Trailing behind the United States and China, Japan is the third largest economy in the world. For its small size, this island country packs a powerful economic punch with a large and highly advanced manufacturing sector. Goods produced here have a reputation for quality, durability, and sophistication. Currently, Japan is the third largest manufacturer of vehicles; its auto sector includes companies like Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi. In 2015, it produced 9.28 million cars. Shipbuilding, robotics and electronics are other notable manufacturing industries.

In addition, Japan has a population of 126.8 million people (2017) and a labor force of 65.3 million workers (2017). Needless to say, this economic powerhouse represents a tremendous market for Rootstock Cloud ERP.

Japan and the Broader Asia Pacific Market

“Due to opportunities in Japan – as well as the broader Asia Pacific market – we’ve recruited Henk Bruinekreeft, who will serve as Director of Indirect Channels Asia Pacific,” said Per Norling, General Manager of Rootstock International. “Henk has the right experience and skills to help us achieve the next stage of growth and expansion in this region.”

“I’ll be finding and establishing relationships with channel and system integration partners to help us meet growing demand for Rootstock Cloud ERP,” said Henk. “Once established, I’ll help these partners get up to speed and be successful in marketing, selling, and implementing Rootstock – as a sophisticated ERP on the Salesforce Platform.”

Henk has over 20 years of experience in the ERP market. He’s essentially spent his whole life in this space, serving manufacturing, distribution and supply chain organizations, which makes him a perfect fit for the Rootstock team.

Progressive Growth in Japan

Per added, “Within the past year, we’ve set up a Tokyo office, where Yoichiro Sugii serves as General Manager of our Japanese operations. We’ve had our feet on the ground, and we’ve gotten to know the market, and now with the addition of Henk, we’ll make critical connections that will help us continue to grow and meet market needs.”

Recently, Per and Yoichiro worked to bring on HDCS – an IT consulting and business solutions firm – as a partner to help implement, integrate and support Rootstock ERP.

“We’re thrilled to partner with HDCS; they’ll be able to help Rootstock customers achieve rapid deployment, agile business processes, and custom solutions,” said Henk. “We’ll join forces and attend the Salesforce World Tour in Tokyo September 25 to 26; we’ll meet with manufacturers to show them how Rootstock and Salesforce can deliver sophisticated ERP and CRM capabilities.”

Collaboration, Adoption and Globalization

In terms of his background, Henk previously worked for Baan, a leading business application in the 1990s. He also worked at SAP as the director for small and mid-size enterprises in the Dutch market, and as general manager for Microsoft Dynamics in Middle East and Africa. “I have global experience, and six years ago my family and I decided to move back to Asia. We spent time in various places throughout the world but returned here to one of our favorite regions.”

“When I worked for SAP and Microsoft, I competed against Salesforce. Now, I get to work in collaboration with their team. I’ve been impressed with their CRM capabilities and cloud platform. As a company, Salesforce has made many smart moves and continued to extend capabilities available to customers through the Salesforce App Exchange. In Japan, they have contacts with large companies, and in many cases, they’ve led the sales cycle for an integrated Salesforce CRM and Rootstock ERP solution,” Henk added.

Cloud adoption in Japan is high. As reported by the Asia Cloud Computing Association, among the largest Asian manufacturing countries, Japan is by far the leading nation in this arena. Its cloud adoption score of 67% brings it to a comparable level to other mature national economies, like Germany and the U.S.

“In Asia, another major trend has been the globalization of companies,” said Henk. “As a result, a lot of companies in North Asia are moving their manufacturing facilities to South Asia – to countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Companies are moving to these regions as manufacturing can get done for a lot less, and they’re also trying to avoid tariffs. I believe we’ll see more of this movement in the next 12 to 18 months. Many of these companies still have legacy ERP systems. Rootstock Cloud ERP allows them to transition to a cloud solution quickly and easily, so they can modernize and digitally transform their operations.”