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YAMATO STRATEGY | Delivering the Goods for Japan and the World The Yamato Group---Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
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The "Kuroneko Yamato TA-Q-BIN" service began in 1976 as a small-lot parcel delivery operation, designed to allow private individuals to easily send a parcel to a desired address. Having grown by leaps and bounds, the TA-Q-BIN network now covers every corner of Japan and handles some 1.4 billion parcels a year, making it the largest individual parcel delivery service in Japan.

TA-Q-BIN is available 365 days of the year and in principle offers next-day service for the entire process, from pickup at the consigner's door to delivery at the door of the parcel recipient.

Small-lot parcel delivery services exist in various forms in various countries. However, the Kuroneko Yamato TA-Q-BIN service differs fundamentally from existing postal parcel services or conventional home delivery services. The most important difference is found in our philosophy with regard to the customer.

Kuroneko Yamato TA-Q-BIN as a product was developed from the beginning with two types of customers in mind. In a conventional parcel delivery service, the customer is the party who pays the business for the delivery, in other words the consigner of the goods. Whether looking at parcel post or private enterprises offering small-lot delivery services, the customer is always the consigner.

By contrast, the Yamato Group realized that a parcel delivery service in fact has another customer, namely the person who receives the parcel. Since normally no fee transaction is involved at the receiving end, there is indeed no direct business relationship between the recipient and the service operator.

But consider this: Even more than the consigner, it is the recipient who will have various needs or preferences with regard to the way the parcel is delivered. The demand for a finely tuned service will definitely be there.

This orientation towards the latent needs of the receiving party has led to the development of many highly appreciated TA-Q-BIN services such as "Time Zone Delivery" which provides control over when a parcel is delivered, "Cool TA-Q-BIN" allowing the transport of fresh foodstuffs, and "TA-Q-BIN Collect" where the recipient can pay for mail order goods at the door upon delivery, choosing among several convenient payment methods.

As an example, we will explain how the Time Zone Delivery service came about.

For any company in the logistics and delivery business, the fact that a recipient may not be at home when delivery is attempted is always a concern. When a parcel delivery has to be attempted again at a later point, both the recipient and the operator will be inconvenienced, and the cost increases.

This led Yamato to the idea of making it possible to specify the preferred delivery time zone. The sender of the parcel, taking the circumstances of the recipient into account, enters the approximate time when delivery should occur into the consignment slip, and the parcel will be delivered within this time slot. If the recipient happens to be not at home at this point, he or she is given the opportunity to specify a time zone for re-delivery.

That is how the Time Zone Delivery service works. Some delivery services in other countries also offer similar options, but these are usually only available at a surcharge. By contrast, the Time Zone Delivery service of the Yamato Group has been a no-cost option ever since its introduction. If the time can be specified, thereby increasing the likelihood of being able to promptly deliver the parcel the first time around, efficiency for the service operator also increases notably.

For the consigner of the goods, who is Yamato's direct customer, the recipient in turn is also an important "customer." By identifying and meeting the latent needs of the recipient for a better service, the degree of satisfaction of Yamato's direct customer will also rise. And when the recipient next has occasion to send a parcel, thereby becoming a direct customer, he or she will be more likely to choose our service.

By aiming to meet the needs both of the consigner and the recipient in an optimal fashion, Yamato also is able to flexibly respond to the needs of mail order operators and other businesses. Maximizing customer satisfaction at the sending and the receiving end is the overriding characteristic of the Kuroneko Yamato TA-Q-BIN service, and the continuing quest of the Yamato Group.

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