NVCE is a Goldmine of Unexpected Connections & Fresh Ideas From Colorful CustomersWINCESS Corp
Wincess welcomes connections with manufacturers in both similar and different industries. Each opportunity is approached with an even, open mind
Since 1961, Wincess has been a manufacturing vendor of gloves, specializing in gloves for industrial use. Work gloves are used across an incredibly wide variety of industries, from precision engineering, to clean room work, to medical and welfare facilities. The sophisticated production line can handle mass production of classic products as well as specialized small lot orders.
The puncture resistant safety gloves have a great reputation for softness and allowing high work performance. They are built to resist puncture from the tiny waste of metal machining like burrs and shavings. Customers can also request custom gloves with very specific puncture protection areas, whether it’s full coverage, or just the fingertips or the back of the hand.
Hand control mittens are used to prevent patients from pulling out their own IV lines or other tubing. Unlike similar products from other companies, Wincess mittens allow the patient to move their fingers inside. Nurses only need to unzip the outer pouch to inspect the patient’s wrist and hands. Both patients and nurses feel less stress with this easy-to-use product.
We talked with the CEO, Katsuyuki Hashimoto.
Why did you join the New Value Creation Exhibition?
Wincess joined NVCE for the first time in 2016. It was an opportunity to discuss business with people in unfamiliar industries, so instead of our primary product, gloves, the display focused on other possibilities: it was custom order fabric covers for clean room robots and equipment. Because it was our first time at a tradeshow, we struggled to prepare an adequate product introduction pamphlet. The paragraphs explained that these were custom products and Wincess could make various kinds of covers, but it just wasn’t clear enough. Expo visitors wanted concrete examples of possible products.
Custom products are order-made, so our involvement ends after the product is sent to the customer. The display only contained covers - no photos of the covers in action, or examples to explain to visitors about the ways these covers can be used.
Still, you came back in 2017
Our second year, Wincess joined NVCE again with significant improvements. The products on display were carefully selected to provide context about how they were used. Our puncture resistant safety gloves and patient hand control mittens earned a lot of attention as work-related accident prevention tools. The fabric equipment covers were presented objectively as sample products, instead of a suggestion of possibilities. Even though our expo team was reluctant to limit the range of display products, we had learned that it was more important to provide clear examples to potential customers. NVCE visitors were welcome to handle the sample products, and we were easily able to answer their focused questions.
What merits do you see in exhibiting at NVCE?
With over 50 years of history making gloves, most of Wincess’s customers were regulars from the previous generation. NVCE is an excellent opportunity to get views from people in other industries, whether they’re expo visitors or staff of another company’s booth. It’s easy to start a dialogue about matching a customer’s requests. Some of our current prototypes began from those casual conversations. I can’t reveal the details yet, but one of our clients who is interested in the hand control mittens has requested something similar in a wrist supporter style. We have already shown a few samples and I think we’re close to agreeing on a final design.
There are also ideas that don’t make it to production. Someone asked us to make fabric keys. Wincess made a good design, but it had to be abandoned due to costs and some other issues.
Expos bring in unexpected requests like that. It was a learning experience for Wincess, we had fun working on it. I’m looking forward to more projects like that. Manufacturers in every field need at least one event like this to make themselves seen. Cross-industry tradeshows like NVCE are an important opportunity to connect with exhibitors and visitors in completely unrelated industries.
Can you tell us about your future projects?
We acquired the latest model of cutting machine, and a laser cutting machine, which will allow us to make custom orders without a metal mold. Basically, it will reduce our production costs, especially for small lots and specialized fabrics. We want to create whole new categories of gloves.
There’s a new product under development that’s progressing well: a filter that adjusts the air flow from AC units. I think we have the right tech for this field, considering that custom parts are still so expensive.
Currently most of our sales are business-to-business, but it has become common for the general public to buy commercial grade items, so we’re looking into business-to-customer sales as well.
Hashimoto humbly explained, “We’re not very good at finding what’s missing in the world, or asking the world what it wants. We just build to match the customer’s request.” The reality is that researching and analyzing customer needs, building prototypes and releasing a finished product is a very difficult process. Wincess’s capability to interpret each customer’s request and provide a satisfactory product is thanks to decades of experience with fabric products technology, and a clear starting point for development. Hashimoto is eager to collect new ideas at NVCE and make them real. We are looking forward to Wincess’s upcoming exhibition product displays.
We manufacture clean gloves that are indispensable for quality control and yield improvement used in manufacturers of electronic parts, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, food, etc. In domestic production lines, we are producing small lots and made-to-order products using laser-cutting mold-free production technology for products such as puncture-resistant gloves, mouse complement gloves, and medical products.
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