J-GoodTech provides opportunities for major companies and backstreet workshops to encounter one another
We interviewed Mr. Horiuchi, a sales manager of Toyooka Seisakusho, a backstreet workshop in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward that performs metal press work and deep drawing to deepen bowl-shaped and cylindrical metal items.
Toyooka Seisakusho received an order from a major company via J-GoodTech. We interviewed them about the background that led to this development.
Offers precision deep drawing suited to customer needs in a variety of materials
First, what business is your company’s greatest area of strength?
Toyooka Seisakusho’s strength is in precision deep drawing. We can handle precisions up to 1/100 mm, 0.1 mm thick stainless steel work, and 8-mm diameter, 140-mm long extra deep drawing, as well. We handle a variety of materials including stainless steel, aluminum, and copper, offering services suited to our customers’ needs.
Drawn in by the potential for backstreet workshops to contribute to the business of major companies with which they have no natural point of contact
Why did you start using J-GoodTech?
Our company president said that he wanted us to “try out this matching site called J-GoodTech,” and it was then that I first learned of its existence. There are also private online matching sites and we had used those before, but I was interested to see one established by a public body as well.
We registered with J-GoodTech because we wanted to see whether it was indeed possible for backstreet workshops to contribute to the business of major companies with which they have no natural point of contact. However, we did not expect that we would really be able to conduct business with a major company.
Coordinator mediation and follow-ups can continue even after business discussions have been conducted
You said that you also use private services. What do you think are the differences between those services and J-GoodTech?
With J-GoodTech, coordinators (experts) from the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation kindly act as intermediaries and provide follow-up, even when our company is submitting an offer to a major company. We are extremely grateful for this. Even with information on their company needs, there are some things that are difficult for our company to handle, and in some cases it actually seems as though there is really no need for our company’s business. However, we were extremely happy to receive advice from the Organization on how to write our online offer message and on subsequent business discussions, as well as happy to have Organization staff sit in on the discussions themselves. Moreover, the process leading up to receiving an order requires much coordination and several discussions, and we were happy to have someone to consult during that process.
Another realization we had while receiving needs information (inquiry information) of major companies was that, on J-GoodTech, even a small company can catch the attention of major companies if it clearly describes its distinctive characteristics.
Mr. Horiuchi, a sales manager of Toyooka Seisakusho
Present sample products and advertise one’s production system through plant tours
Your efforts here led to your company receiving an order. What was the process by which you proceeded with business discussions using J-GoodTech?
This project began when we responded to a “business needs” post from a major company on J-GoodTech’s Information Board. We regularly check the business needs posted to the Information Board, and the content of this item caught our eye. We felt that our company could make an offer and it was an order from a major company, so we sent a proposal. I just described what happened next, but we received the support of the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation and had them set up business discussions.
What was it like to actually use J-GoodTech?
We were greeted suddenly by an assistant manager-level staff member, which was honestly quite surprising because we never meet such people during standard sales activities.
During business discussions, we learned that they were in a hurry with this product and we felt that they were asking for a high level of precision as well. Thus, we pitched ourselves to them by showcasing products we had worked on previously such as consumer electronics, cosmetics, lighters, and automobile parts, highlighting our wide-ranging competence in multiple fields, the high precision in which our company specializes, and our speedy responsiveness enabled by our prototyping process.
You presented sample products as you explained your business, powerfully drawing the interest of the major company. Apparently that led afterward to receiving an order from them. What was the process leading up to that?
We had several back-and-forth contacts and discussions, after which they came to visit our plant. The technology they sought was a product that they had apparently never worked with before, and so by showing them the actual worksite at which the product is manufactured, they can understand the process of what happens after they place their order (mold / process design → preparing the mold → press) and the production system as a whole. They also come to a deeper understanding of our company itself. After the plant tour, they formally placed an order and we delivered the product to them.
Used J-GoodTech’s business communication functions to advertise the company’s own expert technical skill and cultivated technological strength
What would you like to use J-GoodTech to accomplish in the future?
In the case described here, we received business needs information on J-GoodTech and reached out on that basis. In the future, however, we would like to advertise using our company’s expert technical skill and cultivated technological strength as the seeds of our pitch.
One of J-GoodTech’s newest services is its “business communication” function, with which companies can solicit ideas and recruit business partners in an open environment. How would you feel about using this service to conduct PR for your company?
Right. What we would like to do is make VE proposals that make good use of deep drawing and cold forging technology for projects with which we believe our company can help, such as work for a company with problems reducing the processes involved in cutting.
Our company’s deep drawing technology is relatively niche. However, as cost-cutting peaks out for cutting, our technology is a focus of attention as a replacement for cutting. In cutting textbooks, for example, it is written that deep drawing can only extend to a maximum of ten times the diameter, but our company’s technology enables extensions up to twenty or thirty times. As we improve our techniques and technologies, we are also engaged in a new type of process called “ironing,” which we advertise along with deep drawing at exhibitions. We hope to use J-GoodTech to actively publicize our cutting-free technology and further our initiatives and new technologies that will lead to further process reduction.
Other Remarks (Editor’s Notes)
In this case, it was a major consumer goods manufacturer that solicited business proposals from companies listed on J-GoodTech. Although the manufacturer was working with other companies to develop new products from fields other than its own field of expertise, the manufacturer lacked the underlying technology required to complete the product.
Although the company searched both by themselves and through private services for the technology, they did not know how to search for the required underlying technology nor did they have time for that search. It was in this context that the company began using J-GoodTech, where superior Japanese SMEs congregate.
J-GoodTech is used by major companies in all fields because it features a large number of excellent SMEs, because it communicates technologies and products to Japanese and foreign companies while J-GoodTech’s expert coordinators follow up on each company’s distinctive characteristics, and because it is free to use.
J-GoodTech can of course be used to showcase one’s own company, but it also offers opportunities for business matching with companies that one had never been able to come in contact with before. We encourage you to continue using J-GoodTech in the future.