Rising TaeguTec’s Sun in Japan
Succeeding in Japan is every tool makers dream and can be an uphill battle, but for TaeguTec, the uphill battle is slowly starting to bear fruit.
TaeguTec entered the highly competitive Japanese market about six years ago and has been grabbing a piece of the market share faster than some of the more popular name brand foreign tool and insert makers.
For some foreign companies, it took almost half a century to get a relatively small overall market share of the cutting tool business in Japan; but for TaeguTec, if you subtract the year that was categorized as the “Lehman Shock” year, five years of operations has impressed headquarters due to a steady flow of sales into the once almost impenetrable market.
TaeguTec Japan Representative Director Susumu Takahashi explained that the only way for TaeguTec to go from baby-steps to an all out stride is by having his team visit and work with every company individually and personally.
Takahashi added that the Japan International Machine Tool Fair that takes place once every two years in Tokyo is an excellent way for the company to gain exposure due to its high flow of companies looking to gain an edge in machining materials that are becoming more exotic and more difficult to work with.
Japan's once powerful automotive industry is now going through a transition. Due to a strong yen, Japanese automakers have started to move their operations in other countries like Thailand for example.
Because of this, support companies that supply automakers with parts are also moving.
Another factor is the expired government incentive program on the sale of new Japanese cars. The ripple effect will continue to see a drop in sales and production for the months ahead.
China, Japan's reliable economic partner during the first economic crisis of this century, is also starting to buy less machines, parts and automobiles from Japanese companies due to its own economic slowdown.
Takahashi noted that even the electronics sector, once the gem of Japan Inc., has taken a sever hit due to several factors including the popularity of Korean producers.
Putting all these challenges aside, one area that will be the driving force for TaeguTec in Japan is the company's proactive development and sales of new products.
Such ambitious goals have resulted in about 1,000 new TaeguTec products introduced a year. Furthermore, 60 percent of TaeguTec’s revenue is generated from products that are less than five years old.
Two years ago, TaeguTec launched its GoldRush series to rave reviews. In response, this new line propelled sales to newer heights in difficult to penetrate markets like Japan where manufacturers are avidly searching for ways to reduce cost while increasing production.
The GoldRush CVD and PVD coated carbide grades with patented surface treatment technology is helping Japanese companies improve their machining performance.
TaeguTec applies this magical coating to virtually its entire line of cutting tools such as the Turn-Line and Bore-Line products and its highly sought-after Mill-Line series.
Since then, TaeguTec introduced the BlackRush series with its ultra-modern coating technology, and unique morphology. The result, much higher wear resistance to the insert compared to the competitors.
These innovative tools coupled with TaeguTec’s strong line of products makes it possible for Takahashi to offer a wealth of tools and services to companies looking to increase their market share in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Takahashi believes that the only way to continue this upward trend is by working with the end-users one-on-one, to show them through product demonstrations at their plants that TaeguTec tools are the best choice for their machining needs.