Two months after their trip to Japan as part of the YES Program, CODIPRO (ALIPA Group) can already say it has charmed their Japanese partners as the first order for swivel lifting rings is already on its way towards the Land of the Rising Sun!
Last October, after being selected amongst several Belgian and Luxemburg companies, CODIPRO spent a week in Japan as part of the YES Program (Young Executive Stay Program IX). The YES program is a commercial export project under the auspices of His Majesty King Philippe. It aims to train young executives from Belgium and Luxembourg in successful Japanese business practices, at moderate costs, and in a short amount of time. For this purpose, in 2014, the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BLCCJ), the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (BJA) and the Chambre de Commerce de Luxembourg organized a one-week training program in Japan, beginning with two briefing sessions in Belgium.
To best approach Japanese market, which is renowned for being meticulous and demanding in the best of conditions, the 8 participants took several intensive training sessions in Belgium prior to departure, along with the on-site support of assistants sent by the organizers.
Benoît Cop, Export Manager at CODIPRO, explained some of the preparatory work prior to departure, “I worked with Ken Tanaka, a Japanese student who came to spend a few days in our manufacturing sites in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to broaden his knowledge of the characteristics and technical nature of CODIPRO’s swivel lifting rings in order to target potential partners more effectively. Then we talked through Skype and email to prepare the various meetings and define a business approach suitable for this particular market.”
The program was very successful for CODIPRO, upon returning, there was already a stock order.
The success of the YES Program came rapidly: the first order came just one month after returning from Japan. “Thanks to BLCCJ and BJA, we were already well prepared to tackle this demanding market. Punctuality, great politeness, respect for hierarchy, precision in our presentation… we followed all the recommendations and advice received from the Japanese market experts during the various preparatory sessions in Belgium. The quality of our swivel lifting rings, the technical rigour required at CODIPRO to manufacture them, our wide range of standard rings and the creation of specific swivel lifting rings by the unit in a very short space of time were accordingly arguments that convinced Japanese partners,” Benoît proudly says.
Very pleased of the trip’s success, Benoît Cop says of CODIPRO’s plans: there is already a second trip in the pipeline for the beginning of next year to go back and visit the distributors from the program in order to strengthen the relationship and generate new sales.