TOTO
TOTO
  • 2 History of Opening Avenues to Overseas Markets - Aiming to be a Global Company Rooted in Each Country and Region While Holding the Beliefs of Our Predecessors
  • Prologue Overseas Business is the Origin of TOTO's founding
  • Our founder, Kazuchika Okura, drafted and put in place the words laying our foundation during the construction of the Kokura Plant on January 1, 1917. At the end of this declaration, Kazuchika Okura vowed to be sincere in all things and was strongly determined to promote true commerce by outperforming European products and responding to worldwide supply and demand. Moreover, these roots for the founding of TOTO align with the social contributions through the popularization of plumbing products.
  • The words laying our foundation in the Kokura Plant
  • “I declare to respond to worldwide demand and make trade thrive” written in the words laying our foundation
  • Prologue Roots of TOTO and Our Overseas Businesses
  • Embarking on Business in Indonesia
  • We have exported tableware and sanitary ware since our founding, but we began reaching out overseas with our business ventures into Indonesia in 1977. We also furthered our on-site survey for construction operators of plants and material procurement with the approval to establish SURYA TOTO INDONESIA (STI) as a joint venture company through local capital from an import distributor. The first team of eight members deployed to Indonesia traveled to the site in January 1978. The condition of public utilities in the region were much worse than the team had imagined. Electricity was generated with diesel and water was secured from wells. Communication required wireless Morse code. The business in Indonesia was literally starting from scratch.
  • Japanese on-site team and plant construction team
  • Starting our Indonesian business from scratch
  • “United Passion” to drive toward business success
  • However, in addition to the sincere support of our joint venture partner, the technical guidance of the hard working Japanese team, and measures to conform to the on-site situation, including a free breakfast program, ongoing work to secure communication opportunities such as meetings and employee trips brought us toward success. We were able to overcome different lifestyles, customs, and religions by combining the power of everyone, celebrating each and every small success, and sharing in the emotion. The work moved forward with “United Passion” thanks to our connection as human beings regardless of nationality. As a result, the project surpassed all expectations with plant operation beginning one month earlier than scheduled and becoming profitable two years before the three year plan.
  • SURYA TOTO INDONESIA (STI) Plant
  • We were able to overcome differences in cultures and religions by combining our strengths and celebrating the joy of each and every success.
  • Surpassing various differences to understand one another
  • The importance of an approach to understand one another beyond their values and various other differences is present even in our businesses expanding overseas today. The foundation of this approach is found in a memo from Hayato Kurokawa, who was the President of TOTO at that time. “To work in a multicultural arena, we must not push our own culture on others with the belief our culture is superior. We must understand the manners and customs in the country of our fellow man. We must always work not to see ‘differences’ as ‘something unwelcome’.” His words in this message ring true of our approach. The Japanese team members held fast to these words as a bible in their daily efforts.
  • Molding plant flow
  • The valuable experience earned from our Indonesia venture is passed down in our businesses expanding overseas today
  • 2 History of Opening Venues to Overseas Markets ─ Aiming to be a Global Company Rooted in Each Country and Region While Holding the Beliefs of Our Predecessors
  • TOTO, which was launched under the name Toyo Toki, was founded with the determination to open avenues to Asian and other overseas markets in addition to domestic markets. In the 100 years since our founding, we have been walking a path toward a global company recognized as a local corporation. Our history in reaching this ideal has been faced with many trials and tribulations.
  • Chapter 1 1980s acceleration into Asia
  • Overseas business headquarters opens
  • TOTO became serious about overseas ventures with the establishment of an overseas business headquarters in 1984.Last year, TOTO established a sales site in China, which is positioned as one of the company’s most vital markets. We had already received orders from China during the renovations of the State Guesthouse in 1979. Thereafter, we received many orders for TOTO plumbing equipment in the construction of skyscraper hotels being built in the heart of Beijing. We moved together with the explosive trends in China and established joint ventures in each country in Asia. We opened a location for sanitary ware in Thailand in 1986, a location for fittings in Thailand in 1987, and then subsequent locations in Korea and Taiwan.
  • Many well-known hotels and other properties in the heart of Beijing, China adopted TOTO products
  • Chapter 3 Triumph of Technology and Marketing
  • Over one million flushes in four years to earn trust
  • We felt the best way for customers to learn about our beautiful designs and high water-saving performance was for them to try our products. We have held exhibitions for kitchen and bath in each region worldwide (sales showrooms). We also traveled across the United states in a van with five of TOTO’s main products on display. In total, TOTO salespersons flushed our toilets to demonstrate our products over one million times in the four years after release. Praise and trust in TOTO products grew into loyalty through these ongoing and stable efforts. The high brand value we have cultivated depends on how much we can expand this loyalty to other products in the future. We are already undertaking this endeavor in products from WASHLETTM to baths and faucets. WASHLET is a trademark or registered trademark of TOTO LTD.
  • Traveling the United States in a motor home to exhibit our main products. Exhibition inside the motor home
  • Over one million toilet flushes over four years from release to demonstrate our products
  • Chapter 4 Long-term Strategy to Penetrate the Large Potential Market
  • Brand recognition is the first stage of overseas expansion
  • The challenge in United States was to combat the difficulty of entering into a new market that has already matured with customers, suppliers, and products. On the other hand, the challenges of entering China are related to being a pioneer. TOTO started cultivating brand awareness in China to fully penetrate the Chinese market while constructing a plant in Beijing. Brand recognition is positioned as the first stage to expand overseas (Table 1). The TOTO brand took its foothold locally by having products adopted at well-known properties such as hotels, airports, and offices. In addition to the brand recognition activities, we established BEIJING TOTO CO., LTD. In March 1994 as our first manufacturing site in China. The economic growth in China at that time was remarkable. Many foreign companies were focused on selling products manufacture with cheap labor to countries outside of China. TOTO aimed to sell all of the products it manufactured inside of China as it saw the country as a gigantic potential market from the start of this venture.
  • Table 1 Three stages to establish a brand
  • Chapter 5 Walking Continents to Penetrate Markets
  • Cultivating trust through Careful Discussion
  • The next challenge we faced after securing a site for manufacturing was building channels to sell our products throughout China. However, the unique business practices in China brought about concerns. Credit payments were the primary method of payments in China at the time and customers often fell behind in their payments. Therefore, we established a strict pay-in-advance policy. However, this meant TOTO was a fairly unknown company that was introducing luxury products never seen before while requiring payment in advance. This was an unknown business model in China. We had trouble finding many companies who would accept this policy and put our products in their stores. However, we bet on the small potential by visiting places such as local streets selling business materials to carefully explain our model at each store. We showed examples of our products implemented at properties such as hotels and airports in China as well as our Beijing plant to executives who became interested through our explanation. This was beneficial in communicating the future of China with innovative examples which we believed would become the standard one day. The final push was to present the site used by TOTO in Japan. These little steps forward are what opened valuable sales channels.
  • TOTO employee explaining our system to a Chinese retail store
  • Showing innovative examples to executives interested in our explanation to communicate the future
  • Chapter 6 Establishing the Brand with a Solid Strategy
  • Realizing TOTO as the Highest Luxury Brand
  • This is not an easy road, but we will gradually grow the number of stores that sell our products. As of 2016, we are handled by roughly 50 distributors. The opportunity that opened a wider path to our success was when the Chinese government indicated a direction to recognize private ownership of residences. People always become particular about their home and they want to use nice things with care. Toilets and other plumbing equipment are also indispensable in people’s daily lives. This drives higher demand for luxury products. The work we put into awareness of TOTO as the highest luxury brand led to the true value of our products as demand grew. Customer feedback that said people believed TOTO products were high quality even if expensive in addition to stating that are products are reliable was evidence of the trust we had earned as a luxury brand.
  • Kitchen & Bath China 2015
  • Offering a rich lifestyle experience through TOTO products to even more customers
  • Chapter 7 Potential of Asia and Oceania
  • Overview of Our Global Strategy for Markets and Manufacturing Sites
  • As of 2017, TOTO has grown its business to 19 countries and regions that include Japan, China, Asia and Oceania, the Americas and Europe. Asia acts as an essential global supply chain for TOTO to provide products to markets throughout the world. In 2014, with the aim to expand our business into the markets of developing countries, we began operation of a sanitary ware plant in Gujarat, India. The speed of our growth is also accelerating. All of the TOTO technology is becoming more advanced as the company expands worldwide through hard work between manufacturing sites, and we are realizing a high-level of homogeneous products. The “Made by TOTO” ideal flows consistently in the overseas businesses of TOTO. Things made at TOTO plants are guaranteed to have the same high quality cultivated in Japan even when manufactured at any plant worldwide. This is thanks to the pride of everyone who works at all of the TOTO manufacturing sites, including Japan.
  • Opening ceremony of the plant in India. Exterior of plant in India
  • Growth accelerates with the start of sanitary ware plant operations in India
  • Chapter 8 Toward Another 100 Years
  • To become the top brand worldwide now and in the future
  • TOTO aims to become a company rooted in each country and region that will continue to exist as a necessity for customers in their daily lives. Our ideals to realize this goal are to “take pride in our work and strive to do our best,” “Made by TOTO,” and a “United Passion.” We will hold the beliefs of our predecessors dear and continue to move forward for another 100 years with the aim of becoming the top brand desired in each country worldwide.
  • People form words at the 10th anniversary of TOTO VIETNAM