What's in a number?

Posted by Jim Ivanoff
February 2nd, 2009

As BC Wood Japan is a founding/supporting member of the Imported Building Materials Forum, last week I attended a board meeting. This association was formed 2 years ago to give importers a stronger voice in dealing with government agencies over regulatory issues. The F**** debacle of several years ago still haunts most people handling imported materials.

One of the topics of discussion was how to increase membership in the organization. It was pointed out that the IBMF has only about 40 members, but it is said that there are over 700 distributors of building products in Japan. This number shocked me. We have contacts at many more companies than the IBMF membership, but even amongst the 8000 contacts in our database we definitely aren't connected to 700 pure importers/distributors (our database is mainly comprised of architects and builders). It made me realize that we have to make more effort to search out the smaller, regional distributors that must make up this 700. When times get tough, you can't leave any stone unturned.
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