Creating Attractive Products and Services

Advancing the Development of Human Resources, Systems, and a Culture Enabling the Creation of Attractive Qualities

Basic ConceptWe consider customer feedback as the beginning of our manufacturing

With the catchphrase “we consider customer feedback as the beginning of our manufacturing,” the Sekisui Chemical Group is working on building a customer-oriented, free and open-minded organizational culture to create Attractive Qualities that customers will continue to ask for by name.


Measures to Create Attractive QualitiesProviding products and services while enhancing CS sensitivity

The Sekisui Chemical Group strives to improve the CS sensitivity of individual employees and to build an organizational culture focused on CS, to continue creating Attractive Qualities.

Wakuwaku Chaya Study Groups for CS Culture

Study Groups for CS Culture began as a measure to improve awareness of CS when we realized there was not enough communication across organizational borders in Employee CS & Quality Assessments that were conducted in fiscal 2012. Employees steer their own study groups about how best to improve CS culture, and have nicknamed the groups Wakuwaku Chaya. The Sekisui Chemical Group believes that having an organization where employees are able to enjoy and fully engage in work is a shortcut to enhancing its CS culture. Our study groups for CS culture are not meetings or debates, but opportunities for employees to engage in discussions among themselves. In these study sessions, all participants view documentaries about how other companies have promoted CS activities and share their thoughts and feelings with one another about CS. The participants declare action targets during the sessions and take back to their workplaces the knowledge they gained from this dialogue with their peers. Departments that have continued to hold these study groups have witnessed a natural improvement in their CS culture. Energies remain directed toward further advancing Study Groups for CS Culture not only as a forum to reflect on dialogue that promotes mutual understanding, but also as the means to deliberate on future aspirations and scenarios and to enhance employee satisfaction by sharing forward-looking visions.


CS & Quality Seminar

CS & Quality Seminars invite people from a variety of fields outside the company to give lectures with the intention of improving awareness of CS & Quality. The lectures are split into Attractive Qualities themes about creating attractive quality and Basic Qualities themes to strengthen core quality. A total of 45 seminars have been held from the inception of the program in 2001 through the end of fiscal 2016. Authorities on a variety of themes relating to CS & Quality are invited to speak at each seminar. Among a host of topics, seminars cover instances where efforts aimed at motivating and satisfying employees have led to improved customer services and satisfaction. Seminars are also an opportunity to learn about the planning and development involved in producing hit and long-selling products and a forum through which to exchange views in quality management. Learning from case studies of progressive customer services stories from around the world, employees are able to not only increase their awareness of CS & Quality, but also gain opportunities to pick up the knowledge and wisdom needed to create attractive quality. In this regard, the CS & Quality Seminar is indeed a very interesting event. In fiscal 2016, a total of 272 people participated in four seminars held at Sekisui Chemical's Tokyo Headquarters.


Details of Fiscal 2016 “CS & Quality Seminar” Events

Secrets to Highest Nationwide Customer Satisfaction at Nets Toyota Nangoku
Emphasis on Customer Happiness, Joy of Work
Speaker: Takaaki Yuki, Vista Works Inc.
Make Work Fun, Do Not Limit Yourself
A Path to Enjoyment
Speaker: Yukie Miura, “boxed lunch meister” at
Nippon Restaurant Enterprise Co., Ltd.


Takaaki Yuki, Vista Works Inc. giving a lecture


Yukie Miura, “boxed lunch meister” giving a lecture

TQM at Ricoh Efforts to Date and for the Future
Speaker: Hidetoshi Kumai, Ricoh Co., Ltd.
CS & Quality Seminar: Basic Qualities Edition held during Quality Month
Creating Teams of People at QB House
People Key in the End
Speaker: Yasuo Kitano,
President of QB Net Co., Ltd.


Yasuo Kitano, QB Net Co., Ltd. giving a lecture


Telephone Service Training

We have been conducting telephone service training, intended to improve the level of telephone service, continuously since fiscal 2008. Initially, the telephone service was geared toward the individual purchasing a new home. As such, the target of our training focused on the Housing Company. In fiscal 2011, this was extended to all division companies and then to all Group companies. As of fiscal 2016, telephone service training sessions had been held on an aggregate total of 190 times and attended by more than 1,700 employees.

Telephone service training is given to new employees, sales staff and customer service personnel who respond to inquiries by individual and corporate customers. As a new development, we are also providing telephone service training to employees in plant manufacturing divisions with the aim of improving telephone communications internally and externally. We are currently implementing training programs to improve the level of service in e-mail communications and to enhance the telephone answering skills of staff.


Number of Telephone Calls Received from Customers Telephone Service Training (total numbers of participants)


Systems that Evaluate and Improve Attractive Qualities from the Viewpoint of SocietyAttractive Qualities Screening System for evaluations by outside experts

The Sekisui Chemical Group has set up the Attractive Qualities Screening System for evaluating its Attractive Quality products from an external third-party viewpoint, in order to accelerate the creation of attractive qualities. This system has been utilized once every three years since fiscal 2008, and was used for the third time in fiscal 2014. Under this screening system, 11 products have been selected for awards based on an evaluation of their value proposition for customers and society, in addition to their contributions to sales and profits.

In order to notify Sekisui Chemical Group employees about what concepts and perspectives were used to commercialize award-winning products, the Company intranet features The Story of Attractive Qualities, which reveals the secrets behind the development of these products through interviews with those involved. This initiative has made Sekisui Chemical Group employees more motivated to take on the challenge of developing new products despite the various hurdles they may face while providing helpful hints and raising awareness of development initiatives.

In fiscal 2016, we interviewed the people who were involved in the development of one of the four products that were recognized with awards in fiscal 2014, and we published their tale in The Story of Attractive Qualities and more details about the product development process on our intranet.


The story of attractive qualities interviews

The story of attractive qualities interviews


Creating Customer-Oriented ProductsSelf-Declaration for Customer-Oriented Management

Sekisui Chemical agrees with the Consumer Affairs Agency and its initiative to realize customer-oriented management, and has made a declaration for pursuing customer-oriented

management* as an expression of its principles and action policies. Sekisui Chemical plans to disclose the outcome of its activities and current status of initiatives in its CSR reports published each year from 2018. Mindful that customer opinions are a valuable resource for management, we are aggressively pursuing innovations in the Quality of Products and Services, the Quality of Our People, and the Quality of Our Systems, based on the motto “customer feedback is the wellspring of our manufacturing activities.” We aim to contribute to the realization of a worry-free and abundant society by continuing to provide new value to our customers and society.

Companies declare on their own accord to engage in consumer-oriented management, take action based on their declarations and disclose the outcomes of their initiatives.

More details are given on Consumer Affairs Agency website. (Japanese)


Below are five main highlights of activities being undertaken in line with our Self-declaration for Customer-oriented Management.

1. Ensuring Basic Qualities

To ensure the reliability and safety of our manufactured products, which form the basis of Product Quality, we effectively leverage customer feedback and dedicate ourselves with a strong belief in forestalling any potential trouble and preventing any future recurrence throughout our entire value chain.

2. Creating Attractive Qualities

We aim to share the emotional values of our customers by thoroughly pursuing “what the customers value” and constantly creating attractive products and services that should realize such customer values.

3. Upgrading Technological Capabilities

For the sake of ensuring Basic Qualities and for creating Attractive Qualities, we are upgrading our technological capabilities in all fields in order to achieve superb manufacturing development.

4. Enhancing Communications

We value communication with our customers and the society and make sincere efforts when dealing with them as well as complying with the relevant laws and regulations in each country and region. We place special emphasis on resolving customer complaints or claims at an early stage by responding promptly and empathetically.

5. Providing Thorough Employee Education

To gain and maintain the full trust of and leave a lasting impression on our customers, we provide employees with continuous CS & Quality education and motivate them to achieve self-realization through customer satisfaction.


Systems to confirm the degree of penetration of CS & Quality management initiativesExpanding employee CS & Quality assessments to overseas business sites

Starting in fiscal 2012, the Sekisui Chemical Group conducts a CS & Quality Assessment (survey) program once every two years for employees in Japan, intended to ascertain the degree to which CS & Quality Management had spread throughout the organization, identify any related issues by measuring employees' awareness of CS & Quality and related activities, and reflecting this information in the code of conduct. More specifically, the survey identified issues for creating the groundwork for CS & Quality culture, such as by measuring the degree that management’s philosophy and policies have spread throughout the organization, and communications up and down the ranks, across organizations and among members. Thereafter, based on the final report, new action objectives are set for each organizational unit with the aim of gradually fostering a culture of CS & Quality within the Sekisui Chemical Group. Since fiscal 2015, we have expanded this system to include some overseas business sites. In fiscal 2016, we conducted CS & Quality assessments at two overseas business sites.


Systems that use customer feedback to increase CS & QualityImprove Responsiveness of Customer Information & Consulting Services

In Customer Information & Consulting Services, advisors field questions, inquiries, opinions and requests from customers. Each and every employee in Customer Information & Consulting Services learns as much as possible about our products and technologies in order to satisfactorily answer the inquiries of customers received by telephone, without having to forward the call to another department. As a result of these efforts, we have seen an increase in compliments given by our customers who took advantage of our Customer Information & Consulting Services. Even in cases where customers contacted us to voice their opinions and requests, we have seen an increase in compliments in the end as a reflection of the sincerity and care taken to address their concerns. The number of compliments given has increased from three occasions in fiscal 2014 to 20 compliments in fiscal 2016.


Publication of VOICE that summarizes customer feedback

The Sekisui Chemical Group’s Customer Information & Consulting Services receive over 10,000 inquiries and comments every year. The Sekisui Chemical Group directly answers each inquiry, and analyzes the factors that motivated the customer to make the inquiry in the first place, in order to discover the hidden needs of customers. Many of these customer inquiries contain requests and ideas for making improvements, such as changing product specifications and increasing the range of variations. By feeding back these customer opinions in the development and production divisions of each division company, we are able to improve CS & Quality by revising specifications and enhancing catalog markups from the users' perspective. As a new initiative starting in fiscal 2015, the Group has published VOICE, which is a summary of the inquiries received by Customer Information & Consulting Services. This booklet is published with the aim of reflecting customer feedback in management activities, cultivate and instill a culture of CS and quality in all employees, and promote understanding of these issues in Group-wide businesses in a manner that transcends particular operational areas. The Sekisui Chemical Group aims to improve three qualities (people, frameworks, products and services) based on feedback from customers.


Results of the Customer Satisfaction SurveyConducting a CS Survey

The Sekisui Chemical Group’s Housing Company conducts a CS survey to measure the level of customer satisfaction. Customer feedback gleaned from these surveys is broadly shared throughout the Company and used to improve product development capabilities and the quality of the Group’s services. Details of any customer dissatisfaction are closely assessed. Steps are then taken to make the necessary improvements and to further increase the satisfaction of customers.

Building on these activities, the Housing Company has been working diligently to consistently enhance the satisfaction of its customers. In fiscal 2016, the level of customer satisfaction reached a record-high 75.9%. Looking ahead, we will continue to take seriously the comments of customers and strive to improve our quality and services.



Framework for Employee Activities to Improve CS & QualitySTAR 55 Bulletin highlights good examples of CS & Quality for group employees


In 2002, its 55th anniversary, the Sekisui Chemical Group implemented STAR 55 as a program to promote CS throughout the company. In 2006, we issued the first STAR 55 Bulletin, a newsletter that focuses on CS & Quality with a collection of excellent case studies for CS & Quality for Group employees, with the aim of raising awareness of CS & Quality management. We have continued to publish STAR 55 Bulletin since fiscal 2006, issuing it a total of 33 times by the end of fiscal 2016. The name STAR 55 Bulletin embodies the concept where each employee of the Sekisui Chemical Group is a key player in fostering the Group’s spirit and culture by modifying their behavior to gain customer trust.

* Origin of the name: STAR 55 Bulletin

S = Sekisui, T = Trust, A = Action, R = Revolution, STAR = Leader,
55 = 55th anniversary since founding.