April 30, 2009,17:03 +0900(JST) Joint conference on safety, environment, quality and clerical work quality
At every opportunity, I try to impress on people in the Group the vital importance of "S-E-Q-C-D-D," Safety, Environment, Quality, Cost, Delivery and Development, for a manufacturing company. "S-E-Q-C-D-D" is in fact what makes or breaks a manufacturing company.
To improve our organization in terms of "S-E-Q-C-D-D," I strongly believe it is crucial to maintain close communication among respective divisions: such as Manufacturing, R&D, Sales and Corporate Staff Groups, share information concerning their various challenges and problems, make efforts and work together toward the common goal of finding optimal solutions. Accordingly, since I assumed the office of President, we have held a company-wide joint conference on safety, environment, quality and clerical work quality twice a year, in spring and autumn.
The other day we held the 11th conference at Itami Works. It included a review of activities during FY 2008 by the respective groups, and statements of resolution for FY 2009 policy by the group representatives. The conference enabled the whole company to share information including the year's action policy and plans, and to exchange ideas and opinions.
Since it was already the 11th conference, the respective groups demonstrated improvement in their preparation and participation, as well as in actual positive results from their activities. Nevertheless, considering our ultimate goals for safety and quality, "zero" accidents and defects, we know we must always continue working on those themes, and that it is therefore necessary to carry out campaigns on those themes in a repeated, yet refreshed manner each time, so that the entire endeavor will not become merely rote effort.
To speak in somewhat abstract terms, we must approach those themes of improvement from both theoretical and practical aspects. We must first look closely into theoretical principles, then translate them into concrete, effective and practicable methods. To make sure that these methods are carried out with perseverance, repeated education and training are needed, in order to develop an appropriate mental attitude among the personnel that will govern their practice. As well, strong leadership from top management is essential.
The conference also covered our environmental activities. There were reports regarding the status of major activities including energy conservation, promotion of “Zero Emissions” and chemical substance control, as well as thorough control systems emplaced in response to the RoHS Directive (EU Directive on Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and REACH (EU Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals). I hope that all group members will continue their efforts in this domain, while always maintaining its high standards and goals, as environmental issues continue to gain importance in society.
As for clerical work quality, reports were given at the conference regarding efforts toward clerical error elimination and cost reduction. With staff members making proposals for improvement activities and directly engaging in such activities on a day-to-day basis, positive changes are being realized through the compilation of working documents, BR and other manuals, solidification of the clerical work foundation and so forth.
Having listened to all the reports, I was once again reminded that the company is supported by small but consistent daily efforts by every single staff member. I was deeply touched by the reports and presentations, which reflected the sincerity of Sumitomo Electric people's commitment to their work. The conference turned out to be a great day of inspiration and encouragement for me.
After the conference, which concluded on a positive note despite the ongoing and extremely severe socioeconomic situation, I felt I understood the meaning of those words of Saicho, the founder of Tendai Sect Buddhism: "Those who illuminate a small corner of society are truly a treasure of the nation."