New Head Office and factory complex in Kadoma,Osaka.
The pace of activity builds and the company constructs a large, modem factory complex at Kadoma. The foundation of the company is firmly established as the Management Objective takes shape, and the divisional system and other management innovations are born.
Panasonic already had more than 1,200 employees and manufactured more than 200 products at the time Matsushita announced the company's corporate mission in 1932, but this was only a beginning. The factories were expanding their operations, and growth was accelerating. Matsushita decided the company needed a new Head Office and factory complex to meet its future needs. He eventually selected a site northeast of Osaka in rural Kadoma and began construction.
When the company moved into the new 70,000m2 facility in July 1933, Matsushita reminded the employees that over expansion could lead to a company's demise, and that the responsibility for the success or failure of the company at that crucial juncture lay on their shoulders.
In May 1933, Matsushita devised and instituted a system of autonomously managed corporate divisions, grouped according to the products they produced. The First Division produced radios, the Second Division handled lamps and dry cells, and the Third Division was in charge of wiring devices, synthetic resins and electrothermal products. Each division was responsible for managing its factories and offices, developing, manufacturing and selling products and maintaining profitable operations.
Because of health problems, Matsushita had always been a person to delegate responsibility. He had also seen that people fully exercise their creativity and initiative when they were placed fully in charge of a task. For example, in 1927 he had given the manager of the Electric Heating Appliance Department full responsibility for manufacturing and selling Panasonic's first iron, resulting in a major success for the company.
Matsushita stated two main aims for the division system: to ensure autonomous management and develop capable managers.
The system was a major innovation at that time. Panasonic was the first single proprietorship in Japan to be organized along such lines, and the principle of autonomous management continues to distinguish the company's operation to this day.
Konosuke Matsushita explains the new system of business divisions.
The company set up an electric motor department in July 1933, and began research on motor design and production. Only a few heavy electrical manufacturers produced motors at the time, and the only household appliance application for motors was in electric fans.
When Matsushita announced the move to the press, he said, "The quality of life of the average family is destined to improve, and a day will come when most homes use at least 10 electric motors. The demand for motors will be unlimited."
The company's first motor was produced in November 1934, and Matsushita Electric Motor Company was incorporated in October 1938. Matsushita's prediction was fulfilled by the household appliance boom after World War II.
In February 1935, Matsushita set up National Storage Battery Co. to begin dry cell production. And in June of the next year, it set up National Electric Lamp Co. to produce light bulbs.
Panasonic's first electric motor, which came off the line in 1934, signaled Panasonic's determination to automate household appliances.
Panasonic's first electric fan,1936.