Episode 7: Artedomus’ Connection to the INAX Factories
The Artedomus Expert Series
Japan

Words Rose Onans

Key to the successful relationship between Artedomus and INAX is the connection to the individual factories themselves. With many factories being family-owned operations that work with INAX as their global distributor, visiting the factories has led to the cultivation of warm and productive relationships.

One of the most interesting parts about working with INAX is that each of their factories is an independent business that offer up their ceramic tiles to INAX to be their global distributor,” says Phil Brenton, Artedomus managing director. “This means that they’ve all go their own design departments and do all of their own prototyping.” As a result, Artedomus discovered that there are many products that are not distributed widely, giving Artedomus an extraordinary access to new and unusual products. Additionally, this meant that by working with the factories directly, they could develop products exclusively for Artedomus to supply.

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Traveling to the factories regularly has been key to the development of a close and innovative working relationship between Artedomus and the individual INAX factories.

With Artedomus as a go-to supplier for architects and interiors designers seeking a specific colour or effect for a tile, working with the factories enables them to source the perfect product to suit the needs of a particular project. “The joy of dealing with a company like this one is they’re always willing to test samples and make samples for us,” says William Pearse, Artedomus Melbourne sales manager. Visiting the Naka factory, William shows a product that the factory manufactures as a standard, and then compares it with a very similar yet subtly different version of the same tile that is produced exclusively for Artedomus.

Key to the successful relationship between Artedomus and INAX is the connection to the individual factories themselves.

As well as this important product-focused reason for visiting the factories, it has led to close relationships with the people who own and work in the factories. “Sometimes we’ll have a bento box [for lunch] at one of the factories; we’re always looked after like very special guests,” says William. “All of them are family owned businesses, which are treasured by those families, and the people that work there. It’s like almost going into someone’s home but they’re also making something out the back. It’s a very special experience.”

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The trips to Japan represent an opportunity to work with the factories to develop new products for the Australian design industry.

Travelling as a group is also important for the team, explains Phil. “We like to travel together as a group, because the cultural personality is such an important part of who we are. Being able to come here as a team and learn about these things together is massively beneficial for the business as a whole.”

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With Artedomus as a go-to supplier for architects and interiors designers seeking a specific colour or effect for a tile, working with the factories enables them to source the perfect product to suit the needs of a particular project.

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Many of the factories are family owned, and visiting the factories is an important part of discovering new products and forging connections that are crucial to the range and customisation available to architects and designers in Australia.

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