「 Punish me? You? 」
Kaan-san smiles wryly.
「 Yes. That’s his orders 」
Minaho-neesan’s cold smile never breaks.
「 I have been listening from your conversation from the side, but, Kaan-sama is currently in high school, and you’re managing three companies already 」
「 That’s right. And all of the companies are in surplus, growing 」
Kaan-san said proudly.
「 Well, that’s something so pitiful 」
「 Pitiful? 」
Minaho-neesan said. Kaan-san got hooked.
「 I’m not pitiful. I’m doing well in studies while I manage the company, and I’m also in the student council. I don’t have club activities, but I enjoy trading on the other hand. I’m still okay despite all that. As you can see, I’m still lively 」
Kaan-san said with a smile.
「 Well, you’re so busy, and yet, can you really manage three companies with that? 」
「 Didn’t I say it earlier? Manager’s job is only to make decisions, and so I receive mail reports every day and send instructions via mail. If I come up with a new idea, then I’ll send another mail. I only need to meet the people in the company a few times, and all the other direct business are dealt with my talented staff 」
「 And that is why I also said that it’s “pitiful” 」
「 I feel sorry for Kaan-sama’s employees 」
「 W-What do you mean by that?! 」
Kaan-san is offended.
「 It is as I say. They had to accomplish all tasks to satisfy the moody and selfish high school girl. Furthermore, they cannot fail as it will embarrass the young lady of the Kaan house. They also had to make earnings from your absurd proposals 」
「 Hey, you’re impolite! 」
The party turns quiet.
They suddenly look, wondering who’s that woman picking a fight with the young lady of Kaan house.
「 Who do you think I am?! I’m not playing around with business! My father and grandfather both raised me with knowledge, I know more than you when it comes to managing a business! 」
It looks like the daughter of Kaan house is proud that her family earns from banks and heavy and chemical industries.
「 I wonder if that’s true? 」
「 A few years ago, a certain chairman of a great company, caused a big problem because he used billions on a casino in Macau, do you know that? 」
「 Oh, there was that scandal. If I recall, he’s a family member of the founder of a large manufacturing company 」
Kaan-san knows the incident.
「 He’s indeed the stupid son of the founder of the enterprise, the president kicked him out, then he got addicted to gambling that he ended in disgrace. If I recall, He repaid for the loss by selling his shares, but in the end, he got imprisoned for aggravated breach of trust 」
「 What I noticed in that scandal is that the stupid son stayed in that casino in Macau for months and gambled all the time 」
「 To think that the president of such a huge company…No, it should’ve been several months before the scandal came to light when the chairman inaugurated in office. I wonder what was he doing in management 」
「 Why would I know? 」
「 Perhaps it’s similar to what Kaan-sama’s doing. A fool who sullies their family’s prestige, receiving emails from the company, and sending mails of instructions. All while merrily gambling in Macau. And then, thinking that sending and receiving mails is all there is to it in managing companies 」
「 Are you telling me that I’m doing the same thing as that person? 」
Kaan-san glared at Minaho-neesan.
「 I will not say that, but there’s not much difference. If you can’t perform business affairs, then the subordinates are the ones desperately dealing with it 」
The subordinates deal with it?
「 The majority of what you do in business is a trifle. Boring. Not a big deal. You don’t seem to understand why they still do that despite its lack of significance 」
「 When making a deal with another company, there are multiple processes from creating the contract to signing it. It’s nothing but troublesome tasks. The person in charge did well in negotiations, but he still has to meet his superior and explain the details. Waiting for a few days before getting the approval 」
「 That’s just a foolish tradition. A bad tradition in Japan’s business world, and something our generation will surpass 」
「 It makes me wonder how can a young lady who never had personal experience in doing any bothersome work can say that 」
Minaho-neesan smiles wryly.
「 I mean, it’s trivial and a waste of time. Business is better if done quickly! The decision of the heads has to reach the other end right away 」
「 Nowadays, we can use mail to send instructions from the top to every end and nooks. Most people don’t understand how many business chances are lost because they do all the trivial tasks without the top knowing! 」
Yeah, if you use mail, then…
You can deliver the instructions of the manager to all company employees right away.
Those working on-site can contact the manager directly.
「 Kaan-sama, did you know that your way of thinking is called a “business that exploits it’s employees,” to grow themselves in a decade 」
「 What are you trying to say? 」
「 It’s simple. The manager does whatever he wants and just send instructions by mail if he comes up with an idea 」
「 I only need to give instructions to those working on-site to “report if they notice anything that can improve business!” Actually, they send in improvement ideas every day! 」
「 That’s their duty after all. But, they would never send any improvement ideas that will oppose the manager directly. Or rather, does that report come in every day? 」
「 One of my subordinates gather up the ideas employees present and then send it to me 」
「 That means, they omit anything that shouldn’t attract Kaan-sama’s attention 」
「 That’s not true?! 」
「 I think you should think about it 」
「 Also, Kaan-sama does manage an e-commerce company, but what ratio are you using for regular and contractual employees? 」
「 Huh? 」
「 I don’t think that it’s all regular employees who are in charge of accepting orders from customers, or sending the items to them 」
Minaho-neesan’s cold gaze pierces Kaan-san.
「 Well, they should use them. I don’t know how many but I know about contracting temporary employees. I-I can find that out quickly with a single mail 」
It looks like she’s not interested in the details.
「 Then, you mentioned earlier about business improvement ideas, but, have you seen ideas from contractual employees? 」
「 ????!!!! 」
「 Perhaps the man working at the storehouse, sending the orders are 90% contractual workers. If you’re practically not listening to their duties, then could you really improve work conditions? 」
「 T-That’s…the regular employees on-site should’ve reported their opinions… 」
「 And has Kaan-sama seen such reports? 」
「 That’s… 」
「 This problem originates when the manager is under the impression that they understand the company from top to bottom. It’s not the case. Most managers don’t know anything about the real condition on-site of the employees working for them 」
Managers don’t know what’s going on-site?
「 For example, if it’s online shopping, there’s revenue as soon as the product reaches the customer, and so the most necessary part is the logistics in the warehouse and their delivery. Making sure that they don’t make a mistake in the order received, and the product reaches the customer without damage. It’s the core of the business. Everything else is linked to the goods 」
「 If that’s the case, is it correct to use resources to improve the skills of the workers in the logistics warehouse? I thought, but in reality, warehouses are dirty, and people who work there have low pay, and it’s absurd to see that the money isn’t used practically and is instead used on creating a useless office building. Do you know why? 」
「 You’re saying that managers are indifferent with bears actual profits? 」
「 That’s what I think 」
「 But, the work at the warehouse is only to pick up the item ordered, box it, and deliver it, right? That’s a job that needs no skill 」
「 However, people with such exist. No matter how much we computerize everything, the last job will always be something humans have to do. Therefore, you need to hire humans 」
「 However, controlling labor costs is crucial in business! 」
「 That’s a line someone who knows the labor employees do and know the real state of their workplace will never say 」
「 Y-You can say that, but still… 」
「 You reduce the labor costs but increase the service for the customers. A company has to continue gathering more new customers using a strong appeal. Thinking, “if one comes up with an idea, carry it out right away.” Then employees work more as the manager tells them. Not even billing them overtime pay. If you’re going to complain, then stop. We have more people who want to work here. If you’re so inclined, we can call for foreigner employees 」
Oh, that’s the logic of businesses that exploit their employees.
「 I don’t manage that horribly 」
「 Well, we’ll never know that because Kaan-sama never asks the other end of the chain 」
Minaho-neesan speaks clearly.
「 Or should I say that you’ll never understand unless you try to work with the employees for at least a day 」
「 T-Together with the employees?! 」
「 No, you’ll never understand it unless you take a day with them. But, if you find out how much their wage is after working in a day, you’ll be able to understand various things. How much do they receive in a month? How can they live their lives with that amount of money 」
「 But, I’m the daughter of Kaan house. Putting me in together with those people is… 」
「 You mentioned, “Those people,” didn’t you? 」
Minaho-neesan’s eyes glitter.
「 It’s Kaan-sama’s company, it’s the one you’re managing! Can you really look down on them and just call them “those people?” 」
「 I-I… 」
Kaan-san looks confused.
「 Anyone with capital can start up a business in modern Japan. For example, if I want to start up a hotel right now, I can ask a hotel business consultant. I can look for a place to construct the hotel, wonder what kind of building it will become, present plans on what I desire, and the specialists will create a blueprint for it. Once the hotel is constructed, I can gather employees, train them, and give them manuals and instructions to run a hotel. A few years after opening a business, I can hire a manager who can administer everything on track 」
Some people will do that from top to toe as long as there’s money.
「 Therefore, I can go with my selfish complains about “I want the hotel to be like this,” or “I want to change that,” or “I hate this, I want something else,” As long as I have the funds that is 」
「 It applies the same to restaurants. If I have funds, then I can leave everything to the consultant and just tell him, “I want this, I want that.” Especially when gathering chefs. It’s the same, even if I want a bigger diner chain. If I have some concept I thought about, then I can have people work to make it real. I can recruit part-time workers and have them do all the advertising 」
Do they exist?
「 You know. Recently, most corporations try out other business types, right? The most common case is starting up a shop or a restaurant, but if you ask why they start without knowing a lot in that business, it’s because consultant companies specialized for that exist 」
「 And, currently, with Kaan-sama’s company, aren’t you the same with people who use consultants? 」
「 My business? 」
「 After all, Kaan-sama’s subordinates is the one doing everything to make sure that Kaan-sama’s company is doing well. They need superior personnel to not let Kaan-sama embarrass herself. Promising them better treatment from the main office someday 」
They have to make achievements, so the company of the young lady of the Kaan house doesn’t collapse.
Therefore, they send competent personnel.
「 Well, in practice, I think that Kaan-sama’s management decisions and ideas lead the company to better, most of the time, but, I also believe that the company will progress without a problem, even without Kaan-sama 」
「 A school girl attending lessons and having student council activities shouldn’t be able to manage a company at her spare time 」
「 !!! 」
「 It’s common for managers to have no free time during weekdays. Most businesses operate from 9am to 5pm after all 」
Deals, where it will never move forward unless the president meets up, are inevitable.
The president is a high school student. It would be rude of the employees to ask her to come during weekends or evenings during overwork hours.
Even if she has the power of Kaan house.
「 Kaan-sama, what you’re doing isn’t managing a company, it’s just a “management-like play” 」
Minaho-neesan speaks clearly.
「 Naturally, I think that this “management-like play” will be a good experience for Kaan-sama in the future. Even if it’s a small quantity, it was an opportunity to make contact with society. But in the end, if you don’t understand that it was not actual business management but a make-believe play, then you will trip yourself 」
「 How dare you go that far with your bold statements 」
「 If it angers you, then I apologize 」
Minaho-neesan says without showing guilt.
「 There’s no need to apologize. I agree with you. I might’ve been too optimistic 」
「 I mean, I’m sad that someone outside my family made it clear with me 」
「 O-Onee-sama! 」
Torii-san pats Kaan-san’s back.
「 Thanks, Mariko 」
However, there’s still light of strong will in Kaan-san’s eyes.
She glared at Minaho-neesan.
「 But still, I haven’t heard you talk about Kuromori-sama! 」
「 I understood my problem. I will show that I can correct myself. Putting that aside, Kuromori-sama’s doing everything by himself in his business, what is your say about that? 」
Yeah, Kaan-san, who sends instructions via mail, letting her subordinates do everything.
She wants to compare it to me, who does everything myself.
「 Indeed… 」
Minaho-neesan looked at me.
「 What do you think now that you’ve tried everything out yourself first? 」
Katsuko-nee’s helping me out, but…
At first, I was alone…
It’s just Megu and me selling the products.
Then, Nei and others came in to help.
Katsuko-nee is now also in the shop.
Kana-senpai and Ai are helping me out.
Agnes, Mana, and Ruriko are making the cheaper pastries.
「 I understood that I could do it alone 」
「 I don’t need to shoulder everything alone, ask for help 」
I look at Kaan-san.
「 It made me consider that I should ask people with technical skills to do work for me, just like Kaan-san 」
My bakery has changed.
When I opened it up during September, it was called “Yoshida’s bakery,” or “the bakery of the first-year guy who’s engaged.”
When Katsuko-nee showed up, then it became “Katsuko-san’s bakery.”
Now, it’s “Katsuko-san and Ai-chan’s bakery.”
“Ai-chan corner,” is a spot where the pastry Ai makes are placed, and it’s a competition there every time.
I heard that the 190 yen bread is getting sold like they’re in the black market, and it raises the price to 3200 yen.
If it means that you get to eat the pastry handmade by the cutest girl among the first-years…
Furthermore, Ai’s slow, so her products are limited every day.
Although Ai is getting better.
I think that she has a talent for this.
She thinks slowly and deliberately, and so it takes a lot of time.
「 I understood that the idea of “I am myself,” and “I have to do this myself” were wrong 」
Yes, it doesn’t matter if it’s not recognized as my bakery.
It can stay as “Katsuko-san and Ai-chan’s bakery.”
What’s important is that we continuously produce delicious products and we make profits.
「 So, you think that you can develop what you have to a bigger business? 」
「 Well, of course, 」
I’m training for the bakery.
「 Then, you’ll need to hire people if you want to expand your business someday. Your body alone cannot possibly push out all the work 」
I will need to hire people to make the dough, bake, and sell the pastry.
If Katsuko-nee opens up a second shop, then I’ll have twice the personnel.
No, we’ll need someone as our shop manager, replacing Katsuko-nee and me.
「 That’s true 」
「 To be frank, if you found someone better than you in baking, then you should leave the work to him 」
「 I get that 」
And that applies to vendors too.
Katsuko-nee and Nei, the beauties sell more compared to me.
Or should I say that it’s better if I don’t show up instead?
Even in our products, Ai makes less, but hers sell better than mine.
「 It’s possible that you still do bakery business, but you’re no longer the person in manufacturing and sales. Naturally, if you expand your business, there’s more work, but you don’t need to do it all 」
Yeah, delivering the materials on each store, for example.
If we reached a large scale, then I don’t have to make any sales.
If we have a cafeteria and restaurants as our market, then there’s no need for me to deliver it.
「 Right. I thought that it might happen 」
These jobs don’t need it to be me specifically.
I don’t need to do everything that I can.
「 If that’s the case, then wouldn’t everything that you’ve learned about the bakery become useless? 」
「 I don’t think so. I believe that it’s all necessary experience. At least, I won’t be ignorant of what they do in the bakery 」
「 Be it the wheat flour or yeast, I have the knowledge on who to get in touch, the amount to procure, and when the materials will deliver. That also applies in the procedure of making pastries. I know the labor cost of each item and the time it takes to make it. I also know what the reaction will be when they sell it. I have learned a lot 」
I look at Kaan-san.
「 It’s something you’ll never know from emails 」
「 W-What?! 」
Kaan-san looks at me blankly.
「 No, the view you see from the mail was a compilation of all the views on-site sent to you, right? Along with all the data 」
I start talking.
「 My bakery also has data recorded. Which ones did sell and which ones weren’t that popular 」
Katsuko-nee takes notes of which sold out the fastest.
「 We listen to our customers. Which do they like, what their thoughts with the new products and such 」
It’s not just Megu and I talking to friends; Katsuko-nee now speaks to the students with a bright atmosphere around her.
Kana-senpai is famous, it’s easy for her to grab people to answer a survey.
「 But those impressions are slightly off from reality, well, you know, people’s thoughts and speech are somewhat off from each other 」
「 Off? 」
Kaan-san looks at me.
「 For example, those who replied, “I like the new one,” and in reality, the sales of the product isn’t that great. And someone can say that it’s not great, but it gets sold out fast, but it’s slightly slower than other famous products 」
「 Our bakery has cameras all over so I can see the hands of the customers while they pick which they would buy. Then, I see the customer thinking of which one to choose. They’re hesitating, and so they try out the product everyone says they like. And that spreads out. But, most of them come back to what they prefer. Seeing that made me understand what’s the problem 」
「 People’s thoughts have those moments where it just bursts with “Huh?” I’m taking lessons from Kudou arts so I can sense it recently, no, well, I’m still in 6th kyu, but when the person in front of me had their thought burst out, I can sense what they’re feeling 」
「 I think that intuition is necessary. That makes it hard to understand if it’s just a compilation mail from a subordinate. You need to feel the customer, or should I say the person in front of you 」
「 Therefore, I believe that going on-site is essential. You need to feel the customers directly. Their thoughts and speech are slightly misaligned after all 」
「 I-I think the same way! 」
Kuromiya-san suddenly stood up and shouted.
「 I’m fond of martial arts, and so I believe that it’s necessary to be in front of the person! 」
「 The scales have fallen off my eyes from that conversation, my heart is clear! 」
That’s not what I’m trying to say, but…
「 Now, do you understand why Grandfather was having that conversation with Danna-sama? 」
Misuzu speaks to Kaan-san.
「 Danna-sama is developing his management intuition 」