Business Profile | Shigeyuki Sasaki

December 2014/January 2015 View more

Shigeyuki Sasaki, CEO of Mitutoyo America, for Naperville MagazineMitutoyo America Corporation (MAC) is the world’s largest provider of precision measuring tools, instruments, and equipment for businesses and engineering. The international company recently opened its new corporate headquarters in Aurora. Naperville Magazine spoke with President and CEO Shigeyuki Sasaki about the move to the Western suburbs and what’s behind the continued growth of the company.

How has technology changed your business over the years?

Precision processing technology is developing quickly from year to year. The range of measurement has also advanced from micro-measuring to nano-measuring. We are seeing a lot more diversity of materials to measure these days and some of these materials are hard for contact measurement. As a result, our products for non-contact measurement are increasingly in demand.

Regarding our product line, High-Throughput continues to be in high demand. (A scientific screening process that allows scientists and engineers to quickly conduct millions of chemical, genetic, or pharmacological tests).

Customers are looking to add value with High-Throughput because it enables not only fast, precise, and complicated measurement, but it also raises the quality of the final product. New software development that supports improved measurement capability, is very important in today’s competitive marketplace.

Your company also offers training and educational classes along with software development and service support. Where do you see your biggest opportunity for growth?

Service support is the biggest opportunity for growth within our business. We are a general manufacturing company which not only sells products, but also offers solutions for customer’s demands. That is why before and after-sale service are important factors to gain our customer’s trust. In order to ensure our products best performance, it is necessary to provide educational classes along with software training after the purchase or before using the measurement tool on site. Additionally, in regards to training, the Institute of Metrology, was established for developing technological capacity of quality engineers in the U.S. We believe that their technological skill levels will continue to grow U.S. manufacturing.

Your parent company, Mitutoyo, was founded in 1934 by Yehan Numata, who is also the founder of the Buddhist Canon Translation Project. Tell us how the same founding spirit and Mitutoyo philosophy apply to your business operations today?

The founding spirit and Mitutoyo philosophy are utilized for all employees. Our company philosophy – Good environment, Good people, Good technique – shows a cycle of good environment which grows good people that produce good technique. We especially treasure harmony in the office. It is hard to describe in English, but it is an environment where employees trust each other and value teamwork. In this environment, where teamwork is valued and appreciated, each employee behaves with responsibility. We devote ourselves to continuing this company culture, which respect to our products and people.

Regarding the Buddhist Canon Translation Project, Yehan Numata, our founder, has been continuing the operations with his own funds and as a separate organization. Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK), a nonprofit foundation, continues to grow. The BDK promotes a wide range of activities and projects in the hope of contributing to world peace and happiness.

You have served numerous leadership roles at Mitutoyo. What has been your proudest accomplishment so far?

My career with Mitutoyo Corporation began as an engineer in Japan for the first 10 years. Later, I was transferred to Mitutoyo Europe in Germany for more than 10 years and continued expanding their business. I moved from Germany to Brazil and managed the South America region for eight years. Finally, I moved into my current position at Mitutoyo in 2007.

The greatest pride from my career is meeting the various people in different countries and making new friends who can understand each other despite differences in language and culture. For example, a small manufacturing company in South America had difficulty with quality control and I offered technical guidance separately from the business. As a result, they succeeded and grew, and eventually were able to export products to the U.S. and other large countries. From this experience, I was able to contribute to the well-being of society through precision measurement technologies.

With numerous geographical locations to consider, both in the Chicago area and around the country, what inspired you to locate your headquarters in Aurora?

Our parent company’s headquarters is located in Japan while Mitutoyo America Corporation is handling our business in North America. We selected the Chicago area because it is a base of distribution and it has excellent access to anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. We chose Aurora because of the great environment and vast land that was available. The convenient access with I-88 was also an advantage.

When you are not busy being President of Mitutoyo, how do you enjoy spending your free time?

I like to engage in sports for the refreshment both physically and mentally. I like to go to the gym for swimming as much as I can during the week and play golf on either on Saturday or Sunday. However, sometimes it’s a challenge to make time for all of those physical activities. When I am allowed to have a vacation for a few days, I enjoy the time by reading books and listening to my favorite songs.