Concept of Quality and Customer Satisfaction (CS) Improvements
Sumitomo Electric has been committed to scientific business management for many years, and the Deming Prize we won in 1962 is an example of our achievements. In 1975, the Reliability Improvement Campaign was launched throughout the Group, involving all employees. Since then we have carried out Group-wide quality and reliability improvement campaigns, selecting priority subjects related to “Quality” and “Reliability” according to the needs of the times.
On the basis of the accumulation of such achievements, the Sumitomo Electric Group has conducted its QR-1 campaign in pursuit of the world's top quality under the slogan "To become an enterprise rated No. 1 by our customers." The campaign is conducted with strong focus on two key aspects: quality and customer orientation. This is because the Sumitomo Electric Group's business activities consist mainly of so-called business-to-business (B2B) transactions, and we believe that further quality improvement by identifying opinions and demands from customers through our daily sales activities will certainly lead to greater customer satisfaction.
Development of the QR-1
We launched the QR-1 campaign in fiscal 2002. We have promoted own process quality assurance activities as the QR-1 campaign since fiscal 2013. Returning to the basics of “Do not produce defects, and do not send defects to the following process” in each process, we have been committed to the establishment of defect-free conditions and the clarification of criteria for product quality judgment. It is necessary to clarify thoroughly the mechanism that generates defects so as "Not to cause defects," and promote measurement and inspection technology development to detect defects so as "Not to send defects to the following process" with close cooperation between the departments: development & design, production engineering, and manufacturing.
Audit and Support Activities for
We evaluate the quality activities of the departments based on customers' assessment so as to improve weaknesses of their quality control activities and systems. We promote "Global quality audits" which are intended to enhance the quality assurance systems according to the plan. In the global quality audits, we identify structural weaknesses in terms of management, design, and manufacturing, and support to overcome the weaknesses, while improving the quality level.
Activities to Enhance
We are encouraging all our employees to understand the top management's approach to quality and thereby raise their own quality awareness. Sumitomo Electric holds Group-wide quality improvement conventions for this purpose, and displays banners with slogans on quality. In November, which is specified as "Quality Month" every year, each of our Works displays quality-related flags and posters. Messages from the President are disseminated through in-house magazines, in-plant broadcasting, and other media on appropriate occasions, and inspection of manufacturing sites by top management is organized, to enhance quality improvement awareness among employees.
Sumitomo Electric also established quality achievement awards to commend divisions implementing activities that set a good example for other divisions, and individual employees who have created excellent quality-related posters and slogans, to encourage awareness of quality improvement.
Develop Employee Capabilities
Sumitomo Electric has provided employees with training programs at the "SEI University". With that, to improve and ensure the quality of products and services at higher levels, it is essential for individual employees to develop their operational capabilities. Every year, we make annual education plans required to improve quality at the beginning of the fiscal year, and provide position-based education for all employees, function-based/position-based education according to divisions or positions, and needs-based education to learn knowledge. Furthermore, Sumitomo Electric has dispatched instructors to relevant departments upon request, to deliver “on-site seminars” to teach how to make use of quality management tools and improve the ability to identify problems and real causes. For product safety, we organize technical seminars yearly on the Product Liability Act and the revised Consumer Product Safety Act in partnership with the Legal Department. Practical training sessions are provided to all divisions to deepen their understanding of the laws, and cover subjects such as recent cases, product safety review and warning labels to ensure product safety, collection of product safety information, and response to accidents.
Activities for the Improvement of Logistics Quality
Sumitomo Electric is committed to the improvement of logistics quality in concert with transport companies currying our products, in order to prevent product damage,/fouling and other accidents of products during transportation and ensure to carry our products to customers without any accidents. In particular, nearly half of the accidents of products during transportation are damage caused by a forklift truck. To reduce such accidents, we prepared a visual training text, which presents the issues to be considered on the basic operation of forklift trucks, and distributed it to not only our company and our group companies, but also transport companies. We also have been taking various other measures including a forklift truck basic operation competition, which aimed to improve the abilities of forklift truck operators.
Activities by the Sales Group
We offer extensive range of products, and our business consist mainly of so-called business-to-business (B2B) transactions.
Constant quality improvement by identifying opinions and feedback from customers (companies) through our daily sales activities will certainly lead to greater customer satisfaction.
Based on this recognition, we conduct customer satisfaction surveys so that we can identify the sales capabilities of our staff and assess customer satisfaction with the daily sales activities.
The assessment results are fed back to the sales staff and their superiors to encourage the staff to enhance their sales capabilities. In addition, the overall results are used to review the education and instruction methods so that Sumitomo Electric can strengthen its sales capabilities and further improve customer satisfaction.