Regardless of size, it is still difficult for companies to open operations in new geographic markets. This also holds true for the ink industry, as numerous international ink manufacturers have had mixed success at gaining a sizable foothold in the marketplace, aside from actually acquiring existing businesses.
However, that may be changing, as Tokyo Printing Ink Corp. U.S.A.(TPIC) has brought in some new people and new product lines. Under the leadership of president Yasuhiko Yamamoto, the company is making sizable gains in key regions.
“We’ve assembled a pretty good team who are bringing in good ideas on how to do things better, and we are getting good results,” said Giovanni Medina, western U.S., Mexico and Canadian technical sales representative for TPIC. “We are being more aggressive in the marketplace, and are now starting to build momentum.”
According to Mr. Medina, who joined the company in January 2007, these efforts are bearing fruit. Sales for TPIC are up 30 percent overall, and a new dealership in Canada is likely to spur significant growth as well.
One of the keys in the company’s recent growth is its new emphasis on products. Previously, TPIC focused primarily on its Zipset line of sheetfed inks as well as its plastic division, which includes toner for laser printers and plastic colorants. Now, the company has added new ink lines that are drawing favorable results from customers. In addition to the Zipset line, TPIC now offers a well-rounded offset line, including forms ink, waterless ink, UV sheetfed and web and NS GP-1, TPIC’s high-quality sheetfed ink series.
Formulating these new products for the North American marketplace has been important to their success. Mr. Medina credits the parent company, Fujio Takasaki, TPIC’s technical liaison to Japan, and Jesse Chaparro, TPIC’s technical manager, for the new product development.
“Our parent company is really helping us out with our enhanced product line and new technologies,” Mr. Medina said.
TPIC has an extensive dealer network in place, and now the company is also providing semi-finished four color process inks, which are premilled and only need drier, wax and solvent/oil. The company’s sales team, including Mr. Medina, Alex Cusido, the Eastern U.S. sales representative, and Marissa Gutierrez, who heads the company’s customer service and sales support, are leading the efforts in the field.
“We work closely with our distributors, bringing them up to speed and making calls and attending press trials with them,” Mr. Medina said.
The results are paying off for Tokyo Printing Ink U.S.A.
“We want to become a leader in the North American market,” Mr. Medina said. “Our company already has good business in Latin America, and this will give us a good foothold on the continent. We’ve been growing steadily, but now is the time to grow at a more rapid rate. After all of our hard work, we are definitely getting a better reception in the market.”