Based on its recent analysis of the North American filler metals market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Kobelco Welding of America Inc. (KOBELCO) with the 2008 North American Frost & Sullivan Product Line Leadership of the Year Award for its pioneering solutions in the stainless steel flux cored wires domain.
A Voice of Customer analysis by Frost and Sullivan showed that various end-users placed KOBELCO as a ‘bench mark’ product in the stainless steel flux cored wires when compared to competitors.
In spite of heavy competition, KOBELCO has sustained market leadership in stainless steel tubular wire with a market share of approximately 39.5 percent, in 2007. KOBELCO has achieved leading market share in a relatively shorter span, due to its focus on the stainless steel tubular wire products.
“End-users’ purchase decisions revolve around three aspects, namely the quality of the filler metal, its cost and its delivery period,” says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Padmakumar L S. “KOBELCO has consistently met these requirements due to inherent strength of raw material supplies for stainless steel tubular wires and dedicated facilities backed by a competent research and development team, thereby improving end-user adoption rates.”
This increase in the adoption rate of KOBELCO stainless steel tubular wires, has grown at double digit rates that have been consistent even during the period of harsh economic conditions from 1998 to 2001. The company usually delivers products within seven days when compared to competitors, who deliver it at the end of fifteen days.
Further, KOBELCO’s product portfolio is more comprehensive than its closest competitor in the stainless steel tubular wire domain. Stainless steel tubular products represent close to 40 percent of the tubular wires applications, and they have robust representations in grades such as 308, 308L, 316, 316L, 309, 309L, and 2209 based on the end-users need in diverse industries.
KOBELCO focuses on continuously improving its products through R&D and has exhibited consistency in meeting the American Welding Society (AWS) specifications. The adherences to chemical and mechanical standard specifications in a strict tolerance band too have positively impacted usage levels among end users. The company has seen greater repeat purchase across end user markets such as food and beverage, auto parts, chemical and petro-chemical and oil and gas industries.
“The filler metal consumption pattern in welding intensive areas like the ethanol plants, power stations, liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, pressure vessel fabrication shops, chemical and petro-chemical industries, oil and gas industries, requires inventory levels that need to be constantly monitored, with regular and timely replenishment of stocks,” notes Padmakumar. “KOBELCO has been able to meet this customer requirement with unfailing regularity due to its vertical integration.”
Kobelco’s manufacturing base includes a total of eleven manufacturing locations all over the globe that has enabled it to deliver various types of filler metals on time, in spite of irregularities in demand and supply forces in the global metals market. The company also tracks its customers’ technical needs on a regular basis and meets these requirements with greater impact.
In short, KOBELCO has also been consistently providing value-based solutions and has helped customers to improve their standards in manufacturing through its quality, technical support, and quick delivery (QTQ) philosophy.
For its pioneering solutions in the field of stainless steel tubular wires, KOBELCO is the deserving recipient of the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Product Line Leadership of the Year Award in this domain.
Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to the company that has demonstrated the most insight into customer needs and product demands. The recipient company has optimized its product line by leveraging products with the various price, performance, and feature points required by the market.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Kobelco Welding of America Inc. (KWAI)
Kobelco Welding of America Inc. (kobelcowelding.com) was established in Houston, Texas in 1990 as a wholesale company owned by Kobe Steel Ltd which is one of the major steel mills in the world, for marketing Kobelco welding consumables in North America and Latin America. KWAI has exhibited leading market share and ensured a faster adoption rate among end users by consistently providing high quality product lines, on-time delivery, and outstanding technical support. Distribution facilities besides its main warehouse in Houston are located in Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Birmingham and Lancaster, PA.
About Frost & Sullivan
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