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The Vendo Company & The Sanden Corporation merger – Feature Article (3 of 3)

With the Oil Crisis in America hitting the people and businesses hard, it was a turbulent time for the United States. Having faced financial loses, The Vendo Company chose to streamline and concentrate solely on its drinks vending machine distribution division. This was one the most lucrative and sturdy pockets of business held by The Vendo Company and they had much previous success in the sector. Even though the site held in Kansas was closed, the company still kept plants functioning in Fresno, California and Corinth, Mississippi [1] In 1982, Elmer F Pierson, the founder of The Vendo Company, died aged 85. Elmer was praised for having been “One of the first business executives to express that there should be an interconnection between the corporate world and the art world” [2]

The 1980’s brought together two incredibly influential and successful companies that had mutually reflective qualities and had similar histories, despite being on different continents, with no relationship, and no affiliations to this point. Both had innovative ideas and developed iconic models that changed development, designs and productions within their fields, both made pursuits in varied areas of business and both made significant impact on the war effort for their alliance. These unique characteristics created a sort of symmetry and connection between the two companies even before their merger in 1988. Potentially, their relationship was laden with barriers such as, language, culture and social differences to name a few; but maybe all barriers are there to be overcome or perhaps they were never there to begin with; wherever the reality lies, the outcome was that the Japanese Sanden Corporation (who had experience of their own vending products, already released on the market) acquired the Vendo Company. The company received technical and financial support from its new parent company [3] and many saw The Vendo Company revitalised by the input and nurture that Sanden Corporation bestowed upon it. It wasn’t long before The Vendo Company began introducing innovations to the automated goods distribution market again. Showing that the support had truly helped rejuvenate the company.

In 1996 the Sanden Company was awarded an EPA prize (contribution to ozone layer preservation) by the US Environment Protection Agency. [4] The welfare of the environment became a pioneering drive behind The Sanden Corporation and Mr. Kaihei Ushikubo is reputable for being, amongst other things, environmentally conscious. This is still a core value in the company today. In 1999, Mr. Kaihei Ushikubo died aged 94. The Vendo Company continued to expand and in the early 2000’s moved its headquarters to Dallas, Texas and not long after changed its name, as a mark of thanks, loyalty and respect to its parent company. SandenVendo was born.

Today SandenVendo is a global enterprise that needs no introduction. It has, as a company, been integral in pushing the markets technology boundaries and in 2004 revealed the first vending machine equipped with C02. The company has flourished. The factory in Italy has expanded and there are now offices in Japan, Spain, Germany, France and Belgium. Keeping up with the rapidly growing market, SandenVendo have also started a Coffee sector of the business and in 2015 developed a new coffee machine; the company continues to advance the vending industry into a new era.

It seems lamentable, on reflection that neither the founder of The Vendo Company, Mr. Elmer F. Pierson, or the founder of The Sanden Corporation, Mr. Kaihei Ushikubo, would live to see their companies names stand side-by-side, as they sleekly merged and blossomed into the universal giant it is today; arguably, dominating the worlds vending stage. The consistent correlation and commonality between these two corporations seems, looking through their history, to have transcended any obstacles, barriers and complications with ease and with equal, mutual respect. Perhaps this relationship expertly highlights the Sanden company creed, bestowed upon the company by the late Mr. Kaihei Ushikubo,

“Let us Develop with Wisdom and Prosper in Harmony.”

With all the honour and respect that comes with a mission statement such as this, it seems that this is exactly how it was for both The Sanden Corporation and SandenVendo, and how it continues to be today.

 

ご興味頂きありがとうございました。

 

 

 

 

Footnotes:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org
[2] https://kchistory.org Daniel Coleman “Elmer F. Pierson, Founder of the Vendo Company”
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org
[4] https://www.sanden.co.jp

Sources:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp “When industry works in step with nature” by C.W. Nicol

https://www.sandenvendo.it/en/history/

https://www.wasabi-jpn.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendo

https://www.sanden.co.jp

https://www.vendingtimes.com

https://kchistory.org Daniel Coleman “Elmer F. Pierson, Founder of the Vendo Company”

https://kchistory.org Jason Roe, Digital History Specialist

https://pendergastkc.org Jason Roe, Digital History Specialist

The beginning of Sanden – Feature Article (2 of 3)

Mr. Kaihei Ushikubo started it all for Sanden. He was 34 and managing a textile mill when World War II broke out. At this time, private sector manufacturing plants were enforced to either shift into the sector of ammunition producing plants or close their business. [1] This is how the predecessor of The Sanden Corporation was created, in 1943, with 198,000 Yen, which in today’s terms is round about £1,400; it was named The Sankyo Electric Company. (The original site the company was built on, is where the present Head Office of Sanden is still currently located today!)  Mr. Ushikubo’s company showed great aptitude for flexibility and was able to adapt quickly to the changes happening in the world around it.  The company was very electronically minded, and technology driven and specialised in mica-condensers, wireless communication devices and paper-condensers, to name a few. These were developed using synthetic resin molding.

In 1948, after the war was over, Mr. Ushikubo set about developing dynamo lighting bicycle sets. Throughout the war, most of his task force had been riding to work on bicycles and they had been his inspiration for the product.  A sales campaign was run on dynamo bicycle lamps with a trademark “Owl” shining in the darkness, with slogans “Second sight in the night” and “A thousand times brighter than a full moon” [2] By 1953, it was producing 30,000 units a month, securely establishing itself as a permanent fixture in the dynamo bicycle lamp business sector [3]

JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) were launched for the dynamo bicycle lamps in the early 1950’s. The low-voltage method designed by Sankyo Electric Company became fundamental criteria for the JIS; following this, in 1953, the company started exporting the dynamos. The company also began moving into the electric home-appliance market and the refrigeration market for business users. The staff at Sankyo were able to pioneer and develop a refrigeration product that was an open-type showcase which had never been seen in the industry. The design was a unique selling point putting the product into high demand, and the pioneering, innovative technology undoubtedly helped to revolutionise the sector. The company didn’t stop there, it was constantly developing new products for the sector, including mini-motors, electric washers, and other home electrical appliances. The company was growing fast and the main business offices were moved to Tokyo and shortly after Sankyo Electric started producing ice-cream freezers and more refined open refrigeration showcases.

As the company continued to grow with the start of the 1960’s, and with healthy sales of their electric freezers and refrigerators, the company branched off in a new direction and developed an original bubbler juice vending machine (also known as the ‘fountain juice machine’) and then went on to develop, down a slightly different avenue, oil heaters. The breadth of products available by Sankyo Electric seemed unbound and the technology seemed unrivalled. By 1964 the Sankyo Sales Company was established, spinning off the sales division from Sankyo Electric Company. [4] Not long after the oil heaters were on the market, the innovators at Sankyo Electric were able to manufacture a clean, forced-ventilation type heater that didn’t pollute the air in the room. This was an outstanding piece of technology that no-one had ever accomplished before. The company consistently acquired technologies, both in the cooling and heating areas of business. [5]

The Bubbler Juice Machine - Sankyo Electric (Sanden Corporation) - 1961

As the company was clearly a global leader on the refrigeration and ventilation front and were continuing to develop these technologies, in 1970, it caught the eye of the American, Mitchell Corporation. Sankyo Electric received an offer for technical collaboration for small-scale compressors. With this opportunity Sankyo Electric entered into an alliance with Mitchell Corporation and embraced its (still current) role as a manufacturer of compressors for air conditioning systems used in the automotive industry; the company continued to grow and establish itself in more countries and today parts it supplies are used in a quarter of all the cars produced world-wide. [6] In 1973 the “Sanden” tradename was established, and the company’s stocks were listed on the first page of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. [7] The company also launched affiliate branches around the globe in America, Singapore, Australia and the U.K.

The 1980’s brought with them a lot of progression for Sankyo Electric. 1981 saw the invention of a scroll-type compressor for automotive air-conditioning systems. Once again, this was a product that had never been seen before. One of the most noteworthy changes came in 1982 when the company changed its name to match its trademark; Sankyo Electric Company became Sanden Corporation and in 1984 the company expanded its global presence even more with joint ventures in India, Malaysia and Mexico. Sanden are clearly a very insightful, forward thinking and progressive company who don’t shy away from opportunity and in 1988 they came across a vending company in America. One who, like themselves had taken the world a bit by storm and who, like themselves, had pioneered and developed some spectacular products that arguably revolutionised their own market sectors. The company had been started by two brothers in Kansas and was called The Vendo Company.  The journey that followed changed and shaped the vending world forever.

Footnotes:

[1] https://www.sandenvendo.it
[2] https://www.sanden.co.jp
[3] https://www.sanden.co.jp
[4] https://www.sanden.co.jp
[5] https://www.sanden.co.jp
[6] http://www.manufacturing-journal.net
[7] https://www.revolvy.com

Sources:

https://www.sandenvendo.it

https://www.sanden.co.jp

http://www.manufacturing-journal.net

https://www.revolvy.com

Elmer F. Pierson Founder of the Vendo Company by Daniel Coleman https://www.hbs.edu

Jason Roe ‘Cool Operator’ Digital History Specialist https://kchistory.org

https://en.wikipedia.org

https://www.vendoco.com

https://en.wikipedia.org

https://www.sanden-europe.com

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