EMS Presents: SHOFU Inc.
Please describe the organization of your group – which branches of dentistry/medicine do you focus on? What is the history of your company?
Mr. Negoro: Based on our corporate philosophy of “Contribution to the World of dentistry through innovative business activities”, Shofu has continued to pursue research and development, manufacturing many of “Japan’s First” and “World’s First” products whilst creating innovative dental materials & equipments since our founding in 1922.
Shofu is actively expanding its sales network not only in Japan, but also overseas. In our dental business, we have 14 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 1125 employees who provide excellent products to the market.
For our 100th anniversary of the founding of Shofu in 2022, Shofu will exercise its creativity and continue to challenge in order to contribute to the world of dentistry while anticipating every change.
What challenges do you face in your country and how have you overcome them?
Mr. Negoro: Today, Japan is entering a major turning point in its social structure with both an aging and declining population. In order to build a rich and healthy longevity, the health of one’s teeth is very important, as it’s the entrance of food and indispensable for people to live a healthy life.
For that reason, Shofu has focused on preventive dentistry and independently developed the S-PRG technology. Shofu gave the name “GIOMER” to products containing this S-PRG Filler.
We believe that this is a minimally-invasive and tooth-friendly idea that is common to the EMS concept of GBT.
Is there any innovative promotion/ marketing activities related to EMS products in the past year that you were really happy with?
Mr. Negoro: We feel that there is a limit to a promotion that only lowers the selling price. We believe that it’s important to find out the value of a product, to demonstrate the superiority of our solution with other companies and to convince customers of it.
The safety and effectiveness of EMS products have been reported by several academic papers, in both Japan and abroad.
We feel that it is our responsibility as a Japanese distributor to provide a portfolio of evidence and the latest overseas studies to our customers. We believe that, with this evidence, the sales activity – lectures, meetings and promotional activities with national dealers – will further enhance the high-quality of the EMS brand and bring good results for both companies.
How do you see the Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) in your country? How is this concept supporting your daily business?
Mr. Negoro: With the introduction of the GBT concept, we think that it’s now possible to clarify the criteria for preventive dental care in the profession, making it easier to obtain predictable clinical results. Then, through the wide promotion of the GBT concept in Japan, we think that it will be possible to significantly reduce the burden of both the operator and the patient. With the promotion of GBT, we will inevitably be able to sell EMS’s academically-proven and state-of-the-art devices to customers.
Tell us a little bit about how you see training & education in your area and how has the Swiss Dental Academy supported this?
Mr. Negoro: We think that the Swiss Dental Academy (SDA) is an essential educational program for practitioners to learn how to use the devices in daily practice and receive clinical updates. It works in the following way – on the sales promotion side it helps to create awareness for customers who are looking to introduce a new system or device into their cabinet, but also to update existing users on the latest clinical information. These are meaningful and valuable seminars where practitioners can learn the clinical theory and the hands-on techniques at the same time.
Shofu offers more than 80 SDA seminars a year with the cooperation of EMS, and it greatly contributes to our sales promotional activities.
How do you see the future of dentistry in your country over the next 3-5 years?
Mr. Negoro: “Digital dentistry” in particular, has become one of the most popular fields in recent years. As a dental materials manufacturer, we will maintain our Shofu CAD/CAM Processing Center and continue to introduce new materials with better aesthetic and functional properties.
Then of course, we believe that preventive dentistry and minimally-invasive treatments will be essential for dental care in the future by extending the healthy lifespan of patients.
We strongly believe that EMS’s products and the GBT concept, will become more and more necessary for dental care in the future, not only in Japan but also in the world market.