In a niche field, Taihei Machinery ensures that all of its customers’ needs are met.
“Collaborating closely with our customers, we are creating the future of the woodworking industry.“
Takeshi Saito, CEO Taihei Machinery Works, Ltd.
In the competitive landscape of global manufacturing, Japanese firms, particularly SMEs, have managed to maintain their leadership in niche B2B fields, despite stiff regional rivalries. Takeshi Saito, CEO of Taihei Machinery, a prominent Japanese woodworking equipment manufacturer, sheds light on the strategy for expanding its presence overseas while attracting new clients, recognizing that it's not all about price.
"We have come up with a formula that is quality plus working environment equals productivity, equals efficiency, and equals competitiveness," he says. "Catering to the needs beyond the customer’s expectations is something that defines Japanese manufacturing companies."
When it comes to overseas markets, Taihei Machinery tailors its products to meet the specific needs of foreign customers. For instance, their veneer dryers, presses, and grinders are designed to handle different types of wood not readily available in Japan. The company ships logs from abroad to Japan, allowing them to test and adjust the equipment accordingly and cross-check everything before delivering the final product, maintaining the company's reputation.
One of Taihei Machinery's notable products is the horizontal press, which offers a unique advantage over conventional presses. Its design eliminates thickness differences and ensures consistent quality, making it a preferred choice for customers seeking precision in their woodworking processes.
In terms of expanding their global footprint, Mr. Saito has a proactive approach, dispatching personnel to directly engage with potential clients overseas to fully understand their specific needs and promote suitable products. While Southeast Asia is a well-understood market, the company is actively seeking to strengthen its presence in Europe and North America, analyzing the market and formulating a clear plan for growth.
As the demand for sustainable materials rises, plywood has gained prominence for its eco-friendly qualities and Taihei Machinery aims to cater for this expansion. Ongoing research and development also sees the company look to explore innovative drying solutions to maintain moisture balance within wood, addressing a perpetual industry challenge.
"If we could implement this new solution within two years," Mr. Saito says, "it would be a fantastic achievement."