Posted : Oct 24, 13

Category : Meet the President

Developed the Speciality Market with Only 1 Technology at No Additional Tooling Cost/Meet the President #27-Mr. Takashima

Mr. Takashima took the totally different business approach from other SME manufacturers; Differentiation Strategy. He initiated Awareness Reform, Direct Marketing and Information Transmission by himself and has proceeded further to establish new marketing program of "not-the-order-taker but the demand-creator".


Find out why and how presidents of MOBIO exhibitors have started

"INNOVATION and CHALLENGE" through the special interview.

No.27 is Mr. Takashima of ***MITSUMOTO RASENKAN KOGYO CO., LTD. (Find Details) ***

- Multilayer bellows, Thin-walled bellows, Flexible tubes

Bellows is an instrument that draws in air or liquid by expansion and contraction through a valve and expels it through a tube. Metal bellows is widely used at manufacturing factories, nuclear power plant and space venture.

P1050140-400 P1040725-400
Bellows Four layer bellows explanation by wall ( with an layer indcation number)
●Switched to direct sales distribution

MITSUMOTO RASENKAN KOGYO CO., LTD. was established in 1974 as a flexible tube manufacturer. The flexible tube is the freely bendable metal tube and widely used at water piping and gas piping for housing market, industrial market and various plants. It consists of 60% at Mitsumoto's turnover.

When Takashima succeeded in management, many of customers discontinued business with MItsumoto because they placed order based on personal relationship with previous CEO.

"Under sudden business crisis I was forced to operate the company. So I had decided to take my innovation and challenge, changing distribution completely from wholesales to direct sales. I wished to leave from the price only market to produce value added product market on differentiation strategy ." says Takashima.


●ISO certification without consultant's guidance

1 095-600s 1 107-400
Skill Certification Cards 3S Activity example

Immediately after he posted the new strategy in January 1996, he had received an offer from the company in the same trade if he took over the bellows business unit as a package because of business discontinuance. Takashima was very pleased to have accepted the proposal and then invited their customers to his factory. After factory tour, however, those customers refused to start business with Mitsumoto, saying "This site is too dirty and is out of our standard".

He was so surprised to hear and had made up his mind to implement drastic change for survival and declared "We will obtain ISO certification by ourselves" to all employees. "It was considered to be too difficult for the SME to acquire ISO without any assistance by consultant. After three years' hard study by all employees Mitsumoto finally was certified by ISO9001 on February 2000." says Takashima. It was surprising news and was reported by mass media that the SME acquired ISO certification by themselves. Since then ISO certification was their credentials assisting marketing activities.

This continuous challenges and successes motivated employee's consciousness greatly. Employees voluntarily started three S activity and have improved operation environment. Moreover with promotion to acquire certification, many employees have become skilled operators and some of them have been certified by Osaka city as "Osaka Techno Master"s. Now they are a group of highly skilled craftsmen.


●The speciality market, paying 10 times more than that for mass production models

The smallest diameter bellows

Knowing changes in the company Takashima firmly believed the time had come to take the vital differentiation strategy. Among many bellows manufacturers they have the Only One Technology nobody could imitate. That's exclusive deep drawing technology.

Generally bellows production requires exclusive tooling, that needs lead time to fabricate and additional cost. On the contrary Mitsumoto takes exclusive process to manufacture by combining several tooling parts out of the shelves. They do not need any additional tooling or extra tooling cost at all. And they could meet any special order of small quantity at shorter lead time. It literally "Win-Win" business model both for Mitsumoto and customers. Mitsumoto is in a position to price reasonably to offset paid charges and customers save tooling cost.

Apart from mass production bellows pressed once from inside, their bellows are fabricated by pressing seven times from outside to minimize unnecessary pressure to metals and to improve durability and precision. Their process is very time-consuming and typical to SME, however that result in superior characteristics to mass-production models. "Our bellows are custom made by craftsmen and cost 10 times more than that of mass production bellows. Instead it is no comparison at durability and precision. And I have decided to focus such a market that specialises ultra high precision." says Takashima.


Firstly he targeted universities and institutions that demand high quality at small quantity as the first step because he was confident to receive additional order if he could start any business with them. In order to deliver information to the target customers Takashima has used trade shows and WEB very positively. When he renewed their corporate WEB site in 2004 to rephrase custom-made production, in one week he could receive an order. Understanding effectiveness of IT tools, Takashima started Blog, Twitter and Facebook and has made Mitsumoto a well-known corporation in Japan. Business account is increasing year by year and now comes up to 46 universities, 27 institutions and more than 1000 high tech corporations. As of today one third of their business has been brought via internet system.

They are no more the normal SME whose price is decided by the market, but take initiatives in value evaluation. It has been reported by a lot of mass media as the manufacturing SME who has succeeded in survival by advanced IT management and has been rewarded by many prizes.

"Thanks to IT network we could switch our distribution to direct sales from wholesale operation. For us information generation by internet is the given gift. I will continuously transmit information actively." says Takashima.