Sunco Continues to Be Japan's Largest Fastener Distributor
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Sunco Continues to Be Japan's Largest Fastener Distributor

Interview with Yoshihide Okuyama, President of Sunco Industries 
 

1.   Can you give us some information about your company?

→ Sunco, a trading company specializing in fasteners, has a tradition and track record of over 75 years. We have approximately 500 employees as Japan's largest distributor. Our company has developed and expanded a distribution center utilizing IT and new technologies.

The reliable products supplied by Sunco will always be useful to users all over the time. With the wide variety of products, you will definitely find what you are looking for.

Approximately 2 million types of products are handled with thorough quality checks performed. Equipped with an automatic warehouse dedicated to loose products and a case/pallet system warehouse that can store a huge amount of products. We have an advanced logistics system that carefully stores products and safely delivers them.

2.   Where are your distribution and sales offices located? Are there any plans for new locations?

→ All of our distribution bases are concentrated in Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka, the largest fastener production area in Japan, and we are strengthening our logistics functions on a daily basis.

Specifically, we have introduced a state-of-the-art shipping system using image processing technology.

By introducing one of the world's largest Rotary Rack in our automated warehouse, we manage to stock more JIS-standard screws (metric size screws) and ship them at high speed. *Rotary Rack is a product of OKAMURA CORPORATION.

We believe that these logistics functions will be really useful for our overseas customers.

Our mission is to provide our customers with products as quickly and reliably as possible.

With the remarkable evolution of global logistics, we deliver [as much as you want, when you want it, and as quickly as you want it] from Japan.

We have two bases, the Osaka Head Office and the Tokyo Branch Office. We currently have no plans to expand our sales bases overseas. However, our customer order web service, "3QNET" enable our overseas customers to easily check our inventory status, prices, drawings, photos and other information and place orders from abroad.

We are more than happy to send a start kit, including a catalogue, free of charge to customers.

If you are interested in, please contact us. (Contact: export@sunco.co.jp)

3.   What are your most ordered products?

→ We currently have more than 2,000,000 items, including not only all JIS-standard (metric) screws, but also many products unique to Japan, such as nuts to prevent loosening, anti-theft screws. We also have many orders for thin-headed products such as space-saving screws, SEMS screws and Hex socket screws. Our strength lies in the wide variety of materials and surface treatments, as well as in the large number of sizes we can offer. We also have a wide range of ROHS-compliant products.

4.   Based on your experiences, what services do customers value the most from the order to delivery stage?

→ We think it is convenience. We are convinced that customer satisfaction comes from being able to receive products easily, quickly, accurately, as well as by the cost - similar to the experience of buying products from Amazon.

We have received awards in the past for our use of advanced IT.

More recently, we have combined mathematical modelling and IT to improve many operations and provide even better customer support.

5.   Are there any advantages to being a Japanese company?

→ Yes. First of all, we have dominated the fasteners industry in Japan for over 75 years. We have business relationships with more than 1,300 high-quality screw-related factories in Japan and our main products are always in stock.

Even a single small screw contains a great deal of technology and we believe that Japanese screws are the best in the world when it comes to a sense of security and reliability in the final product. Over the years this has been proven to be the case and we are confident that it will continue to be so in the future. Additionally, as a result of the recent CBAM and usage restrictions of materials from Russia, many companies are concerned about supply chains. We believe that we can be of help in this regard in terms of "securing a stable supply chain," which is an important issue in business.

6.   What differentiates your company from your competitors?

→ Compared to our competitors in Japan, we are able to handle more items.  We have a highly sophisticated supply system that allows us to ship orders in single units and to achieve a short lead time from order to shipment.  We also have a huge product database with our website - 3QNET. We are proud of our products catalogues and our customer order web service [3QNET], easy and convenient for our customers to use. We will send a start kit including catalogues free of charge to customers.

If you are interested in this service, please contact us (Contact: export@sunco.co.jp). There is no company in the fastener industry in Japan that does not know our company.

7.   What do you think about the development of the fastener industry on a regional basis?

Recently we found that JIS fasteners are often used for repair of Japanese cars and motorbikes. Also, Many countries around the world use Japanese-made end products such as machine tools, and operation machines. Even now, there are a lot of Japanese cars on the road in the US, and its repair industry is not small. Also, in 1970s large number of Japanese motorbikes were exported to EU, the US and south Africa and even now there are a lot of motorbike lovers there.

From the sustainability point of view, the demand for maintenance in the fastener industry will increase in many countries around the world.

8.   In what direction do you think customer demand and trends in this sector will increase?

→ We do not expect any major changes in demand and trends in the fastener industry in Japan, as it is already a mature industry. However, there should be a stable demand and trends in the mature industry because the product accuracy is very high, product variety is very rich, and there are no substitute products for screw in fastening parts. Therefore, we believe that there should be stable demand and trends.

9.   What are your company's goals and future investment plans?

→ Our goal is to be recognised as being the best fasteners distributors in the world and to deliver high quality screws made in Japan globally. To deliver JIS products from Japan to the rest of the world, we are strengthening our logistics function and investing in a system that helps people understand the high quality of our products and the ease with which orders can be placed and processed. For example, we have systems that enable customers to choose multi-currency payment as well as the use of English names for screw standard.

10.  What corporate strategies do you think are necessary to maintain and further develop your position in global and local markets and to further develop?

→ At the heart of our business ethos is to provide screws in the same way that you would purchase from Amazon or other retailers. We continue to provide services that "there is no screw that doesn't exist". In other words, we believe that the company that can provide a true one-stop service will continue to be loved by customers in the future. Our main customers are trading companies and dealers in various countries. Companies in this business category are sometimes not satisfied with EC site because they are mainly designed for the B to C businesses. We would like to be like the Amazon of JIS standard (Metric) screws for [trading companies and dealers in each country].

11.  Please feel free to add any other information that should be specified.

→ It would be great if you come to visit our advanced and automated logistics center.

We take pride in that our logistics center makes the best use of IT and mathematical model is one of the best facilities in the world.

Also, it is said that Japan is beautiful and kind friendly country and Osaka where our company located is very attractive place for sightseeing.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to us (Contact: export@sunco.co.jp).