Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
In the early ‘90s Coilcraft Incorporated, an Illinois-based manufacturer of inductors, saw demand for its products skyrocket as a result of pioneering work it had done for Motorola’s cellular handset division. As the only supplier of high Q wire wound inductors to the RF marketplace, Coilcraft was in an enviable position to exploit its frim hold on the technology.
Coilcraft has a long history of overseas manufacturing. With plants in Scotland, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, and China Coilcraft was well positioned to be a valued supplier to Japanese handset manufacturers which at the time were beginning to penetrate the US and European markets. Without the ability to sell to Japanese customers, Coilcraft risked being shut out of an emerging market.
Coilcraft initially contracted with Asia Business Group to provide strategic advice. Before long, however, our role was expanded to provide Coilcraft with direct access to Japanese cellphone manufacturer’s R&D, design engineering, and purchasing groups globally.
The project started with a strategic assessment which resulted in targeting the headquarters of Japanese cell phone companies with U.S. manufacturing subsidiaries and then expanded to all 14 Japanese cell phone companies operating globally. Over time, consumer electronics companies were also targeted. Sales channels were built and managed. The project culminated with the hiring of a direct Coilcraft employee and the establishment of a Coilcraft-Japan office.
- Between 1992 - 1998 sales of Coilcraft inductors to Japanese manufacturers both inside and outside of Japan reached $4 million annually.
- ABG tied together Coilcraft’s regional sales offices to support the Japan-based business resulting in sales to Japanese manufacturing plants in North America, Europe, and Asia.
- ABG developed a database of over 600 Japanese design engineers, R&D, and purchasing managers working at all the major Japanese electronics OEMs.
By providing in-country support to Japan’s major cell phone and consumer electronics OEMs, and by focusing on servicing Japan’s international manufacturing network, Coilcraft was able to engage with Japanese manufactures in a way that none of its competitors were able to do. Unlike contracting with a commission-based sales agent who would have little incentive to cooperate with Coilcraft’s global sales network, Asia Business Group was able to tie together Coilcraft’s regional sales offices to expand global sales to Japanese manufacturers.