Distribution in Japan

Hardcase drums distribution Japan



Hardcase drums distribution 


Distribution countries

USA  |  Japan  |  Singapore  |  Germany  |  Italy  |  Spain  |  Portugal  |  Switzerland  |  Ireland  |  Australia  |  Iceland  |  New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Paraguay  |  Columbia  |  Chile  |  Argentina  |  Uruguay  |  Bolivia  | 



This was a very sensitive distribution project as it entailed replacing a distributor that was a highly respected company in Japan and finding and persuading an alternative distributor to take Hardcase on.


The reason for replacing the highly respected company was low sales.  Our researched identified that the low sales were linked to the distributor being a manufacturer of their own drum line.  They were mainly using Hardcase to support the sales of their drum brand rather than treating Hardcase as a brand in its own right.


The effects of this situation for example were:


       1.Hardcase was only sold in music shops that were dealers for the drumHence, a majority of music dealers did not have Hardcase offered to them. 


       2.The range of Hardcase carried by the distributor only reflected their own drum range which meant only a limited range of Hardcase was available in the                                 JapaneseThis not only restricted the range sold in Japan, it also increased landed costs because comparatively few Hardcase models were shipped in                               comparatively small LCL consignments. 


       3.The distributor applied the same double margins on Hardcase as they applied on their manufactured drums: i.e. one as a margin for their drum

          manufacturing business; one as a margin for their drum distributionThis made Hardcase much more expensive in Japan than it needed to be.


Trust Network’s research also identified a particularly large opportunity for Hardcase in Japan.  Hardcase could be less expensive than fibreboard drum cases there.  This was a unique situation.  Normally fibreboard drum cases were much cheaper than Hardcase.  This was due to the cheaper material used in fibreboard cases, the much lower strength and level of protection fibreboard provided, its much shorter life-expectancy, and it not being water proof. 


The background to this unique situation was political.  It had nothing to do with the inherent weaknesses and low value of the fibreboard product. 


Hardcase could therefore offer Japanese drummers significantly greater value and a greater range if its price reflected efficient landed costs with FCL consignments of the complete line and if only one margin was applied to the landed cost.


Having identified the reasons for low sales in Japan we then began the process of fixing the situation.  First, extensive discussions were held with the incumbent to try to show them the shortcomings of their handling of Hardcase and the big sales opportunity if they handled the line differently. 


Trust and goodwill were established.  It meant that even though these discussions ended without a resolution, the way was opened up for an amicable and mutually understood need for Hardcase to approach other Japanese distributors.  This enabled Trust Network to openly research the Japanese market to identify other suitable distributors and begin discussions with them.  These alternative distributors felt comfortable entering negotiations knowing that the discussions were happening with the full knowledge of the incumbent.


We then carried out simultaneous discussions with several distributors whom Trust Network’s research had identified as highly suitable for distributing Hardcase.  In the end the major distributor, Yamaha Music Trading, was appointed.  Over 15 years later YMT is still the Hardcase distributor in Japan, having been building the Hardcase sales and brand year-on-year continuously over that time.