Opening up the Japanese window market - 2018

By focusing on the areas where they have competitive advantages, ASSA ABLOY employees from New Zealand, Japan and China have made a breakthrough in the competitive window hardware market in Japan.

ASSA ABLOY New Zealand has a strong position in its home market where it operates under several leading brands, such as Yale, Interlock, Lockwood and ABLOY.

“We are an OEM specialist which enters strategic partnerships with our customers,” says Frank Morris, product management director at ASSA ABLOY New Zealand. “We customize our products to the clients’ needs and design the products specifically for the customers’ applications.”

Meanwhile, ASSA ABLOY has been active in the Japanese market since the 1970s, exporting products to a Japanese distributor. However, in 2014-2015, ASSA ABLOY decided to set up its own OEM business unit in Japan.

“Now, we import the products and sell them directly to the customers,” says Hiroyuki Komamura, OEM manager at ASSA ABLOY Japan. “For us this means a new commercial and logistic route, without an intermediary, and also a new pricing structure which has made us more competitive.”

The recent collaboration also involved ASSA ABLOY’s Guli manufacturing facility in China. Some 10 years ago, Frank helped relocate a large part of the New Zealand manufacturing business to Guli.

The Guli manufacturing facility was able to meet the extremely high expectations from Japanese customers regarding quality. Today ASSA ABLOY Japan employs seven people and sales amount to 12 percent of the New Zealand business.

 

We have products with high quality that cannot be copied

 

“We’re in a very good position,” says Frank. “We’ve got six different types of new products to be launched within the next eight to 12 months. Some are completely redesigned for carrying heavier weights and some are designed for specific customers. Quality is very important in Japan and with the new generation of integrated friction stays we have products with high quality that cannot be copied.”

ASSA ABLOY Japan’s sales amount to 12 percent of the New Zealand business