Satoru Moriya
President
Misumi Mexico
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View from the Top

Misumi: Fast, Accurate Delivery Requires Certain Mindset

By Jan Hogewoning | Mon, 07/13/2020 - 05:00

Q: What is your strategy to become the go-to supplier of automation components for automotive companies?

A: There are two elements to our strategy: innovation and time management. Our goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes from the initial request to delivery, resulting in an overall lower cost for the client. Cost should not be viewed as simply the ticket price on the product, but the total of all the processes involved in getting the product. This starts with the design phase at the customer’s operations, where it decides what specifications it requires. It even includes the time it takes to send an invoice and obtain the payment. Clients can easily select a product from our e-catalogue. Our response time is one second and we start the order process in less than 15 minutes. In some conventional companies this can take a day or even a week. The ability to save time with our supply management means engineers have great advantages when sourcing a product, while saving costs. Our goal is to be accurate and reliable in our deliveries, completing them on time 99 percent of the time.

Q: Besides being Japanese, what is Misumi’s advantage when approaching Japanese OEMs and suppliers in the Mexican market?

A: Many of these companies are used to our products in Japan. They know the service and the quality of our manufacturing tools. Quality is highly valued in this industry because products like molds and dies must be very accurate. Toyota is building new operations in Guanajuato. They will have to build their supply chain. Our offer has over 20 million products. Because we provide such a wide range of products, we are also able to make their supply chain smaller. They will not need to source products from a lot of different distributors.

Q: How on track is Misumi in contracting non-Japanese automotive suppliers in the Bajio region and northern Mexico?

A: We have been in the US for more than 20 years and the companies that work with us there already know us, much like the Japanese companies. Because of our experience there, we provide products that meet US automotive standards. We can also meet the standards of other countries, such as Germany. In Europe, we have a variety of automotive companies working with us. We can provide the service they need here in Mexico. One of the advantages is that they do not have to import the products themselves and go through customs. They can use us.

Q: How does Misumi stay updated on the latest trends in industrial equipment and Industry 4.0 technologies and practices?

A: We maintain close contact with OEMs and adjust our portfolio in line with the latest trends and requirements. It is important to point out that we are not only distributors but also manufacturers of components. These are made in Japan, Vietnam and China. We can offer configurable products that fit the needs of the customer.

One reason we came to Queretaro is because we were able to locate ourselves next to one of our subsidiaries, Dayton. It manufactures mold and die components. Having operations very close to each other means we can work together to service clients. We also have a large warehouse in Mexico, which allows us to deliver the next day. For components from Japan, we use daily airfreight Monday through Saturday to guarantee quick delivery. Although these efforts are not all directly related to Industry 4.0, our goal is to use technologies to improve our service.

Q: What is an important lesson you have learned from your experience here in Mexico?

A: There is sometimes a communication gap that hampers business. You may be received by a company’s management with open arms, but this does not always translate into actual collaboration. It can be months before you hear from them again. Many companies also do not follow the same mindset when it comes to ordering products. They will call a distributor for a product but when a follow-up is required, there can be significant delays. I think there needs to be a shift of mindset here. At the same time there are many companies looking to upgrade their logistical network with better communication, especially European companies. This means adopting invoicing technology and making everything digital. We can help in these cases.

Generally speaking, we find that our service is well-appreciated. This has led to growth and allowed us to meet our sales targets. We are now updating our e-catalogue to make it more user friendly. We have also started to think about moving away from third parties in terms of distribution. Sometime next year, we hope to be able to deliver ourselves.

 

Misumi is a global provider of fixed and configurable components for the manufacturing industry. Its catalogue spans over 20 million products. It also manufactures its own parts through subsidiaries in Japan, Vietnam and China

Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst