Keith Kanestrin and Julianna Benedick, who work in the marketing department of Panasonic’s Secaucus, N.J., offices, pose before a painting of Matsushita Konosuke, founder of Panasonic.
In early October, Panasonic System Solutions Company hosted a group of 10 editors and salespeople representing seven security publications – including SDM’s editor/associate publisher, Laura Stepanek – for a five-day visit to Japan. The trip was a unique experience that included exposure to Panasonic’s business structure, manufacturing and technology, as well as cultural experiences that spanned tours of temples, palaces, museums, and fine restaurants. The tour encompassed the cities of Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Kyoto.

At the executive offices of Panasonic System Solutions Company in Tsunashima/Yokohama, Japan, Mr. M. Nakamura, general manager of product planning, and other managers and general managers presented an overview of how the company is structured, the evolution of its technology development, and the most current products and systems. Nakamura stressed that Panasonic’s history covers 48 years of video technology expertise, beginning with Panasonic’s first security camera, introduced in 1957, up to today’s network-based systems and iris-recognition products. It produces a wide range of video products that fit the low-, mid-, and high-end markets.

SDM asked executives, “Which category – low, mid- or high-end – has the greatest potential for sales in the next two years?”

Conceding that the high-end products are the more desirable sale, Nakamura answered that Panasonic’s mission is to provide solutions for every stratum of the market: “How we can contribute to society is our business. We create the innovations which contribute to society. We want to be able to offer the solutions – the value for the money.”

It is the same belief established by Panasonic’s founder, Matsushita Konosuke, who believed that any product of good quality sold at a reasonable price would make the consumer happy, and that “along with money you have to have a human heart in the transaction.”

SDM editor/associate publisher, Laura Stepanek, poses with managers and general managers of Panasonic System Solutions Company, upon the conclusion of an executive meeting at Panasonic’s headquarters in Tsunashima/Yokohama, Japan.
Following an apprenticeship at a very young age at a bicycle shop, Konosuke took a promising position at the Osaka Electric Light Company, as an assistant to a technician. The work involved wiring homes and businesses for electricity. The year was 1910 and Konosuke was just shy of 16 years old. He was discovered to have an aptitude for wiring and soon was promoted to installation technician. Over the years Konosuke’s skills developed and he won first prize in the company’s technical competition several times.

In 1917, Konosuke resigned from the company, remodeled one of two small rooms of his home, and founded an electric workshop, which, the following year became the Matsushita Electric Appliance Factory. He and his employees had many ups and downs, but this was the beginning of what the world would eventually come to know as the Panasonic brand.