Winners / Selection Rationale

2018 18th Porter Prize Winner


Hoken No Madoguchi Group Inc., an insurance agent company, has created a totally new approach to sales in the retail insurance market, by committing to a customer-centric approach. Staff members actively listen to customers, to understand their specific needs, and then recommend the insurance products that best meet those needs. Staff members can chose from among the broad selection of insurance products on the market, regardless of whether the insurance companies are conducting any sales promotion campaigns. (In Japan, insurance agents are usually affiliated with one insurance company. Therefore, agents will frequently sell the insurance products of only one company. Hoken No Madoguchi operates independently of the insurance companies.)

MonotaRO Co., Ltd.

MonotaRO operates an e-Commerce retail site for industrial supply products, specifically the indirect materials used in the production process. “Indirect materials” include consumables, small equipment, and the components necessary for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) at factories. The company’s customers are primarily small and medium-sized factories, construction contractors, and auto repair shops. MonotaRO is able to save customers time and effort in the procurement of indirect materials?items that they would normally buy only in small amounts. Moreover, the company maximizes customer convenience by maintaining a vast inventory of the kinds of items that customers purchase infrequently. MonotaRO has adopted an open and fair “one-price policy,” which eliminates customers having to ask every time for a price quote and then engage in price negotiations. It also simplifies: (1) product searches; (2) the order placement process; and (3) the process for confirming deliveries. In addition, the company has been able to attract customers from new segments by expanding the variety of merchandise it carries. At the same time, MonotaRO has successfully increased sales to existing customers by continuously improving the convenience of the shopping experience.


RIZAP, Inc.’s Body Making Business “is absolutely committed to producing results,” specifically, attaining the fitness goals that have been agreed upon by individual customers in twice-weekly training sessions with their designated personal trainers, either at the training gym, or through daily consultations about diet and activities, conducted via smartphone. RIZAP invests in R&D, and has developed an approach to “body sculpting” that is based on scientific evidence. The company has also developed a system for predicting changes in body weight, based on the data of 100,000 customers who have experienced the RIZAP program. With its specialized training program and a system for predicting changes in body weight, the company can provide reliable services that are less dependent on each individual trainer’s skills.

Trusco Nakayama Corporation

Trusco Nakayama is a wholesaler of indirect materials (the secondary manufacturing materials that are indispensable to all manufacturing sites). The company’s primary merchandise is “MRO” (maintenance, repair, and operations) products. MRO products include the tools and consumables used in factories. The company had an inventory of 351,800 items, supplied by 2,416 manufacturers (as of the end of September 2018). The company has its own distribution system. Deliveries are made to most customers twice a day, in small lots of one or two items (even just a single screw driver). The company fills orders from its own inventory for about 89.9% of the orders received. With regard to the shipment of products kept in inventory, customers can receive those items either the same day the order is placed, or the next day. Trusco’s name comes from the words “trust” and “company.” This name demonstrates the company’s commitment to earning trust. Indeed, Trusco Nakayama has won the trust of its customers, the majority of which are machinery tool dealers or online sales agents. They are confident that Trusco will have in stock the very product they need. The company does not appeal to customers on the basis of price. Rather, Trusco Nakayama, in developing its unique value chain, has made customer convenience its priority.