Creating Attractive Products and Services
Advancing the Development of Human Resources, Systems, and a Culture Enabling the Creation of Attractive Qualities
Basic ConceptBuilding a Customer-oriented, Free, and Open-minded Organizational Culture
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
To continue creating Attractive Qualities Sekisui Chemical Group strives to improve the CS sensitivity of individual employees and to build an organizational culture focused on CS.
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 the Employee CS & Quality Assessments that were conducted in fiscal 2012. Formed so that employees themselves could drive improvements in CS culture, the Study Groups were initially referred to as Wakuwaku Chaya Study Groups.
Study groups were launched in fiscal 2013. Since fiscal 2014, an organization has been in place to set up and maintain a facilitator within the organization, and activities have continued in each department within the Group up to the present day.
The educational program for newly appointed managers held each year applies the methodology used in these study groups, with each participant in the program engaging in active dialog and declaring their commitment to determining their own CS & Quality activities.
We are currently focused on creating a space where participants can engage in dialogue with each other free from theme or event format limitations. More specifically, we are exploring through dialogue with participants the following initiatives, taking into account our priority policies as well as data acquired from customer surveys and CS & Quality assessments.
CS & Quality Seminars (Attractive Qualities Themes)
For CS & Quality Seminars we invite experts from a variety of fields outside the Company to give lectures with the intention of improving awareness of CS & Quality. Held several times a year, the lectures are split into Attractive Qualities themes about creating attractive quality and Basic Qualities themes to strengthen core quality. A total of 56 seminars have been held from the first event in 2001 through to the end of fiscal 2019.
Under the Attractive Qualities themes, we hold various lectures not only on excellent case studies of the planning and development of hit and long-selling products, but also on matters related to hospitality and employee motivation to achieve customer satisfaction. From fiscal 2016, we held video conferences on case study videos from other companies similar to the lecture themes to coincide with the days on which CS & Quality seminars were held. From fiscal 2018 we also set up a forum for employees to share their thoughts with their peers after trial meetings while working to enhance communications. In fiscal 2019, a total of 181 people participated in the two seminars held at Sekisui Chemical's Tokyo Headquarters on how to create attractive quality in a time of rapid change. We initially expected to hold three seminars, as is usually the case in normal years, but we cancelled the third seminar, which had been scheduled for March 2020, in line with our efforts to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
●June 14, 2019
“Rebalancing Art and Science in Business”
Independent researcher, author, public speaker
●August 24, 2019
“Designing Services based on the Idea of Future Customers”
MIRAI BUSINESS DIVISION
Telephone Service Training
As part of efforts to improve customer satisfaction, the Customer Consultation Office has been conducting telephone service training since fiscal 2008 to horizontally deploy the customer telephone service skills that are cultivated in business operations in each division company. Having implemented Telephone Service Training since fiscal 2008, back office staff from the Customer Consultation Office serve as instructors and visit each office, thereby providing employees with opportunities to improve Sekisui Chemical Group’s telephone service skills.
Initially, Telephone Service Training was only conducted at the Housing Company, which handles many general inquiries from individual customers, but from fiscal 2011 we also deployed the training at the Urban Infrastructure and Environmental Products Company, the High Performance Plastics Company, Headquarters and each subsidiary company that focus on corporate customers. From fiscal 2016 onwards, Telephone Service Training has been introduced in the Urban Infrastructure and Environmental Products Company’s educational programs for new employees.
We designed a new e-learning-based training program in fiscal 2019 and launched it in nine locations.
The “All-Japan Telephone Service Contest,” in which Sekisui Heim sales company call center employees from across the country pit their telephone service skills against each other, has been held every year from fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2017. Applying a new method, we held the contest again in fiscal 2019.
Unique Brain Lab + S
In promoting the creation of products and services that inspire our customers and society, we believe it important to not only share our stories of success, but also to focus on the generation of the boundary-breaking ideas, approaches, and concepts that contribute to these successes. Our “Unique Brain Lab + S” study groups were created to improve creativity and generate these kinds of unique ideas and ways of thinking.
Following a trial run in fiscal 2018, 30 people were selected from among the many applicants to participate in the program in fiscal 2019. We aim to further improve creativity moving forward by continually conducting e-learning exercises on a regular basis.
Systems That Confirm Attractive Qualities from the Viewpoint of SocietyAttractive Qualities Screening System for Evaluating by Outside Experts
In order to accelerate the creation of attractive qualities, Sekisui Chemical Group has since fiscal 2008 implemented an Attractive Qualities Screening System, under which outside experts evaluate the company’s Attractive Quality products. The evaluations focus not only on sales and profits, but also on the development process and a product’s ability to provide value to customers and society.
A total of 13 products have been selected for awards, including four in fiscal 2008, three in fiscal 2011, four in fiscal 2014, and two in fiscal 2017.
We revised the assessment criteria and reviewed the operational aspects of the Attractive Qualities Screening System in fiscal 2019. While presentations and screening previously took place in private, we made a portion of the screenings public and solicited votes from employees as part of our effort to broaden employee awareness of and participation in the system. These initiatives further contributed to the selection of attractive quality products. Four new products received awards in fiscal 2019.
We identified the target of upgrading and expanding the nine new attractive quality products under the Medium-term Plan (2017-2019). Despite undertaking various initiatives as previously mentioned, the cumulative total of new products came to six over the medium term.
Fifth (Fiscal 2019) / Four Products
●Attractive Quality Award
- The first stage of the SEKISUI Safe & Sound Project Asaka Leadtown
●Attractive Quality Gold Award
- SPR-SE method
- SMART HEIM targeting reduction of disaster impact (preventing and mitigating disasters) by enhancing resilience
●Attractive Quality Special Award
- Sekisui Tatami (MIGUSA), offering floor tatami mats, system tatami mats, and heated floor tatami mats
Systems to Measure the Degree to Which CS & Quality Management Has SpreadSurveying Awareness of and Behavior Regarding CS & Quality Management by Employee CS & Quality Assessments
Since fiscal 2012, Sekisui Chemical Group has been utilizing e-learning to conduct a CS & Quality Assessment (survey) program once every two years for employees in Japan, the aim being to ascertain the degree to which CS & Quality Management has spread throughout the organization, identify any related issues by measuring employees’ awareness of CS & Quality and related activities, and reflect this information in the code of conduct. More specifically, the survey identifies 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 Sekisui Chemical Group.
Since fiscal 2015, we have worked to expand overseas by conducting employee CS & Quality assessments in China as well.
We conducted CS & Quality assessments in China for the fourth time in fiscal 2019. With the addition of five new locations, we conducted assessments for 986 individuals at a total of 11 locations.
We also held workshops at some locations in China based on workshop-related feedback obtained through dialogue in Japan in fiscal 2018.
Systems That Use Customer Feedback to Increase CS & QualityImprove the Responsiveness of Customer Consultation Office
The staff of the Customer Consultation Office responds to questions, concerns, opinions, requests, and other inquiries from customers. With the goal of avoiding the forwarding of those calls to the departments responsible and taking action that does not leave the customer waiting, all employees of the Customer Consultation Office learn about our products and technologies and strive to offer, as much as possible, responses to inquiries at a one-stop shop.
Our one-stop response rate is improving with each passing year, and we intend to keep working to improve the ability of our Customer Consultation Office employees in order to further enhance our trustworthiness to these same customers.
Systems for Employees to Share Customer FeedbackPublication of VOICE and VOICE PLUS That Summarize Customer Feedback
Sekisui Chemical Group’s Customer Consultation Office receives over 10,000 inquiries and comments every year. 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 to the divisions of each internal 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 Consultation Office. This booklet is published with the aim of reflecting customer feedback in management activities, cultivating and instilling a culture of CS & Quality in all employees, and promoting understanding of these issues in Group-wide businesses in a manner that transcends particular operational areas. Sekisui Chemical Group aims to improve three qualities (people, systems, products and services) based on feedback from customers.
Following the publication of the first issue in fiscal 2015, the fourth issue was published in fiscal 2019. The Sekisui Chemical Group has published this booklet with the aim of improving CS & Quality and highlighting measures aimed at putting the concerns of customers at the forefront of workplace activities.
In fiscal 2018 we prepared and posted on the Company’s intranet the second VOICE + issue, which focused on emotionally moving stories stemming from the comments of customers.
Systems to Confirm Customer SatisfactionConducting a Customer CS Survey
Sekisui Chemical Group’s Housing Company conducts CS surveys of customers for whom it has built Sekisui Heim homes. The feedback from the customers who kindly respond to the surveys is broadly shared throughout the Company and used in product development and in improvements in the quality of the Group’s services for its customers. Details of any customer dissatisfaction are closely assessed, and steps then taken to change dissatisfaction into satisfaction. In fiscal 2019, customers who had responded that they were “very satisfied” reached 73%.
System to Convey CS & Quality Activities to EmployeesSTAR 55 Bulletin Highlights Good Examples of CS & Quality for Group Employees
In 2002, its 55th anniversary, Sekisui Chemical Group implemented STAR 55 as a program to promote CS throughout the Company and declared CS to be positioned as the foundation of management for all employees. So that the STAR 55 activities did not lose momentum, in 2006 we also issued the first STAR 55 Bulletin, a newsletter compilation of excellent case studies for CS & Quality for Group employees. We have continued to publish STAR 55 Bulletin since fiscal 2006.
The name STAR 55 embodies Sekisui, Trust, Action and Revolution, meaning that each and every employee of Sekisui Chemical Group promises action to gain the trust of customers and will attempt to bring about a revolution in the Group’s spirit and culture while the Company allows each to take a leading role and become a STAR.
STAR 55 Bulletin No.’s 40, 41, and 42
Note: Origin of the name: STAR 55 Bulletin
S = Sekisui,
T = Trust,
A = Action,
R = Revolution,
STAR = Leader,
55 = 55th anniversary since founding.
Attractive Qualities Screening System Results
|First (Fiscal 2008)||Four Products||
|Second (Fiscal 2011)||Three Products||
|Third (Fiscal 2014)||Four Products||
|Fourth (Fiscal 2017)||Two Products||
|Fifth (Fiscal 2019)||Four Products||
|Attractive quality products||Products selected under the Attractive Qualities Screening System|
Data Related to Support Improvement at the Customer Consultation Office
Number of Incoming Calls, etc., from Customers
|Number of incoming calls, etc.||Number of inquiries by telephone, email, letters, faxes, and other means|
Breakdown of incoming calls (Sekisui Chemical)
|Breakdown of incoming calls||The subjects of incoming calls are recorded on “Insider Net” and categorized as follows:
Data Relating to Employee CS & Quality Assessments
|Total Number of Responses||Implementation Count (Companies)|
Data Relating to Customer Surveys