JMEC Case Study : Instant UpRight (Winner of the JMEC 16 Competition)
Irish manufacturer of scaffolding, Instant UpRight, attended the JMEC competition in 2010/2011 with the aim of developing the Special Scaffold business in Japan and its associated markets. They already had been supplying standard type products to Japan since the early 1990s but wished to tap more into the considerable Japanese market and its associated global markets.
On realising the great achievement of the JMEC team in achieving 1st prize in the competition, Instant UpRight appointed Ms. Yamakawa, one of the members of the JMEC team, on a contract basis to develop in particular new opportunities for Instant UpRight’s innovative Quick Erect Boiler scaffolds in Japan’s power industry.
The predominance in this market with the three major players of Hitachi (BHK), Mitsubishi (MHI) and IHI, plus others such as Toshiba, make Japan a perfect partner for Instant UpRight.
However, the pace of infrastructural type investments, where a boiler project may take five years from start to commissioning, illustrates the long time scale of any such undertaking.
“Yamakawa’s analysis of the market finally lead us to team up with Planned Maintenance Corporation-PMC, one of the major players amongst Japanese power plant equipment and accessory providers with a reach to both the local Japanese market and the global market,” said John Breen.
PMC began its life within the Mitsui world but in 2004 was established as a separate commercial organisation. PMC focuses on selling Japanese equipment to industries worldwide and also on promoting innovative products to Japanese clients.
“In targeting PMC, Yamakawa had reviewed the match for the ability of PMC to introduce Instant UpRight into new markets in Japan and support such markets with commercial back-up,” states Breen.
The major benefit of a cooperation with JMEC for a European market entry project, according to Breen, is not only the potential exposure to the Japanese market, which is significant, but also the considerable “market glow” and the marketing network that doing business with Japanese companies provides.
“Japan, and by extension JMEC, is a marketing power source second to no other market globally,” says Breen.
“Overcoming the significant hurdles to enter the Japanese market, coupled with the due diligence that Japanese companies apply to business, opens doors everywhere. In fact, it not only opens doors, but it opens doors to high end markets,” Breen adds.
To date Instant UpRight’s engagement with JMEC has resulted in securing a major project in Taiwan in partnership with IHI and also access to a project in Taiwan in possible partnership with MHI. PMC have also opened up opportunities for Instant UpRight in Turkey and Morocco.
PMC’s participation in the “International Conference on Electrical Machines and Systems” in Sapporo in October 2012 also resulted in considerable new market opportunities.
“This event generated significant enquiries and interest for us. We expect that the first of many million dollar plus orders will be placed this year,” says Breen.
“Thus our participation in JMEC, and resulting cooperation with PMC, has provided us with major growth to our future business not only in Japan but also in global markets.”