growing and transforming the company.
We are also revising our working processes, which were automated long ago. In the passage of years, as the world changed, we did not change our systems. We included several manual processes around the automation that we had, all of which are being revised.
The print industry has some challenges, especially office printing, where we were focused for many years. We have solid technology, knowledge, and opportunities to target, and we can take advantage of this as a result of our move to Dallas.