Travels of the World
Interview 2 with Sodick Inc. President Dave Thomas

Two new core strategies implemented to expand sales.

What did you do after creating the sales system to sell directly to customers?

President Dave Thomas In the first year, we concentrated on the direct sales strategy. After that, we put our efforts into after-sales service.
We did two things: the first was enhancing servicing and maintenance and the other was expanding the sales of consumables and spare parts.
In about 2004, we launched the SodickCare premier warranty program and started sales activities to sell consumables and spare parts to customers directly over the phone.

What is SodickCare?

A: It’s a warranty program that extends the warranty beyond the standard one-year period.
The standard warranty period in the American machine tools industry is one year. SodickCare is sold as a 3-year program that extends the standard one year period by two years or a 5-year program that extends the standard one year period by four years.
The programs only cover just replacement by genuine spare parts and the cost of the service technician, but also allow consumables to be purchased at a discount.

What are the advantages for the customer?

President Dave Thomas
Comprehensive support system offers peace-of-mind after purchase
In America, some customers run machines 24 hours a day, while others only use them for a few hours a day.
For the first type of customer, the ability to anticipate repair costs three or five years in advance is extremely popular.
However, some customers who run a machine for only a short time every day don’t really need SodickCare even if they use the machine for three years.
If a machine with a 5-year SodickCare extended warranty option is sold as a used machine after three years, the warranty can be transferred to the new owner, which boosts the price of the used machine.

Tell me more about selling consumables and spare parts over the phone.

President Dave Thomas
Regular contact allows good communication with the customer
We have developed a system to stay in close contact with our customers.
Our staff talk to the customers directly on the phone to ask about the state of the machine and, if necessary, conduct sales activities.We currently call customers at least once a week to determine the situation.
Concentrating on sales alone leaves you susceptible to ripples in the economy. I think that focusing on after-service is critical to build a stable foundation for sales.

What is next after establishing sales routes and sound foundations for after-service?

What do you have in your mind to tackle next?

I’ll try to grow our market share.
Our market share is currently 25% and I want to expand it to 30%.
Sodick Inc. covers the U.S., Canada, and South America. Our staff of 60 will work hard to expand the market share, but in addition to human effort I am emphasizing the need to move us up the search engine rankings.
I think there is room to further expand our after-service sales too. I am introducing a new SodickCare plan that extends the warranty for another two years when the initial three or five years expires.
In addition, I am expecting continued 10% annual growth in consumable sales into the future.
Because the competition is so fierce in the wire-cut electrical discharge machine market, I’ll be very careful as I grow our sales.