Every company needs a champion for its vision. In Roger van Nuis, Yokogawa has theirs. In typical Japanese fashion, Yokogawa began a couple of years ago, working with a concept, rather than a product. It was the concept of Vigilance. Vigilance is both an integrated branding campaign and an expression of Yokogawa’s purpose, who they are, and the core values that they operate with, both internally in the company, and externally, in the business arena.”Vigilance,” van Nuis explained,”is not a system. You can’t call Yokogawa up and order a Vigilant Plant, like you can call our competitors and order a PlantWeb or an IndustrialIT system.”
“Vigilance, and the creation of the VigilantPlant,” he went on, “is Yokogawa’s core value system.”
There are four basic building blocks to Vigilance, as preached by Roger van Nuis:
Act– “we are disciplined to the concept,” he said, “and we train all existing and new employees in the concept.”
Collaborate– “professional interaction,” explained van Nuis, “and holding our partners to our own high standards.”
Engage– we must get our end-users to believe in us. Echoing President Reagan, “trust and performance” is what will differentiate Yokogawa from its competitors.
Finally, the last building block: Deliver. Yokogawa, having moved its engineering and service to Houston last year, is adapting well to the Texas environment. They well know that they cannot be said to be “all hat and no cattle.”
Van Nuis pointed out that Yokogawa’s commitment of an average of 7.5% per year to R&D absolutely dwarfs the other major automation vendors, who average between 2.9 to 4.3% per year in commitment to R&D, and that Yokogawa has produced 10 new product SUITES (not just individual products) in the past 3 years.
Showing the chip on Yokogawa’s shoulder just a bit, van Nuis made a reference to the “fact” that Yokogawa’s Centum was the very first Distributed Control System. In the interest of truth and justice, it must be said that they don’t get the credit for being in at the beginning of the DCS era that they should, but it can only be said, with accuracy, that Yokogawa and Honeywell independently and at about the same time, in 1975, developed distributed control system products for sale. They were both the first.