Industrial Solution Business/Tool & Engineering BusinessBusiness Details
We Provide Everything from One Tool, to Entire Solutions We support the manufacturing front lineIndustrial
Tools & Equipment Division Headquarters provides a wide range of equipment and tools necessary for production sites, and works to ensure that such sites operate smoothly and that their problems are resolved. These equipment and tools include Material handling equipment for logistics, Robots and labor-saving equipment, Aids for environmental improvement, Fluid equipment, Measuring equipment, and Mechatronics equipment, as well as Cutting and accessory tools, and Hand and electric tools.
* Department names and positions are based on the time this interview was conducted in November 2019.
* In April 2023, we split the Industrial Tools & Equipment Division Headquarters into the Industrial Solution Division Headquarters and the Tool & Engineering Division Headquarters.
What is the mission of the Industrial Tools & Equipment Division Headquarters?
Solving problems at production sites
The mission of the Industrial Tools & Equipment Division Headquarters is to respond to day-to-day issues and demand for products, etc. that arise at our customers’ production sites, and to resolve the various problems that occur there. Specifically, beginning with the machine tools sold by Yamazen’s Machine Tools Division Headquarters, we supply parts and tools for equipment owned by the customer on demand, to support the smooth operation of the customer’s production lines.
We also propose to customers the deployment of machines and equipment to handle the universal needs of production sites, such as cutting costs, and using automation and higher speed/greater precision to raise productivity. In recent years in particular, labor shortages have become a serious issue for many production sites.
This has led to new demand, for example, for equipment that allows goods to be moved with very little effort, in order to put in place an environment in which women and older people can also work comfortably. We also submit proposals for the deployment of machines and equipment to deal with the communications revolution that is being driven by the global megatrend of 5G and by electric vehicles, as well as environmental problems and other issues. We provide everything from a single small tool to machines and equipment used in response to economic or social issues, and thus support our customers’ manufacturing efforts.
What are the strengths of the Industrial Tools & Equipment Division Headquarters?
Providing detailed coverage of end user needs
In the Industrial Tools & Equipment Division Headquarters, we source factory equipment, machines and tools, etc. from domestic manufacturers, and provide them to the production sites of end users, in Japan and overseas, either via machine tool sales offices and machinery and tool trading companies all over Japan, or via sales companies such as overseas local subsidiaries.
Providing products via sales offices may at first glance appear to be inefficient, but using sales offices as a distribution route is actually one of our strengths. The sales offices, which number approximately 5,000 companies, cover many end users who are also our customers. From this broad sales network, we receive a vast number of inquiries and requests for advice every day, such as “I’m looking for this kind of product,” or “Do you have any ideas for improving this part of the factory?”. We respond to such requests promptly by supplying the customers with the products they want, and sometimes visiting the customer’s production site together with sales office personnel, and proposing solutions to certain issues. Conversely, if we submit proposals to the sales offices for products we want to recommend, it is no exaggeration to say that the effects will extend to manufacturing sites all over Japan. That shows what a close relationship of trust the sales offices have built up between this broad sales network and end users.
The manufacturers from which we source products are mostly leading manufacturers who have a high domestic market share. This is truly a tripartite structure, consisting of deep relationships of trust between the sales office, the manufacturer and Yamazen, and allows us to respond carefully to customers’ specific needs.
In addition, although the Industrial Tools & Equipment Division Headquarters has some mainstay products such as parts for automotive machinery, and semiconductor-related products, there are no restrictions on product genre, and this opens up all kinds of possibilities. For example, after supplying PVC materials for packaging products to a mail-order distribution warehouse, a category that has been growing rapidly in recent years, the company involved came to us to discuss conveyor equipment to transport products. There is the potential for one product to lead to further transactions involving a range of peripheral products. There is significant room for handling new products and opening up new industries, and this expansion in business opportunities can also be said to be one of our strengths.
There are many trading companies similar to us with whom we compete. The reason that Yamazen is selected ahead of the others is “people.” When customers ask “Can you do this?”, we almost never say “No we can't.” Without fail, we seek out products and solutions of the kind the customer wants, and fulfill their expectations. This unbroken line of “people” DNA is what links Yamazen to the customer's trust, which runs so deeply that they may simply say “I'm putting in the order because you're Yamazen.” In an era when simply distributing products without adding any value will not result in sales, customer needs will become even more sophisticated and complex going forward. Our goal is to become even more specialized, to deepen our “humanity” and to further extend the strengths of our “people.”
What role does the Industrial Tools & Equipment Division Headquarters fulfill with regard to society?
We respond to the demands of society through environmentally friendly products and BCP
While responding to environmental problems is becoming a precondition for the sustainable growth of a company, the supply of environmentally friendly products has always been an area of focus for the Industrial Tools & Equipment Division Headquarters. The formulation of Business Continuity Plans (BCP), which are used to minimize damage to the company in the event of emergencies such as natural disasters, and to enable a prompt recovery, have become increasingly important since the Great Hanshin Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake. In relation to this, we have worked closely with consulting companies to develop “BCP.ERS,” which offers a “one-stop support service” for each step of BCP deployment, from formulating plans to installing machines, equipment, and inventory items. Our contribution is particularly important in the case of formulating and implementing plans for small and medium-sized enterprises, where lack of know-how and labor shortages mean that BCP has made few inroads.
In addition to responding to environment concerns, and putting in place disaster countermeasures, megatrends such as labor shortages, 5G, and the shift to electric vehicles are leading to a period of upheaval for the front line of manufacturing comparable to that caused by the Industrial Revolution. We will make good use of our information and our network, supporting our customer’s manufacturing sites by responding to their every need, however great or small, and in turn supporting Japanese manufacturing itself.