Housing Systems Business Division

(This article is current as of November 2021)

Photo: Masashi Yamada, President, Housing Systems Business Division; Director, Innovation Division; Panasonic Corporation. Title wording: Providing New Value to People and Society by Staying Close to Their Lives

Our business started in 1958 with the sale of rain gutters and expanded greatly through continuous technological innovation and advanced application of resin molding and metal processing. Today we are involved in 13 categories of products ranging from housing facilities, including kitchens and bathrooms, to construction materials, including interior doors, flooring materials, and home elevators; as well as their engineering, design and installation.

Establishing a Mission and a Vison before Transitioning to an Operating Company in April 2022

In fiscal 2018, we transformed our organization into one of the few in the Panasonic Group with integrated planning/manufacturing departments and sales departments. This reorganization enabled us to strengthen the organization through manufacturing reform and comprehensive efforts from manufacturing to sales, and we were able to maintain the same level of operating profit margins as before, even amid the challenging environment presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our strength lies not only in planning, manufacturing, and product sales, but also in the development of our business throughout the entire value chain of living spaces, from installation to after-sales services. Another major advantage is that we provide one-stop solutions for entire living spaces by combining facility products from our group companies, including air quality/air conditioning products such as air conditioners and ventilators, and energy-related products such as the Eco Cute electric heat pump.

In anticipation of our transition to an operating company in April 2022, we established a mission of “Offering living-space solutions toward a sustainable and enriched society” and a vision of “Co-creating unprecedented daily living by expanding our range of provision with reliable housing technology”. We will continue to provide new value to people and society by deepening collaboration with our business partners and customers.

Growth Strategy for a Society and Construction Industry at a Turning Point

As times become increasingly complex and diverse, both society as a whole and the construction industry are facing waves of major changes, including environmental issues, market conditions and shifting values. By responding accurately and appropriately to these changes and social issues, we aim to both contribute to society and grow our business.

Our strategy consists of three axes. The first is “housing construction material solutions,” which envisions a stable supply of quality products from the viewpoint of strengthening existing business. The next is “housing value innovation,” which aims to reform industry value chains. The third is “housing technology innovation,” which strives to contribute to a sustainable society by developing new materials and devices.

Figure title: ‘Housing Systems Business Division: Three-Axis Growth Strategy’ With strengths in combining digital and engineering technologies, the Housing Systems Business Division will promote technical development and seek to expand its sales network. Our first strategic axis is “housing construction material solutions,” where we will create new value and proceed with industry structure innovation to cater to challenges such as diversifying workstyles and lifestyles, population decline, and shrinking markets, all while enhancing our existing businesses. In this way, we will continue to support comfortable living by providing a stable supply of quality products. The second axis is “housing value innovation.” Here we will promote new industrialization and new customer experiences in response to challenges such as labor shortages and diversifying values, and at the same time expand the housing supply value chain. This will enable us to bring convenience to lifestyles through services that are based on products that can be easily installed and provide a high-quality finish. The third axis is “housing technology innovation,” where we will seek to grow the housing equipment and interior products value chain through our accumulated device and material technologies, and in turn promote energy saving and renewable energy, and preserve water, wood, and other resources. We will aim to realize a sustainable society through materials, parts, and products that utilize our proprietary technologies. We will roll out initiatives based on these three axes across the value chain—in devices and materials, planning and design, housing equipment and interior products (existing business field), installation and construction, and services and maintenance—and extend them not only to the domestic housing market, but also domestic non-housing markets and overseas markets.

The “Housing equipment and Interior products solutions” axis aims for “industry structure innovation,” which promotes horizontal division of labor with companies in the building materials industry through complementary strengths rather than focusing on in-house manufacturing, and seeks to realize “new value creation” through enriching our product lineup, including antiviral-processed products to support new-normal lifestyles.

Figure title: ‘New-Value Creation including Antiviral-Processed Products’ Photo: Antiviral-processed interior door handle, sliding door handle, flooring, toilet

The “Housing value innovation” realizes labor savings and a shorter construction period by advancing panel/unit work methods. We will create “new industrialization” that covers the labor shortage, which has become an issue in the construction field and create “new customer experience” by attempting to provide new value proposals using DX and IoT.

The “Housing technology innovation” aims to promote energy savings and reusable energy, and preserve natural resources by developing and providing materials and devices that introduce already developed technologies such as the vacuum insulation glass and micro bubbles as well as new non-wooden innovative construction materials in the future.

Figure title: ‘Vacuum Insulation Glass Glavenir’ Figure: The figure shows a product photo, a cross-sectional glass diagram, and a room photo. The cross-sectional diagram shows glass that is approx. 6 mm thick and labels the Low-E coating, a pillar that maintains space between the vacuum layer, a sheet of float glass, and the vacuum sealing material.

As the Newly Constructed Housing Market Is Expected to Shrink Domestically, Emphasize on Home Renovations and Overseas Markets

In Japan, the newly constructed housing market is shrinking in stand-alone houses and condos as future population declines. However, the home renovation market is expanding in Japan where there is a rich supply. While maintaining steady progress in the home renovation business, we will expand our business to include various facilities such as shops, medical clinics, and welfare facilities.
Looking overseas, further expansion is expected in the construction market, and we will implement overall growth through increased sales in overseas markets. In Southeast Asia and elsewhere Japanese lifestyles and convenient storage systems are highly regarded, while our kitchens and prefabricated bathrooms are also drawing attention. In response to these needs, we will collaborate with local developers driving innovation for conventional construction methods that have room for improvement. While maintaining the scale of business in the domestic housing market by expanding home renovation and other such business, we will work to increase the sales proportion of other domestic and overseas construction business (i.e. construction other than domestic housing) from the current 10% of total sales in fiscal 2021 to 30% by 2030, while growing total sales by 100 billion yen during the same period. These objectives will be actively supported by Panasonic Housing Solutions Co., Ltd., which will launch in April 2022.