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After Twenty Years of Growth, Azbil Korea Enters a New Phase

The company aims to grow in a wide range of fields while staying close to customers, valuing employees, and deepening relationships with the community

Azbil Korea Co., Ltd., was founded in 1999 as Yamatake Korea Co., Ltd., and celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. The company has continued to grow, mainly in the building and industrial markets, and in recent years has focused on the service areas of each business in order to expand. With the aim of continuous development, Azbil Korea is active not only in expanding its business, but also in fulfilling its corporate social responsibility (CSR) and improving the workplace environment so that employees can work comfortably.

Cho Dongrae President Azbil Korea

Cho Dongrae
Azbil Korea Co., Ltd.

Twenty years of great strides in the building and industrial markets

The azbil Group company Azbil Korea Co., Ltd., was founded in March 1999 in the Yeouido (Yeoui Island) district of Seoul. Yeouido is a large, busy, and energetic administrative and economic center. South Korea at that time was just at the beginning of a period of remarkable growth in production activity. In that environment, Azbil Korea launched a building automation (BA) business that handled the air conditioning of large-scale buildings and an advanced automation (AA) business that focused on products such as control valves and field devices for factories and plants.

The BA business has delivered a large quantity of central monitoring and control systems, including automated air-conditioning control equipment, to newly built office buildings and factories. In the future, in addition to handling an increased number of new construction projects, the company plans to focus on maintenance services*1 and energy-efficiency projects for existing buildings and customers. In Japan, many energy-saving solutions have already been provided to customers, but in South Korea they have only recently begun to receive attention. Azbil Korea’s proposals to customers will not stop at automatic air conditioning control, but will also consider how to reduce life-cycle costs, and will include energy-saving plans and improvement measures that are tailored to the operation of the building.

The AA business is threefold: a product business selling transmitters, valves, etc., mainly to oil and steel plants, a solutions and services business in which system products and solutions are combined, and a control product business selling sensors, switches, etc., mainly to semiconductor and automobile factories.

Areas covered by the AA business include petroleum, chemicals, electrical and electronic equipment, semiconductors, steel, ships, and fine chemicals, all of which are major industries in South Korea. The majority of sales are in the electrical and electronic equipment and semiconductor markets, but since these areas are sensitive to economic conditions, Azbil Korea also emphasizes the pharmaceutical and food markets. In the AA business, the company is strengthening its employee training to improve the technical skills of sales representatives. With the cooperation of Azbil Corporation, it provides training to employees and sales agents in the areas of product knowledge, customer service, and solutions proposals.

A party held to commemorate the 20th anniversary. Customers of Azbil Korea were also invited to attend the lively event.

A party held to commemorate the 20th anniversary. Customers of Azbil Korea were also invited to attend the lively event.

Leveraging strengths as a trusted partner, and further strengthening services

Both the BA and AA businesses aim to strengthen their service business in the future. To enhance sales capabilities in the AA service business, Azbil Korea has reshuffled its organization to form a sales team specializing in services. In the BA business for the past three years, Azbil Korea has been laying foundations by drawing upon the instrumentation technology and solutions know-how accumulated over many years by Azbil in Japan. For renovation of existing buildings and energy-efficiency projects, which are the mainstay of the service business, opportunities arise while talking directly with building owners, so knowledgeable and experienced employees are assigned to that role.

In the AA business in particular, the reason for the new focus on service is the steadily growing interest and demand among customers in South Korea for automatic operation of factories and plants using the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). To meet this need, in the future Azbil Korea will, for example, combine products and applications such as Azbil’s Control Valve Maintenance Support System and Network Instrumentation Modules to provide a comprehensive package addressing customer needs and providing solutions, rather than simply delivering products.

One customer remarked, “Some vendors offer low-priced products, but after delivery their response slows down. However, Azbil Korea provides support for operation even after sales, and responds promptly if something goes wrong.” Azbil Korea receives this kind of high praise from customers for its ability to provide support with a personal touch. Customers who have experienced this kind of response often purchase products afterwards, which is an important strength of Azbil Korea. As a major base for measurement and control equipment manufacturers in Asia, the challenge for the company is to develop customers’ sites to meet their needs and to provide continuous support after automation. Its commitment does not end with the delivery of products. As a company that looks after its customers all the way, and a long-term partner who grows with the customer, Azbil Korea aims to take advantage of its strengths while building its service business.

With a focus on CSR and workplace environment, a company that can keep on growing

Azbil Korea is actively working to fulfill its CSR and to create workplaces where employees can work comfortably.

The Employees’ Association, which is operated voluntarily by employees, collects membership fees from employees to make donations to facilities for childcare and the elderly. Its various activities also include visiting these facilities to plant potatoes, do cleanup, and make kimchi in winter. Employees understand the importance and significance of CSR, and actively participate. Some employees also bring their families along. Employees appreciate the pleasant sense of accomplishment that comes from working together and the feeling of a deep connection with the local people.

As for the workplace environment, bottom-up suggestions for improvement of the system are coming from employees. In South Korea, the number of double-income households is increasing, so new environmental and institutional measures have been adopted, such as creating a break room where pregnant employees can rest, and introducing a flextime system for employees with children.

Thanks to the support of customers in South Korea, as well as the energy of its employees, Azbil Korea has grown and developed, and now celebrates its 20th anniversary. The company intends to continue creating an environment where all employees can fully realize their potential through flexible and diverse ways of working.

Through the creation of a comfortable working environment, employees will increasingly trust the company and will work over the long term to enhance their own capabilities, which will lead to the continued growth of Azbil Korea.

Going forward, Azbil Korea will continue to grow step by step, walking side by side with customers in South Korea, and providing optimal products and solutions.

The office was moved in the 20th anniversary year.

The office was moved in the 20th anniversary year.

In the spacious new office, employees are allowed to freely change desks.

In the spacious new office, employees are allowed to freely change desks.

There is also space for promoting employee communication and a place for employees to relax.

There is also space for promoting employee communication and a place for employees to relax.

*1 Service
Service engineers familiar with the equipment and systems in buildings, plants, factories, etc., provide optimal operation, do periodic inspections, and handle maintenance. In addition to responding to urgent problems quickly, they meet various customer needs, such as collecting data at remote locations, providing remote maintenance, analyzing collected data, and proposing solutions.

This article was published on April 1, 2020.