SMC eyes future gains with strong Business Continuity Plan
As a comprehensive manufacturer of automation equipment, SMC aims to fulfil its product supply responsibilities and maintain the trust of customers by contributing to sustainable growth and the expansion of reliable technological innovations. To help deliver these objectives, SMC has a rock-solid Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that the company is now further strengthening to provide an even more robust automation and motion control offer for its global customer base.
The enhanced BCP approach centres on continuous investment from SMC Corporation in major projects such as the protection and expansion of supply chains, as well as the construction of new manufacturing and headquarters facilities.
While SMC already holds 39% of the global market share for compressed air control equipment, the company is aware of the challenges presented by global events that are beyond its control. Considering SMC’s worldwide supply chain responsibilities, the company has been strengthening its BCP, with the double-tracking of production sources, for example.
Investment underpins ambition
SMC’s BCP is seeing reinforcement in all fields, including product development, IT and manufacturing capacity, a strategy that will ultimately help the company to double sales by 2026 (from 2020 levels).
For instance, SMC currently has development bases in five locations globally. In IT, the company is building 11 data centres around the world to ensure redundant data storage, a major beneficial factor that supports stability in the event of supply chain disruption.
The company’s capital investment plan also includes the construction of additional SMC factories in Iwate prefecture (at Tono and Kamaishi) to meet increasing demand in the medium and long term. In addition, SMC has embarked on the ‘Tono Supplier Park’ construction initiative to attract suppliers. Although not commencing full-scale operations until the spring of 2025, six key SMC suppliers with around 100 employees in total will begin pre-operations using part of the new Tono factory in spring 2023.
“We want to manufacture the same product in several locations and not disrupt the global supply system, no matter what happens,” states SMC President Yoshiki Takada. “We are building a supply network for the world; a system that allows us to move independently, even upstream to parts and materials.”
The company is also building a new headquarters at a cost of tens of billions of yen. Designed with a strong awareness of the BCP, the location selected for SMC’s 11-floor, 11,467m2 central Tokyo headquarters carries a very low risk of natural disasters. Notably, alongside a customer showroom, the facility will also feature a showroom for the general public, exposing new generations to automation and its contribution to society.
In line with SMC’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) commitments, the new headquarters will be certified as ‘ZEB ready’ (net Zero Energy Building), demonstrating energy savings of 50% or more than standard through the use of improved heat insulation, solar shading, natural ventilation and daylight, high efficiency equipment, and more.
Based on a platform of reliability and trust, the further strengthening of SMC’s BCP can help meet ongoing demand for automation while protecting important global supply chains, all of which will contribute to a future society that is safe, sustainable and cost-effective.