VFR Opens a Customer Service Agency Business for the Drone Industry

TOKYO-KOCHI / February 9th, 2023 / VFR Inc. SHIFT PLUS Inc. ELP Co.,LTD.

Pre-sales and quality assurance are also implemented in cooperation with SHIFT PLUS and ELP from Kochi Prefecture

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VFR Inc. (Headquarters: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Koichiro Yuasa; hereinafter referred to as “VFR”) will start collaborating with two companies from Kochi Prefecture to establish customer service similar to the PC industry for pre-sales and post-sales customer support and quality assurance. SHIFT PLUS Inc. (Head Office: Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture; CEO: Mr. Kengo Watanuki; hereinafter “SHIFT PLUS”), which develops customer support center business for software companies, and ELP Co.,LTD.(Head Office: Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture; CEO: Mr. Tetsuya Ueda; hereinafter “ELP”), which sells IT hardware and provides post-sales services and drone training mainly in Kochi Prefecture, participate in this project. The customer service business is to be started in March 2023.

1. The Background to the Launch of Customer Support

The revision of the Civil Aeronautics Act has come into effect in December 2022, lifting the ban on Level 4 and enabling flight over people, and the full-scale social implementation of drones is now about to begin. Drones will fill the labor shortage, play a role in the future business and regional revitalization and be actively utilized in various scenes such as logistics, disaster countermeasures, and inspections. Thus, the importance of customer service is increasing toward social implementation.

2. Challenges in the drone industry

Since many Japanese drone manufacturers and service providers are startups, the problem is that they do not have the resources to provide customer support. In the current situation, the development resources of startups are also handling trouble shooting, etc. abd by solving this problem, it will be possible to provide necessary information to development team and manufacturing contractors in a timely manner without stopping development speed.

3. About service partners

VFR was founded as a subsidiary of VAIO Corporation and understands the importance of customer support and technical support for IT hardware. In order to launch customer support which leverages the knowledge of that in PC industry, SHIFT PLUS Inc, which has knowledge of customer support in IT software, and ELP Co.,LTD, which provides field service in IT hardware from Kochi Prefecture, will act as customer service for startups in the drone industry.

Starting from the basis of customer support, the companies will launch a call center dedicated to corporate customers in March 2023, with the aim of promoting the social implementation of drones and expanding the market size.

  1. Before purchase… Consultations, quotes, product introductions
  2. Point of sales… Payment, shipping, usage
  3. After purchase…trouble handling, returns, TS

4. The future role of VFR

VFR continues to provide services that are indispensable for the social implementation of drones, such as designing drone mass production, mass production of drones, quality assurance, sales support and after-sales service. Starting with the customer support service, we will accumulate the necessary information for the drone industry, and by feeding it back to product development and manufacturing, we will contribute to the social implementation of safe and secure drones.

<About VFR Inc.>
Company name: VFR Inc.
Location: Yebisu Garden Place Tower 31F
4-20-3 Ebisu, Shibuya-ward, Tokyo, Japan
Representative: Koichiro Yuasa, CEO
Establishment: March 12, 2020
URL: https://vfr.co.jp/
Business Overview: Plan, design, manufacture, sale, repair, maintenance, inspection, import and export of industorial drones, small unmanned aerial vehicles (drones, etc.) and accompanying software, and contracting of design, manufacture and repair. Incidental to these, technical support, design support, operational support for production and sales, and planning support, etc.

Company Name: SHIFT PLUS Inc.
Location: Dai-7 Ekimae Kanko Bldg. 1-8 Ekimae-cho, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Representative:Kengo Watanuki, Representative Director
Establishment: Establishment: April 6th, 2015
URL: https://shiftplus.inc/
Business Overview: Software quality assurance business, customer support business, and regional revitalization business

<About ELP>
Company Name: ELP Co.,LTD.
Location: 2-12, Minami Goza, Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture
Representative:Tetsuya Ueda, Representative Director
Establishment: January 1993 (established in 1989)
URL: https://www.elp.co.jp/
Business Overview:Sales of personal computers and office supplies, repair, support, rental, maintenance, software development, education, production, drone sales and training, ICT support in schools


VFR Inc.
PR and Marketing Department, VFR Inc.
Email: vfr-press@vfr.co.jp vfr-press@vfr.co.jp