Travels of the WorldSodick Inc. Interview 1 with Sodick Inc. President Dave Thomas

President Dave Thomas President Dave Thomas Interview Interview Implementing strategies to expand Sodick’s high-quality manufacturing throughout the U.S., Canada, and South America. Interviewer: Miki Shimamura, caribou Inc.

Sodick’s global appeal.
The hidden potential in America.

You have worked around the world in the machine tool industry.
What did you find so appealing about Sodick that you decided to take charge as president?

It was Sodick’s high-quality manufacturing and technical excellence.
I did recognize the company as a leader in the industry.
The reason is that Sodick was the first company to introduce linear motors into the machine tool industry back in the 1990s and it fully utilized them in its products from 2001.
I also found the extremely open system configuration, such as the Windows-based motion controllers, very appealing.
But this excellent quality was not reflected in the U.S. market share at that time, which made me convinced I could further increase the market share and contribute to the company. That’s why I joined Sodick.

What impression did you get when you actually started to work at the company?

First of all, I wanted to reform the sales system.
In the previous system, the dealers were at the core of product sales rather than Sodick.
Not only that, but we had no direct relationship with the customers in service activities. I thought we could improve our market share if we changed this system.
I felt I had to make a system in which Sodick handles customers directly, to allow us to gain feedback on our products and create an environment that facilitates follow-up services.

Getting to know customer needs by
reforming the sales system

When you changed your sales policies, what changes did you see in practice?

デーブ・トーマス社長Some of our competitors in the U.S. use a sales strategy centered on direct sales but no other wire-cut electrical discharge machine manufacturer uses such a sales method.
We now have a more intimate relationship with our customers and are able to hear good reviews of our products from them.
And by removing the dealer from the equation, we can support our customers much more quickly.
We could increase the number of machines sold but in fact, the feedback gained from the customers allowed us to better support their servicing and other requirements.
At that time we had a 10% market share but this has now grown to 25%.