By Jessica Shultz
Behind the curtain you’ll find the critical parts needed to make a machine function. O-Yang Product Company supplies those parts. Since its foundation in 1988, O-Yang Product has specialized in supplying industrial equipment such as industrial belts, plastic goods, pulleys and a variety of other necessary equipment to keep manufacturing companies running. Gwangju News had the pleasure of discussing the business with the company’s CEO Oh Gi Soo.
I see that from the beginning O Yang Product specialized in professional goods for industrial sites. Did you already have the experience in engineering and see this as a growing market when you opened?
At the time when O-Yang was established, Korea’s high-tech and mechanical industries were heavily located in Changwon Industrial Complex, Gyeongsangnam-do and Siheung Industrial complex, Gyoenggi-do. Engineering plastics are used in various production facilities and they were crucial in automatic lines, and I felt that Korean economic infrastructure is following 20 years behind Japan. Therefore, I established O-Yang with these items.
Did you anticipate one day specializing in design, production, and distribution as well?
I did not anticipate first. All I had was distributing items. We kept 15% and 85% ratio of domestic and foreign production respectively. However, now things have changed into the opposite. Rather than staying in one area, I have tried bit by bit and eventually our area expanded to design and production. Moreover, we now have achieved exporting our domestic products overseas. There is a Korean saying “Stagnant water rots.”
Were there challenges in opening your company?
Due to lack of capital and poor economic condition of the region, we could not anticipate the stock thus, the sales were not as high as we expected. However, with patience, we have accumulated trust and sales experience.
When O Yang Product Ltd. opened in 1988, was the company primarily selling products in Korea? Are there any major changes in your product offering that have been adjusted since the company’s inception?
We mainly focused on the domestic market when we first launched. It was very difficult since the stock demand did not meet our anticipation. However, we believed it will improve step by step and kept on providing sustainable and sales technique supports and expanded target of the products with patience. We mainly focused on engineering plastics. Now, we not only produce plastics but also produce other products such as belts, pulleys and aluminum profiles.
Was the change a customer demand, technology driven or other?
If we stuck to one single item, our business would have been more difficult. Due to the enhancement of the industrial development, we believed in maximum sales since the demands will rise and the number of items in regard will increase, thus we worked on additional items
It seems that international markets are a major focus for your business. Can you tell me a little more about that decision? Was it always a part of your focus or did it become a part later?
At first, we did not think of going abroad however, four years ago, when we first knocked on the international market, we gained confidence and hope. Gradually we received requests from the overseas and expected an increase in exports. The prices have been more intensified than the quality of the item these days. We are looking for buyers aggressively to compete with the Chinese market and the domestic market. We are constantly doing our best to improve our products as our goal
What were some of the steps your company had to take to distribute these products in multiple areas of the world?
We focused on discovering international buyers through being part of the international market discovery department of Small and Medium Business Corporation. We tried our best to fully satisfy our buyers by analyzing the product needs and the buyer itself. We have continuously earned information from the organizations such as KOTRA and Gwangju International center about the international market, and planning marketing and export strategies.
What kind of testing do your products go through?
First, we undertake tests for imports for the raw materials, and manage stocks in different sizes, then when we receive requests, we measure the exact size and start producing, and take quality test. We aim 100% satisfaction by taking additional inspection before shipping. We attach the examination results of the inspection for every raw material to improve the quality of our products.
The pace of product innovation is changing constantly. How has your company adapted to fit the needs of your customers over the years?
A decade can change rivers and mountains. We have endeavored to satisfy our customers’ needs by introducing product facilities and growing a company capable of not only distribution but also manufacturing. Our board members and I get frequent lectures on customer services. We are improving incommodities of our customers by standing on their situation.
Can you tell us a little about your products for someone outside the industry?
The fact that the engineering plastics make up for shortcomings of wood, iron and nonferrous materials, they are suitable for any distinctive conditions and used as metal replacements for their light weightness and noise control. Belts ensure revolution counts and movements with exact power transmission and engagement. There is no need for fueling and they can be miniaturized since they are not metal to metal contact. I wish I can brag more about our products but there are far too many. There is more information on our company website.
Anything else you’d like readers of Gwangju News to know about O Yang Product?
We believed “being responsible” as our priority while running O-Yang Product. Even my family motto is “to become a responsible person,” I believe there is nothing impossible if you are responsible at any time. O-Yang product can meet customers’ needs by doing our best and be responsible. I am sure that we have been supplying the goods promptly to our customers with our database and know-how which no other company has. We will do our utmost to be the best company.