Offering maximized value to Customers
Message from the General Manager of Sales Headquarters
Managing Executive Officer,
and General Manager of Sales Headquarters,
This fiscal year, the foremost priority for IHI salespersons is to understand where customers are heading and try to add value for realization of Customers' goals. The aim is to improve customer satisfaction by responding to their needs, specifically by moving beyond the perspective of selling things to achieve the bigger target of deeply understanding customers’ mid-to-long term goals and strategies and then offering them maximized value by leveraging IHI’s technical capabilities.
To improve customer satisfaction, we have established the below four guidelines to reform our mindset, ultimately to achieve our sales and profit targets:
- Go beyond the mindset of selling “things” and adapt accordingly
- Accelerate sales by removing barriers between domestic and overseas operations
- Roll out activities to increase IHI fans respectful business activities
- Nurture sales personnel who can be trusted by customers
Initiatives to Improve Customer Satisfaction
IHI provides education and training to ensure that personnel fundamentally understand sales principles, methods, etiquette, courtesy and so forth, as well as to enforce quality control in business divisions and enrich product safety. Companywide rank-based training and other programs are conducted regularly for each business division.
Each year, new sales personnel are trained in the importance of developing a customer-oriented mindset in terms of both attitude and concrete action. This fiscal year, four cumulative days of training were held for approximately 60 salespeople, including new hires and transferees. In addition to studying practical sales tasks, the participants learned about sales concepts through lectures by sales executives and senior staff members and panel discussions among divisional general managers of sales. Moreover, factory training in each business division instructed participants about IHI’s “monozukuri” precision manufacturing, product cost structures and safety, and the importance of compliance. As can be seen, multifaceted training programs were deployed to improve customer satisfaction.
IHI satisfies customers and gains their trust by leveraging technology to offer safe, useful products and services that meet real needs in society.
The Quality Committee, which comprises representatives from Group companies, meets regularly to discuss quality issues. In FY2016, efforts were focused on restructuring quality-control processes, strengthening the quality-auditing system and strengthening operations that support quality.
To restructure quality-control processes, manufacturing processes were broken down into detailed flow charts to understand each process again and to support risk assessments. The assessments involved people not only from manufacturing, but also production engineering, design and purchasing divisions. Improvements were made and shared both on an individual and operational level.
For strengthened auditing, IHI participated in the internal audits of multiple affiliate companies to evaluate overall management and quality systems and to share best practices and learnings regarding auditing subjects and procedures. Also, group-wide training was held for just under 500 internal auditors.
For quality-related operations, we identified key needs to be shared horizontally, including identifying defective products due to non-compliant welding, heat treatment, painting, etc. that occurred in the previous fiscal year and eradicating inconsistencies between actual work and work procedures. Each business division addressed such issues by making necessary revisions in their rules, procedural manuals and quality control process charts for use on shop floors and at training programs. The effectiveness of these revisions were evaluated in meetings and internal audits of quality-management systems, and various related issues also were addressed.
Each business division is responsible for its own quality-assurance and quality-control activities.
The Quality Committee reviews the results of measures taken by the divisions, as well as any related themes and ensures that knowhow is properly applied and shared throughout IHI. The committee employs the PDCA cycle to strengthen working relationships between Group companies and to make certain that best practices for quality assurance and quality control are implemented.
Quality Assurance Promotion Diagram
As of April 1, 2017
Quality Management Systems
Business divisions adopt quality management systems including ISO9001. Certification bodies conduct annual monitoring to determine if these systems are working and if there are opportunities for improvement. IHI’s 31 affiliated companies and divisions in Japan and 35 affiliates overseas engaged in design, manufacturing or services have obtained quality certifications including ISO9001.
In FY2016, there was no case of a product or service being in serious violation or non-conformity with quality rules or regulations.
In line with the cutoff date of September 2018 for migrating to ISO9001:2015, business divisions with ISO9001 certification either completed restructuring of their quality management systems or are in the process of doing so. A training course relating to this migration was established in FY2016 and held for nearly 400 employees on approximately 20 occasions.
Employee Training and Education
IHI conducts training to enhance product-quality management, customer satisfaction and product safety. In addition to position-specific training, business divisions carry out their own general training programs.
Training for new employees includes etiquette and product-quality courses covering theoretical and practical elements to instill a customer-oriented mindset. Training for second-year employees includes lectures on quality and intellectual property rights. Third-year employees learn about safety and engineering ethics. Midlevel employees are trained in manufacturing technology. Such training was also carried out for IHI Group companies, where more than 400 people completed each course. Additions made last year included a seminar for third-year employees to refresh their awareness of quality management and product safety. Also, a seminar was held for new foremen and assistant foremen of manufacturing section regarding solving problems and overcoming quality management challenges. About 200 people participated in the former and some 100 people in the latter.
In FY2016, five seminars on quality and product safety were held on 13 occasions for some 200 participants.
Safety design and quality improvement
IHI is constantly working to enhance the safety of its products.
During product development, we conduct risk assessments by considering each product's usage and life cycle, as well as by designing measures to reduce risk and providing customers with information on any residual risk. When designs are altered, we conduct risk assessments of the changes, including the extent of the impact on products.
For mass products, we strived to develop more safe designs and higher quality products to respond to customers’ changing needs amid globalization, stricter environmental and safety regulations and technology advancement. Specifically, we set up a specialized design unit to streamline our standard product portfolio and standardize our designs. In the design phase, we thoroughly reviewed design processes. We also reviewed how we evaluate suppliers to ensure that they are evaluated properly beginning from the development phase to improve quality.
These efforts were shared with the Group's Quality Committee to facilitate application to other products and models as required.
In FY2016, there was no serious accident involving any product.
Activities in FY2016
Group Achievement Awards from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA presented Meisei Electric, an IHI Group company, with a Group Achievement Award for its DIS (Dual Ion Sensor) ion observation equipment. Development commenced in 2008 as a joint project between Meisei Electric, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS), a satellite to observe Earth’s magnetosphere,launched from Cape Canaveral in March 2015, is using 16 of these devices for stable, high-quality data observations.
MMS is the first satellite used to achieve electronic kinetic observation of magnetospheric plasma with both temporal and spatial resolution. Meisei Electric will continue contributing to research in this field.
Certificate of Appreciation from Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd.
In October 2016, IHI’s Process Plant SBU received a Certificate of Appreciation from Hokkaido Gas for leveraging its extensive experience and technologies to complete the construction of the second storage tank at Hokkaido Gas’s Ishikari LNG terminal, working under the general contractor Tokyo Gas Engineering Solutions Corporation.
Much of the natural gas consumed in Hokkaido is shipped from the Ishikari LNG terminal, which is the region’s only large LNG import terminal. The second LNG storage tank will enable flexible responses to Hokkaido’s expected increase in natural gas demand as well as help to diversify LNG procurements. As such, it will support life in Hokkaido by contributing to the stable operation of the Ishikari LNG terminal.
IHI will continue contributing to sustainable societies by leveraging technologies that support the stable supply of clean energy.
Certificate of Appreciation from Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc.
In November 2016, IHI’s Process Plant SBU received a Certificate of Appreciation from Tohoku Electric Power for applying its installation capabilities and cutting-edge technologies to complete the construction of LNG import terminal facilities including an LNG tank and LNG vaporization equipment. The work was part of an LNG fuel equipment installation project being carried out at the Shin-Sendai Thermal Power Plant’s Unit 3.
IHI applied its JCM method for the first time to shorten the LNG tank’s construction period and meet the expectations of Tohoku Electric Power, which is helping to reconstruct the Tohoku region following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Tohoku Electric Power received the Edison Award for the Shin-Sendai Thermal Power Station's
Unit 3, which will help advance the region’s electric power industry as a leading example of post-earthquake reconstruction and development.
IHI will continue leveraging technologies to support safety, quality and reduction of environmental burdens.
Disclosure of Information about Products and Services
IHI is carrying out a continuing series of media campaigns, including via advertisements on TV, newspapers and the Internet, to introduce its corporate vision to the public, raise awareness of IHI and bring IHI closer to people’s everyday lives. The campaigns are closely coordinated with relevant divisions to ensure that accurate information is provided to customers and other stakeholders. In addition, precautions are taken to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, such as the Copyright Act and the Trademark Act, and related industry rules and regulations. Moreover, effects of the campaigns are monitored regularly to identify opportunities for improvement.
In FY2016, no violation of any law or regulation applicable to advertising or publicity public relations was reported.