Tomoku Hus is built for success
Tomoku Hus AB is one of the leading manufacturers of prefabricated wall components for wooden houses and one of the largest companies in the Nordic region.
In addition to this, the business operates a small division, which produces windows and balcony doors, also built for timber houses.
Founded in 1991, the organisation is 100 per cent owned by Japanese companies. These businesses are the Tomoku Company with 60 per cent ownership, Sweden House with 20 per cent, Mitsubishi Corporation with 15 per cent and Mitsubishi International Germany with five per cent. The business predominantly serves the Japanese market, where Swedish wooden single-family houses are very popular.
Tomoku Hus is based in Insjön, Sweden and was established to manufacture house components for Sweden House – a leading supplier of imported houses in Japan. Based in Tokyo, this business organises orders from Japanese customers on behalf of Tomoku Hus. The products ordered are then manufactured in Sweden and exported to Japan.
Masafumi Okazaki, managing director for the business comments: “We have been operating within the house component market for around 16 years – this has helped us develop great experience within the industry. Over the years, we have gradually increased our production and today approximately 99 per cent of our products are developed for the Japanese market. In 2006 we exported about 1800 units to this area, but throughout 2007 this decreased by 20 per cent to 1400.”
He continues: “At the moment the Japanese housing market has slowed down, therefore we are now looking to achieve projects in new areas. We understand that if we are dependent on one market, then we will not survive. The new area we are looking to expand into is Europe and we have already started to sell house components to Iceland and the local Swedish market. Other areas of interest include the UK and France, but we need to study these locations before venturing into them.”
The production of Tomoku Hus’ components began in 1991. Since then, the factory has expanded considerably and today it has an area of 10,200 square metres and a warehouse area of 12,300 square metres. With highly automated machinery, the company has the capacity to develop about 1400 blocks per day. Furthermore, the site can produce components for approximately 2500 houses in one year.
The organisation’s window factory was built in June 2002. This facility has an area of 3600 square metres, and boasts state-of-the-art equipment. With modern machinery, competent staff and good materials, Tomoku Hus manufactures extremely high quality products.
Looking at the company’s manufacturing sites, Masafumi comments: “Throughout 2006 we started to implement lean production methods into our facilities. One of our main aims at the moment is looking at how we can develop this even further, especially as we are now moving into new markets. These lean processes have helped us to significantly improve our quality and productivity.”
The high quality of the company’s products and the increasing demand for them has led to the extension of Tomoku Hus’ production facilities and capacity. Furthermore, sales growth, branding and marketing is handled in Japan, allowing thecompany in Sweden to concentrate solely on efficient production methods. As a result, the business’ equipment is regularly maintained to ensure machines work at optimum efficiency and production processes are continuously refined in order to ensure products are durable.
In addition to this, the company expects its suppliers to meet its demand for quality controls. Owing to the Japanese market’s demand for high quality, Tomoku Hus requires that suppliers have JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard of Organic Agricultural Products) approval for their forestry products, which requires certification. This is very important to the business as it prides itself on providing timber products that exceed its customers’ high expectations and by working solely with certified suppliers, it can confidently promise clients a completely satisfactory service.
With such a great focus on quality, Tomoku Hus has built a very solid reputation as a high-class supplier of house components. Masafumi concludes: “The Japanese market demands premium products, therefore our employees have developed the expertise and knowledge to be able to deliver this. We are now very confident that we can transfer these strengths to new markets in Europe. We are also looking to invest further in our production facilities to meet the demands of these new markets.”
Prefabricated wall components, windows and balcony doors for wooden houses
Sites: Insjön, Sweden