Sus-Tech dates back to 1912, when Tadokoro Shoten, a wholesaler of copper and brass, inaugurated its business in Osaka City. It was reborn as today's Sus-Tech in 1993, when Mitsubishi Corporation and Nippon Steel Corporation, among others, acquired stakes in the company. In 1995, the company built new factories in the Kanto and Kansai areas, thereby establishing production bases in both Eastern and Western regions of Japan. In 2003, in a move related to the inauguration of Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel Corporation, the operation of the processing base affiliated with the former Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd., was transferred to Sus-Tech, resulting in a marked increase in processing output and sales in the Kanto area.
According to its three-year business plan, the company's annual sales target in the final year (2006) is 160,000 tonnes, substantially up from the current level of around 130,000 tonnes. President Kunio Yamada is bullish on future prospects for the company. "Our annual output will reach 250,000 tonnes and our share of the domestic market will be 30% in the future," he says. Since 2001, the company has moved office and opened up new offices, including the Tokyo Office and the Nagoya Branch. Also, in April this year, the company's headquarters were moved from Nishi Ward to Chuo Ward in Osaka City. President Yamada has revealed the underlying intention: "After 10 years of business reconstruction efforts, we wanted to enhance all our people's awareness of the 'New Sus-Tech.' "
To meet the increases in processing and sales volumes, the company is also making emphatic efforts to expand its physical capacities. The company has invested some ¥400 million in an additional base metal warehouse at its Kanto Works and in June this year began replacing the slitter line at the Kansai Works. The installation of state-of-the-art equipment under these projects resulted in a combined monthly processing capacity of 15,000 tonnes at the two factories with no need for an increase in the workforce. Next April, Sus-Tech is also scheduled to introduce the "Σ(Sigma)" Standard Backbone System for coil centers, which Metal One is actively promoting, and this will contribute to further cost reductions through rationalization. The company is also studying the feasibility of entering the Chinese market, as many of its clients, including household electrical appliance manufacturers, are increasingly shifting their production bases abroad.
President Yamada is already drawing up a blueprint for the next stage of development. He predicts: "If we succeed in winning a 30% share of the domestic market, our present production capacity will not be enough. We will have to think of setting up a new factory in due time."