The One-stop Shop for Mechanical Components

Written by Jessica Ferlaino

With over twenty million products globally and an impressive eighty sextillion product configurations available via its e-commerce and print catalogue platforms, MISUMI is the world’s one-stop-shop for mechanical components. Its highly-attentive customer service team has exceptional knowledge and expertise.
MISUMI USA opened its doors in 1988 and this year is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary. It is a subsidiary of MISUMI Group, which is headquartered in Japan and has fifty-five years under its belt serving the worldwide factory automation industry as a manufacturer and distributor of a wide array of mechanical components.

MISUMI USA is ISO 9001:2015 certified and specializes in components for factory automation, press die and plastic mold, cutting and processing tools, fasteners, safety products, wiring, electrical and control components. It provides parts with no minimum order quantity and short, reliable lead times. In-stock components ordered by 7 p.m. EST, receive free same-day shipping from its Chicago, Illinois or Torrance, California distribution centers. If MISUMI does not manufacture a part, it supplies thousands of other brands to meet its customers’ needs.

Its engineering prowess, paired with the impressive selection of products has aided it in growing while satisfying customers.

The company operates by a ‘QCT’ model, which has been the secret to the company’s success. “Q stands for quality, C stands for the cost, and T stands for the time,” President Nobuyuki Ashida explained. “We try to make our quality high, costs to be competitive and lead times for the customer to be shorter so we can ship our product within one day.” According to Mr. Ashida, the QCT method is “one of the unique things we focus on and has enabled, MISUMI to succeed for the last fifty years.”

The company has over fifty thousand customers in the U.S. and 240,000 customers worldwide in industries such as automotive, appliance, semiconductor, medical, three-dimensional printing, consumer packaging and more.

“MISUMI is not only focused on the USA; we are truly a global company with worldwide resources. We have locations in Europe and across Asia. We continue to expand our global presence, so if we have a customer who has a global footprint of manufacturing locations, they might consider working with us on a global basis,” said Mr. Ashida.

Its twenty-four manufacturing facilities, sixty-two sales offices and over four hundred cooperating manufacturers around the world give MISUMI Group the ability to meet any growth in demand. Recently, the company expanded into Mexico and has its sights set on new frontiers.

“We decided to invest in Mexico, which is a one hundred percent owned subsidiary of MISUMI USA. We are also thinking about expanding into Canada. We do have quite a lot of customers in South America, so we are thinking of expanding into Brazil in the future,” explained Mr. Ashida.

“At this point, we can definitely cover any customers in North America, but in order to serve customers better, we need to have the manufacturing locations and distribution centers, warehouse locations, customer service and engineering support outside of North America,” he added.

MISUMI’s core business is factory automation, which Mr. Ashida acknowledged is the future of manufacturing processes around the world. Automation is especially important for manufacturers of labor-intensive products as production costs continue to increase. Factory automation helps to improve efficiency regardless of the industry.

“Manufacturing here in the United States is getting more and more expensive, so that customer might like to shift to the automation side which gives them opportunities where we can offer factory automation solutions. In those areas, we can definitely support customers shifting away from labor-intensive manufacturing processes to an automated manufacturing process.”

Mr. Ashida provided the example of electric vehicles and the potential for MISUMI USA in that area, as it can offer automotive manufacturers automation solutions and engineering support. “We are trying to support our customers so that we can grow together. We see a lot of great challenges for which we can offer solutions to the customer over time, so for us that becomes an opportunity,” he said.

One of the ways in which MISUMI USA has adapted to serve the needs of its customers better is through the Rapid Design suite, which includes inCAD Library, its online engineering application library, and inCAD Components, an add-in software to facilitate configuring customized parts via computer-aided design (CAD) platforms. This helps the customer have improved lead times as customers can now receive quotes and order from their CAD platform.

“They can design factory automation machines using our CAD add-in, which we call Rapid Design inCAD Components, to offer the customer ease of design when they are designing factory automation,” said Mr. Ashida. “We are trying to get the quotation to the customer on a three-dimensional basis.

“From the customer perspective, we can offer a one-stop solution. They don’t have to go to many shops or distributors to buy. They come to MISUMI, and as long as they’re in our scope of the business, they can find any engineering products, maintenance products or anything else they need from our webpage,” he explained.

MISUMI also encourages innovation in the industry through outreach efforts with education and youth. In addition to funding for engineering students and relevant university programs, it is a long-time sponsor of the FIRST® Robotics Competition. Last year, it became a Silver Supplier for the competition that engages high school students in designing and programming robots.

Mr. Ashida also described something called MISUMI Master Class, “which is highly technical training for master engineers in key companies to increase technical knowledge. We invite engineers and train them on the technical aspects of our more sophisticated product groups.”

MISUMI USA has a sound plan for growth that involves increasing awareness of its many solutions. The company’s growth rate is twenty percent, and Mr. Ashida hopes to see it become a $2 to $3 billion company over the next four to five years. It is on pace to achieve this.

Adding human resources will be of paramount importance in the growth strategy. Mr. Ashida recognizes that employees are the company’s greatest asset. “We need to attract more talented people, enticing them to join the company as we grow and continue to give more opportunity to the employees.”

MISUMI USA has been awarded as a supplier of the year by many of its customers for the value it brings, and customers can rest assured that MISUMI USA will sustain this level of manufacturing resources and support while it grows. As it builds upon a deep-rooted knowledge and understanding of the role factory automation plays and provides access to an unmatched selection of mechanical components, it will remain indispensable.



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