Coffee Break: Nobuyuki (Nobu) Ashida, president of Misumi USA

  • Nobu Ashida

    Nobu Ashida

  • Misumi President Nobu Ashida poses with Meredith Johnson, General Manager, Industrial Automation Business, and Teresa Jordan - Director of Digital Marketing at IMTS Chicago 2022.

    Misumi President Nobu Ashida poses with Meredith Johnson, General Manager, Industrial Automation Business, and Teresa Jordan - Director of Digital Marketing at IMTS Chicago 2022.

Updated 10/10/2022 4:40 PM

Q: Describe your company.

A: Misumi is unique in that we are both a manufacturer and distributor. As a global manufacturer, we produce standard and make-to-order components for industrial automation equipment and other manufacturing applications. Misumi is configured to save time throughout the product life cycle from design to build and ongoing maintenance.


We are also a distribution company that leverages our considerable network of third-party manufacturing partners to offer a wide range of automation-related products.

Misumi is a one-stop shop for engineers, machine builders, and manufacturers. We offer a vast catalog of configurable components with over 20 million products globally and 80 sextillion part configurations for automation, press die, and plastic mold.

By partnering with Misumi, customers can easily configure materials, dimensions, features, and finishes for a single part online with access to free engineering support.

Misumi also offers off-the-shelf products that can be quickly delivered from one of our distribution centers located in Elk Grove Village; Torrance, California; Queretaro, Mexico, and our new, high-tech operation in Dayton, Ohio.

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At our core, we help solve our customers' challenges by minimizing or eliminating the inefficiencies in their procurement process. By serving as a one-stop shop, Misumi adds significant value by shortening delivery times of high-quality, well-manufactured products. This is the heart of our Quality-Cost-Time business philosophy.

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: Yes, we will continue to add resources in those areas critical to our growth and integral to our commitment to our customers' success. Our technology investments represent continuous improvements in how customers can buy from us, as well as cutting-edge advances in how we manufacture the products we offer.

On the human capital front, we have been hiring for positions that range widely from customer service representatives to engineers, and salespeople, just to name a few.

All our open positions can be found at, which in turn feeds numerous job-hunting sites, including LinkedIn, to maximize the visibility of our opportunities.


Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: There are many challenges confronting Misumi and most other companies right now. When you take a macroeconomic view, things that immediately come to mind include inflation, the rapid increase in interest rates, continued low unemployment, ongoing supply chain disruptions punctuated by the chip shortage, the war in Ukraine, and the still-present challenges caused by COVID.

These and many other factors make for an incredibly fluid and dynamic business environment that demand our focus and agility, while we stay committed to our products, our customers and our employees.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: Because we support a wide range of industries, it's difficult to pinpoint one trend as the hottest. What I can say is that some industries are commanding a lot of attention, and those include electrical vehicles, of which batteries are a prominent subset, medical and lab automation, warehouse automation, the semiconductor industry and never-ending advances in manufacturing technology.

Our goal is to establish Misumi as a trusted partner by offering fast, innovative solutions that evolve and adapt to our customers' needs.

Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie executive, what would it be?

A: Learn relentlessly. Combine that knowledge with critical thinking to make informed decisions. Expect to make more than your share of wrong decisions and when that happens, make sure you learn from it.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: Think critically and strategically and execute with tactical excellence.

Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?

A: Akio Morita, one of the founders of Sony.

Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?

A: I love dogs. On the company side, Misumi genuinely cares about our people's development as they are our most important asset. I would like to see the company and people grow together.

Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn't go as you had planned? What lesson did you learn from it?

A: There have been many times when events unfolded that weren't according to plan. It's through those experiences that I learned to never give up, always aim high and to not be afraid of making any mistakes and actively learn from them.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Go slow and spend time with my family.

Q: What book is on your nightstand?

A: History books.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: How best to develop our people and how we can sustain a minimum of over 20% of the annual growth of the company for the foreseeable future.

Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?

A: A professor and a farmer on the weekend.

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: I started my career working for a bank in Japan.

Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?

A: Wrigley Field.

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