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.
Systems That Convey CS & Quality Management Mission to EmployeesBuilding Systems That Will Encourage Concrete Action by Employees to Enhance CS & Quality
Sekisui Chemical Group formulated its CS & Quality Management Mission in fiscal 2004 and on three occasions since then, in fiscal 2004, 2005 and 2007, has issued a CS & Quality Management Guide, which serves as a tool for explaining to employees that the Group positions CS & Quality activities at the foundation of its management.
In addition, in fiscal 2008, the basic policies needed to bring the CS & Quality Management Mission to realization were compiled and disseminated to Group employees for their information.
In fiscal 2016, in view of the fact that more than 10 years had passed since the formulation of the CS & Quality Management Mission, the Group issued the fiscal 2016 edition of the CS & Quality Management Guide with the purpose of once again internally instilling its mission and policies. In addition to restating the CS & Quality Management Mission and basic policies, it was intended that the fiscal 2016 edition make all employees consider the universal and basic parts of the question “Who is your customer?” In fiscal 2017, this 2016 Edition CS & Quality Management Guide was also translated into other languages, including English and Chinese, and distributed to 14 companies in China, 10 companies in North America and Mexico as well as to 11 Group companies in Europe.
In fiscal 2018, to continue working to instill CS & Quality Management at overseas Group companies, we distributed the 2016 Edition CS & Quality Management Guide to 21 Southeast Asia companies and to two companies that had newly joined the Group companies in China.
CS & Quality Management Booklet
- Japanese edition
- English edition
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.
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 the 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.
Moderated by the managers in charge of CS & Quality, study groups were started at factories and sales offices in fiscal 2013. In addition, in that year’s educational program for newly appointed managers, participants were encouraged to declare their own actions through dialogue with others on the program. 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.
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.
Specifically, 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 Seminars
For CS & Quality Seminars we invite people 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 53 seminars have been held from the first event in 2001 through to the end of fiscal 2018.
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 2018, a total of 281 people participated in the three seminars held at Sekisui Chemical's Tokyo Headquarters on plant floor ideas of how to create ways of thinking and systems to instill CS activities voluntarily.
●May 18, 2018
“Guiding Principles of Managers Who Learned to Strengthen the Front Line at Disney and USJ”
Chihiro Imai, Director, Communication Energy Co., Ltd.
●August 24, 2018
“What Do People Need to Work Happily? Cybozu Thoughts about Improving Motivation”
Takenori Wada, Executive Director, Teamwork Research Institute, Cybozu, Inc.
●February 1, 2019
“Giving Form to Feelings Leads to CS. Things I Learned from Restaurants, Tiffany & Co. and Disney”
Hiroshi Ueda, Representative at Otona no Terakoya Enkaina
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.
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. Although postponed for various reasons in fiscal 2018, plans are in place to hold the contest in fiscal 2019 using a new method.
Systems That Confirm Attractive Qualities from the Viewpoint of SocietyAttractive Qualities Screening System for Evaluating by Outside Experts
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. The evaluations are based on a product’s ability to provide value to customers and society, not just on sales and profits.
This system has been implemented since fiscal 2008 and a cumulative total of 13 products has been selected for awards: four in fiscal 2008, three in fiscal 2011, four in fiscal 2014, and two in fiscal 2017.
In addition, and in order for Sekisui Chemical Group employees to share what concepts and perspectives were used to commercialize award-winning products, we post on our intranet The Story of Attractive Qualities, the secrets behind the development of these products. More than just a means to provide helpful hints and increase awareness, this initiative is instilling a greater sense of pride while motivating employees to take on the challenge of developing new products despite the various hurdles they may face.
In fiscal 2018, we posted details of each Story of Attractive Qualities based on interviews with related parties in connection with the two products that received awards in 2017 on the intranet. Drawing on the opinions of various sources including outside experts, we undertook a review of the management and other methods of the Attractive Qualities Screening System in the leadup to implementation in fiscal 2019.
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.
We believe that employees' awareness of CS & Quality is steadily improving, as the number of respondents is increasing year by year. In addition to conducting results feedback through individual visits to executives at each business site from the fiscal 2014 results, since fiscal 2015 we have worked to expand overseas by conducting employee CS & Quality assessments in China as well.
In fiscal 2018, we partially reviewed the content of the questionnaire, following the judgement made through the assessment completed three times from 2012 to 2016 that the CS & Quality system in each organization had to some extent been fixed. As a result, wording of a question was changed from “presence or absence of system” to “presence or absence of system operation.” In addition, from fiscal 2018, when providing feedback to each business site, we hold a workshop where executives talk to each other about the CS & Quality system and the activities of their own organizations.
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. To provide support that satisfies customers without requiring them to be directed to call the departments responsible for the matters concerned, 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. Thanks to this initiative, we have received praise from customers concerning calls relating to opinions and requests.
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 on from the publication of the first issue in fiscal 2015 and the second issue in fiscal 2017, the third issue was published in fiscal 2018. In addition to the number of incoming calls from customers and the content of their inquiries, we worked to further enhance the editorial mix with a booklet that contributes to the improvement of CS & Quality, such as by posting the content of interviews with related departments with regard to the improvement case studies of products that had prompted many general inquiries. Moreover, in order to provide more familiar information that would serve as a hint for better responding to customer and that could not be conveyed solely through the VOICE publication, we prepared and posted VOICE PLUS, a special issue, on the Company’s intranet.
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 2018, customers who had responded that they were “very satisfied” reached 75.6%.
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.
In addition to announcing the results of employee CS & Quality assessments, in the 37th to 39th issues of STAR 55 Bulletin published in fiscal 2018, a year in which natural disasters frequently occurred, we carried articles on the activities of employees and partner companies that, while maintaining their close links with customers, were actively involved in disaster recovery activities.
STAR 55 Bulletin No.’s 37, 38, and 39
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
|Number of Award-winning Products||Award-winning Products|
|First (Fiscal 2008)||Four Products||
|Second (Fiscal 2011)||Three Products||
|Third (Fiscal 2014)||Four Products||
|Fourth (Fiscal 2017)||Two 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 in Japan
|Total Number of Responses||Number of Bases Visited to Give Feedback|
The number of bases visited is calculated on the basis of offices with the same address excluding Headquarters and research institutes.
For example: Visits to Tokyo Sekisuiheim Co., Ltd. and Tokyo Sekisui Famis Co., Ltd., which have the same address, are counted as one base.
Data Relating to Customer Surveys