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HTM case studies in Japan

A Balanced Program Increases Sales and Profitability

This company manufactures semiconductor testing equipment. For nine years their products were sold through a major Japanese distributor based in Tokyo. Annual sales reached $3 million but plateaued at that level. Finally, the company decided to open its own office in Tokyo.

HTM did the initial planning, business modeling, budget preparation, facility acquisition, recruiting, and company registration for setting up the operation in Tokyo. Over the next five years, HTM provided the day-to-day management. During this time sales increased 500% to $15 million annually, and the Japanese office accounted for 35% of the company’s worldwide sales, and 65% of worldwide profits! This success story was due to the following factors.

  • HTM's experience in setting up a business entity in Japan and creating the financial models, budgets, and monitoring tools to control the business.

  • Focusing sales people on customers rather than spending time on in-house projects. Over a three-year period, customer meetings increased from an average of 1.5 per salesperson per week, to 9 per week.

  • Shortening the time to introduce new products from over 8 months to under 2 months following their introduction in the home country. This change was critical in making the company more competitive and able to capture increased market share.

  • Increasing advertising using direct mail and the media to reach new customers. This work was a key element in generating leads and increasing sales.

  • Improving the effectiveness of seminars featuring experts from the home office. Previous seminars, conducted without simultaneous interpretation, did not make it easy for customers to understand the added value that the products provided. By clarifying the products' advanced features these seminars were a key factor in taking market share from a domestic manufacturer, while maintaining a premium price.

  • Increasing the effectiveness of trade shows. This was accomplished by improving the booth design and using direct mail and media advertising to attract new customers. From the highest previous attendance, these changes tripled the number of qualified visitors to the booth.

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