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How "K" Line Connected Employees Around the World

"K" With User Interface graphic

“K” LINE (Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.) is a marine transportation company with active employees in Japan and at ports and on ships all over the world. Since October 2021, the company has been producing internal comms videos in-house as a tool for sharing management plans and the direction of the company.

“K” LINE had been sharing videos through Microsoft 365, which was limited to employees in Japan. In December 2022, the company switched to Brightcove, enabling distribution to overseas employees and staff on temporary transfers at other companies.

Adopting an Internal Communications Platform

The Corporate Planning Group, the department overseeing the core of the company, considered a variety of communication methods to disseminate management plans.

“In the past, the president explained financial results and management plans in town hall meetings for each business division. But we realized that if we made a video based on the content, the same message could be communicated to all employees at the same time. Also, since past videos could be viewed, we could gauge our employees’ understanding based on information like viewing history,” says Naoyuki Tamura.

The opportunity for change came about with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic meant we couldn’t hold face-to-face town hall meetings anymore,” Ko Murakami explains. “But it also brought significant changes in lifestyles and work styles. We felt there was an even greater need to disseminate management plans and keep people up to date on developments in the world and surrounding our company. So in May 2021, we launched a video streaming project.”

Within six months, an internal video-sharing medium called “K” With was launched using applications that were originally used in internal systems.

“The first videos we uploaded were about quarterly financial results and the progress of management plans. Eventually, we shared videos created by other departments, and the content gradually expanded into a hub for sharing internal information,” says Murakami.

“However, the time and effort involved in uploading videos and keeping everything up to date became a challenge for us. Furthermore, we started encountering other problems like slow playback speed, freezing due to high traffic, and access restrictions for employees outside of Japan.”

Cutting the Distribution Workload in Half

All of these problems were solved by switching to Brightcove.

We wanted a well-designed site that our employees would be eager to use, but we were handling production in-house and resources were tight. Brightcove offers a wide variety of options, so you can choose the ones that match the application. For example, we can customize the player down to the color of the play button so everything matches our corporate colors. We were also able to overcome issues with global streaming and stable playback environments,” says Murakami.

“It was also great that Brightcove’s sales representatives taught us how it works in person before we signed the contract. On a functional level, share settings such as thumbnails are easy to work with, and I think the amount of configuration work has been cut by about 50%. Another concern we had was that the work was becoming dependent on specific staff. But the ease of configuration has enabled us to reassign work if needed,” says Makoto Aoki.

Spreading the Effectiveness of Internal Video

The company started video streaming with Brightcove in January 2023. Though many of “K” LINE’s employees work overseas, the company wanted to create videos that fostered a sense of unity.

“We recently released a video that explained our financial results on the same day they were announced. We created it concurrently with the usual work that goes into these announcements such as PowerPoint slides, combining audio and images, making previews, and so on. I think it took two to three days to make. Interest is high on the day financial results are announced, and we knew people would want to watch the video on the same day. The video had to be released promptly on the day of the announcement itself, which we can only achieve by producing in-house,” continues Aoki.

“We also post videos from other departments and upload videos taken on ships that are operating around the world. People on land don’t get to see views from ships that are out at sea, so we release new videos once a week as a way of connecting the sea and the land. We basically ask employees to take videos, but it’s not like we have to force them. In fact, other departments have been proactively asking us to upload videos that they made. People in the company seem to be recognizing the effectiveness of posting videos about things they want to share,” says Aoki.

Furthering Awareness and Solving Internal Issues

“K” With may have only just launched, but the company is already considering various plans to develop it further.

“We’ve managed to stream videos globally, which was our main goal. Our next step will be to promote understanding of management plans based on people’s reactions to the content we’ve already posted. We’ll also continue to post videos that other departments want to share. In the future, I hope we can also create owned media for external use that can help enhance our corporate value,” says Murakami.

“K” LINE has ventured into producing in-house videos as a tool to connect its employees, in addition to preparing materials in conventional ways. This deepened understanding is bound to contribute to the company’s business performance in the near future.

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