Sejarah SECOM Sebagai Sistem Keamanan No. 1 di Jepang
How SECOM was Founded
In 1956, Makoto Lida, a graduate of Gakushuin University, commenced his career by joining Okanaga Shoten, his family’s liquor distribution business based in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. While serving as a salesman, he often engaged in conversations with his close friend, Juichi Toda, pondering the possibility of embarking on their entrepreneurial journey over a casual drink.
The turning point occurred during the winter of 1961, when Iida and Toda were enjoying a dinner with a well-traveled friend just back from Europe. As they savored a delectable chicken dish, their friend revealed intriguing information about European companies thriving in the security sector.
Upon hearing this revelation, Lida and Toda were instantly captivated, recognizing that they had finally stumbled upon the opportunity they had been seeking. In a mere half-hour, they made the momentous decision to establish Japan’s very first security company.
“Nihon Keibi Hosho” is founded at ShibaKoen, Tokyo
On the 7th of July, Lida and Toda took a significant step by founding Nihon Keibi Hosho, which is now known as SECOM. Their company’s humble beginnings were at the 2nd Floor of the SKF Building, located at 7-1 Shiba Koen, Minatoku, Tokyo (presently 1-9-1 Shiba Daimon, Minatoku). With an initial capital of ¥4 million, sourced from a combination of their personal savings and additional funds from a bank, the duo embarked on their entrepreneurial journey.
The choice of the company’s name was meticulous. “Keibi” translates to security in Japanese, and as the pioneers of the security service industry in Japan, “Nihon” (Japan) took the lead in the name. While “Hosho” can be interpreted in two distinct ways using Japanese characters, one meaning “compensation” and the other meaning “security,” Lida and Toda wisely selected the latter interpretation. This decision was astute as the chosen characters also carried a phonetic resemblance to “compensation.”
Subsequently, recruitment efforts were initiated through newspaper advertisements. To create a novel term for security guards, “keimushi” was coined, drawing inspiration from the term “bengoshi,” meaning lawyer.
Remarkably, an astounding 400 individuals applied for positions, from which two were carefully selected. Thus, Nihon Keibi Hosho commenced its operations with a modest team of just five dedicated individuals.
First Static Guard Service Commences
In April 1963, SECOM took a significant step by relocating its headquarters to 3-4 Kanda Ogawamachi, Tokyo. It was during this same month that SECOM secured its first contract for static guard services, marking a pivotal moment in the company’s history. The patrolling service, which had been steadily progressing, had already garnered a customer base in the double digits.
The Harumi International Convention Center in Tokyo became the company’s very first static guard service client. It’s important to note that this was an era devoid of high-tech buildings, and during occasional motor shows, automobiles were displayed in open-air settings. With no designated quarters for security personnel, SECOM erected tents to ensure around-the-clock vigilance. This presented unique challenges, especially in the spring when the Convention Center, situated near Tokyo Bay, could be bitterly cold, especially during rainy spells.
During this same year, Isetan Department Store entrusted SECOM with their static guard services. This collaboration began in earnest, setting the stage for SECOM’s ongoing commitment to safeguarding its clients and their valuable assets.
SP Alarm Hits the Market
In the transformative month of May 1966, a groundbreaking innovation arrived in Japan’s security landscape with the introduction of SP Alarm, the nation’s inaugural online security system. This momentous development marked a new era in security technology. The release coincided with the successful creation of the first remote monitoring device, setting the stage for a flurry of sales activities that commenced immediately. Notably, the first customer to embrace this cutting-edge technology was a branch of a bank located in Tokyo’s bustling Ikebukuro district.
On the historic date of June 20th, which marked the official commencement of this pioneering service, Makoto Iida, the visionary leader behind SECOM, gathered his team for a momentous occasion. In a decisive and inspiring directive, he addressed his four staff members, laying the foundation for what would become a transformative shift in the security industry: “We are embarking on a new era of online security services. One of you will be responsible for continuous monitoring of the system, while the others will remain on standby, ready to respond to any emergencies as they arise. Keep a vigilant eye on the system, and when the red lamp illuminates, it signifies a customer’s urgent need for assistance, demanding an immediate and unwavering response.” With this guidance, the team stood poised and ready to embrace the future of security services.
Lida Delivered His First Message in The 5th Anniversary Edition of The Company Newsletter
An 8 page company newsletter called Warera Keimushi was published. After several editions, in March of 1969 it was renamed Mamori and then in January of 1980 again renamed to Secomity which remains its name to this day. In the 5th Anniversary Edition, Iida’s message, the earliest available on record, was delivered to all employees and their families. The following is an excerpt.
“Nihon Keibi Hosho started as the very first security business in Japan. Often people will mistake us for gatekeepers, but we are very different. We are providing professional high-skilled security services to society, equipped with the latest scientific gadgets for the sake of our customers, and carry out our duty to prevent crimes and fires before those incidents happen.
The public expects more of us day by day because our services are valuable to them. On this 5th Anniversary today, we have more than a thousand employees and over a hundred and fifty vehicles, making it impractical for competitors in the industry to catch up. Besides our headquarters in Tokyo, there are branches and group companies in Sapporo, Niigata, Chiba, Yokohama, Hamamatsu, Nagoya, Mie, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Fukuoka, and Kitakyushu.
We are now truly a nationwide organization. We have come to this far after five years of hardship and tremendous efforts contributed by all of you. Starting with just five people, this organization had grown to one hundred and fifty in the third year, four hundred in the fourth, and now here we are. Even I am surprised at this rapid growth.”
Brand New Control Center for SP Alarm
In July of 1970, a brand new office designed exclusively for the Central Control Center called the SP Alarm Center was opened at 2nd Floor Rito Center Building Harumi, Tokyo. At the same time, Regional SP Alarm Centers were either opened or upgraded and the total number of the centers increased to 18 nationwide.
The capacity of the Alarm Center was boosted from 700 to 50,000 customers at a breath (the actual customer base as of the previous year was 500). The SP Alarm system, which had contributed to the arrest of “Serial Killer 108” on April 7th of the previous year, was now set for tremendous growth.
The SECOM Brand was Born
Since the company was established in 1962, the name Nihon Keibi Hosho had become widely known to the public through its innovative services and by providing security for events such as the Tokyo Olympic Games and Osaka EXPO.
It was in February of 1973, when crimes were on the rise and security could not be taken for granted any longer. Meanwhile communication technology was improving dramatically, and a new brand SECOM was being established. SECOM is an abbreviation of “security communication,” connoting a new security system that combined people and science.
For ten years, the SECOM brand and the name Nihon Keibi Hosho co-existed. Dual brands existed until SECOM ventured into the cable television business, a point of time when “SECOM” was well known amongst the general public, and it was a turning point when SECOM was considered not just a security company any more. It was in 1983 when the company’s name was finally changed to SECOM.
The World’s First C.S.S. (computerized security system) was Launched
The company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Second Section on June 24th, 1974. By this time the company had an office in almost every prefecture and had a complete national coverage.
On March 1st, 1975, the world’s first computerized security system (C.S.S.) started its service at the Tokyo Control Center located in Harumi, Tokyo.
Before then operators needed to manually monitor warning lamps, while the new system would automatically display customer information including the time when the signal was received. In that sense it improved productivity and safety. This new system boosted online security business dramatically.