BreakThrough Success Case

NVCE is an Important Source of Surprising & Valuable Ideas From Customers in Different IndustriesEARTHTEC Co.,Ltd

SUCCESS CASE

2018.12.11

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CEO Katsumi Nakajima at Earthtec Co., Ltd. headquarters in Mishima, Shizuoka

Earthtec Co., Ltd.’s primary business is the development, design, prototyping and production of mechatronics, which control machine parts using microcomputers. Their work involves a synergistic combination of experienced specialists in three diverse technologies: mechanical parts to make machines move, the electronic circuits inside, and microcomputer software to control everything. Receiving massive support from major electronics manufacturers, Earthtec’s development team usually has prototypes are ready just a few months after a project order is received, with the ability to respond quickly to specification changes and additions.

In 2008, Earthtec began developing its own product catalog to utilize the technical know-how gained from years as an OEM for major manufacturers. Development of original products both increases Earthtec’s appealing points to outsiders, and improves employee motivation. The first products were an LED lighting unit and a hybrid storage inverter, which continue to be popular items with good reputations. Trade shows have become an important venue for business talk to promote Earthtec’s original products, and a substantial substitute for a commercial storefront.
2017 was Earthtec’s first year at NVCE, and they had a positive experience. We talked with CEO Katsumi Nakajima to learn more.

CoSign Pict color LED blackboard stands are the most popular model of LED lighting units. Users can freely draw and erase designs with water-based markers
ECI-15 hybrid storage inverter, inspired by the Tohoku earthquake disaster

Why did you join the New Value Creation Exhibition?
Most of our product development was OEM orders, so we didn’t have any of our own products to attract outsiders, and we were struggling to acquire new customers. So we started developing our own product catalog in order to utilize the technical experience we gained as an OEM. After we released LED lighting units like the Cosign handwritten message board and the CoSign Pict color blackboard stand, and the ECI hybrid storage inverter series, we were able to run a booth at exhibitions, and we could finally gain new customers. In 2017, we were fortunate enough to join the New Value Creation Exhibition.

Have you seen positive effects or changes in your business due to joining NVCE?
Yes, there are 2 merits to joining NVCE. First, we are able to promote our own products and expand sales. We don’t have a storefront, so trade shows are a place for us to talk business. Second, we are able to hear surprising and valuable ideas from customers. NVCE is a venue to to connect with people in different industries, it’s an important source of information.
Likewise, trade shows allow customers to see our products up close, so our booth is place for people to seriously investigate the value and utility of our products. Last year we made some sales because we could talk to customers directly and explain what they are and how they can be used. We also made connections that led to appointments to visit potential clients. NVCE was an extremely fruitful opportunity for Earthtec to meet people in different industries and get a foot in the door with new customers.

Were your staff surprised by their exhibition experience?
Of course we propose ideas for original product development at work, but discussion always involves the same people so we don’t get many good ideas. But at trade shows like NVCE, there are people from different industries, so you get customers looking at the LED lighting units and they say, “Do you think it could be used for this?” and give us fresh ideas. That’s why I would say that everyone at Earthtec, including myself, was startled in a good way by NVCE.

What kind of techniques did you use for your exhibits?
Different styles of booth will affect the number of people who stop and look. We’re lucky that we could use our own original LED lighting units to catch the eyes of visitors, we stood out from a distance and it attracted a lot of people. I think it’s the main point at exhibitions that makes us stand out and brings customers to the booth. I also thought that it was easy for us to answer the questions of visitors because our display products were simple and easy to understand. It was easy for us to explain about LED lighting and emergency power supplies.

Can you tell us about your future projects?
Earthtec is going to continue developing new original products based on our experienced technical know-how. We believe that we can make connections with clients at trade shows for mechatronics development projects that take advantage of our technical know-how, leading to an increase in orders. That’s why it’s becoming so important to gain new information that will aid us in product development from venues like NVCE, where we can talk with people from different industries.

Interview Date: October 18, 2018

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As a manufacturer of electronic devices and equipment, we engage in the design, development, prototyping, mass production, and maintenance of mechatronics products. Our internal electric, mechanical, and software designers allow for short-term functional prototyping of mechatronic system equipment. We are also capable of flexible support to meet customer requirements.

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