HOME > 経営をよくする > Vibrant SMEs of JAPAN

Vibrant SMEs of JAPAN

90% Domestic Market Share in Comic Book Film Wrapping Machines [Daiwa Hightechs]

Secret to Robustness
  • Developed comic book shrink wrapper and carved out new market.
  • Re-enforces customer-first principle to all employees.
  • Actively developing and releasing products for new market.

Daiwa Hightechs is in the business of making comic book shrink wrappers that wrap comic books in a film of plastic. The comic book shrink wrapper was developed by company president Koichi Oishi himself about 30 years ago. Oishi predicted that the comic book market would grow in the future, so he developed the comic book shrink wrapper. While many bookstore owners felt that wrapping comic books would prevent people from browsing and thus hurt sales, through Oishi's persistent salesmanship, ultimately he was able to establish a new market by proliferating his comic book shrink wrapper. The company currently boasts a 90% market share.

"Cat's Paws" for Loan

Daiwa Hightechs places the highest priority on putting customers first. Answering phone calls within three rings is a given, and if a call from a customer comes even during an important company meeting, the call will be taken. This is based on Oishi's view that "the company would not exist without customers, so customers are more important than any meeting." Most symbolic of the customer-first principle is the company's "cat's paws wrapping support service" in which company employees will travel to assist its bookstore customers with wrapping for several days prior to a new store opening or re-opening after remodeling. Even if the bookstore is in a remote location, Daiwa Hightechs will send employees out at no charge. Bookstores have become larger particularly in recent years, so the number of comic books to wrap continues to increase. The bookstores are very grateful for this service as they are so busy prior to opening that they are willing to accept even "cat's paws" as a pair of helping hands. The employees sent to help bookstores are not only salespeople but also include maintenance and administrative staff, and everyone goes willingly. This service in return generates tremendous loyalty from customers.

Daiwa Hightechs' support continues even after the opening of a bookstore. A customer support flier is sent to customers containing the names and photos of customer service, technical support, and supply reordering staff members so that there is no confusion when bookstores call for service. In addition, a notice is sent to customers one month prior to the expiration of a machine's warranty, recommending that service be done during the warranty period if there are any problems. In the event of a machine malfunction, a replacement machine is shipped out on the same day. Machines are designed so that the main unit can be divided into three sections, which allows it to be sent via parcel delivery service. This approach creates a framework where customers can use the machines with peace of mind.

The company also releases sales figures and other data to all employees every month. Sales are reported in detail such as totals by product and by customer. This is done because "even if you are an administrative or maintenance worker, you will have an opportunity to interact with customers, so this information can be used on those occasions," says Oishi.

Also Developing Products for Libraries and Convenience Stores

But the number of bookstores continues to decline. Although Daiwa Hightechs has been successful in attracting large bookstores as customers during the harsh economic climate, "We will create new foundational business from other book related operations," stresses Oishi. The company has its sights set on libraries and convenience stores as new customers. For libraries it offers eCoaty, a tabletop book film coating machine that wraps books in a protective film. This process has been performed by hand at libraries, requiring a degree of training, but with eCoaty anybody can apply the protective film simply. For convenience stores, the company has developed "Tape Shot," a tape sealing machine that prevents customers from browsing magazines at convenience stores. The company established new in-house divisions prior to releasing these products, and sales are gradually growing. "This year we will also pursue new ideas for marketing on the Internet," says Oishi of his plans to develop a new market.

Extremely successful

Extremely successful "Cat's Paws" wrapping support service

One Point: Key Point is Foreign Market

Service Cannot be Imitated

Daiwa Hightechs president Oishi developed a new market with the comic book shrink wrapper, and the company has differentiated itself from other companies with its diehard customer-first approach. Although in the past other companies have entered the market with lower priced products, they left the market after three or four years. This is because "even if they can imitate the machine, they cannot imitate our service or sales methods," says Oishi. The company's strength lies in a true customer-first philosophy that pervades the entire company.

Company Data

President:Masatomi Iwanami

President:Koichi Oishi

Company name Daiwa Hightechs
President Koichi Oishi
Industry Type Machine manufacturing
Address 1-34-27 Sakashita, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Phone 03-3558-8131

Printing day:April 22, 2014

Recent Posts