October 29, 2009,11:22 +0900(JST) “S-E-Q-C-D-D” Activity – Perseverance leads to success.

Chanting a safety slogan in unisonThe other day I attended a semi-annual company-wide conference on safe environment, product quality and clerical work quality. Group representatives gathered at Itami Works, and regional hub representatives participated through a video conference system. The all-day conference included reports on activities during the first half of the year and in-depth discussions, which enabled the whole company to share information including future directions and plans. From reports by the respective groups, we can learn directly how staff members in the field are struggling or exercising their ingenuity to improve operations. Since I assumed the office of President, this semi-annual conference has been one of the things that I have been looking forward to.
All the activities reported in the presentations employed the “scientific approach,” which has been handed down through the company’s long history. Perseverance leads to success.
Today, I will write about activities chosen from the reports on environmental and clerical work quality activities.

Potted foliage plant given as a presentAs for environmental activities, a report was given regarding energy conservation achieved by minimizing air resistance of rotating bodies using computer-aided engineering (CAE), a technique which has been nurtured through product development. Further energy saving may be achieved by expanding applications.
Regarding Eco-Life Activities, a program launched in 2008 for promoting energy conservation at employees’ homes, the number of participants increased to 4,416 families. In a best-practice case reported, all members of one family actively participated in this effort. They came up with ways to save energy, such as frequently switching lights off, curtailed use of televisions and air conditioners and lowering preset temperature of hot water supply, then carried out these actions and quantified the effects of the respective measures. I offered a letter of appreciation to the family. To families who achieved the goal of CO2 emissions reduction of one kilogram per person per day, the company presents potted foliage plants grown by Sumiden Friend, Ltd., a special subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric. A first step toward resolving environmental problems is to change the state of consciousness of each and every person. I hope these energy-saving activities will spread among many more families.

As for clerical work quality, a report was given regarding an effort to improve and rationalize operations using a unique tool. A diagram based on a golf course map was put up at the workplace so that everyone could track the progress of their activities at a glance. By sharing and visualizing tasks, this tool helped raise a sense of participation among staff members and further activate the campaign. With some touches of humor, this presentation was very impressive and easy to understand. It provided a typical example of the way even a low-key, steady activity can be carried out with pleasure, without becoming a merely rote effort, by employing an ingenious device.

The SWITCH Campaign was launched in 2008 with the aim of adopting an efficient mode of working, so as to improve the quality of both working and private lives. This year, the second year of the Campaign, our efforts focus on operational efficiency improvement in the office sector. I expect the next target will be operational improvement in terms of IT and enhancement of clerical work reliability.

Presenters and I at the partyAfter the report session, a party was given in appreciation of the presenters’ services at GENKI Club, an employees’ clubhouse. It was inspiring to hear their stories of struggle and success. They also talked about the sense of satisfaction they had when things turned out well. As alcoholic drink serves as a lubricant, we can come up with good ideas.

We at the Sumitomo Electric Group continue to promote reinforcement of the “S-E-Q-C-D-D (safety, environment, quality, cost, delivery and development)” aspects of our operations as all-participatory campaigns, aiming to turn tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge.

October 16, 2009,10:49 +0900(JST) A Beautiful Autumn Day in Kyoto

Sumitomo Electric is a 25% shareholder of Sumitomo 3M Ltd., where Mr. Jesse Singh was appointed President almost two years ago.

Mr. Singh was dispatched to Japan from the innovative and vigorous 3M headquarters in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Seeing that both Mr. Singh and his family had become quite accustomed to life in Japan, I invited them to Kyoto, a place closely associated with the Sumitomo Family.

Kyoto greeted us with a crisp early-autumn breeze. Our tour included a former residence in Shishigatani of the main branch of the Sumitomo family, and its garden, called Yuhoen, as well as Sen-oku Hakuko Kan, a museum housing ancient Chinese bronzes collected by Tomoito Sumitomo, the 15th Head of the Sumitomo Family.

At Shimogamo Shrine, the Singhs experienced oharai, or purification rites. For dinner, we treated them to authentic Japanese cuisine prepared by Tankuma, at Sekison-tei, a favorite Kyoto residence of literary great Junichiro Tanizaki, through the kind offer of Nissin Electric Co., Ltd., which now owns the villa as its guest house. Here we spent an evening unique to Kyoto, in a room that opened on to a well-tended garden lit with stone lanterns, and with the clear sound of a shishi odoshi (a rocking fountain once used as a deer scarer) occasionally cutting through the silent evening.

I learned that this is the first time Mr. and Mrs. Singh were being stationed overseas, so imagined they must have had few previous chances to experience the Orient. Perhaps the day somewhat overwhelmed them with the avalanche of Japanese culture.

Spending the day with them reminded my wife and me of the culture shock we received when we were first posted overseas more than 30 years ago, though in our case it was from Japan to the U.S. On the way home from Kyoto we couldn’t stop talking to each other about those days. I couldn’t be happier if the trip to Kyoto left the Singhs with pleasant memories as well.

•	Sekison-tei, the guest house of Nissin Electric Co., Ltd.

October 14, 2009,08:49 +0900(JST) Three S (SSS) Can Provide All Your System Solutions!

In front of the reception with President Washino of SSSLast week, I visited the Osaka office of Sumitomo Electric System Solutions Co., Ltd. (SSS). The former Senba and Torishima offices (located in Osaka City) were amalgamated and operations started at the new office in new premises at the end of September. Occupying the 8th and 9th floors of the Tosabori Daibiru Building, completed only in July, the office is less than five minutes by car from Yodoyabashi, where my own office is located. The entrance to the building was extremely airy and spacious, with a 9-meter high atrium. I went up by elevator to the 8th floor, where the reception desk was beautifully decorated with flowers that many of our business partners had kindly sent us to mark the office opening. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their generosity.

SSS was the result of the merger of Sumitomo Electric Hightechs Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Electric Field Systems Co., Ltd. With a turnover of 35.7 billion yen and employees totaling 770, SSS is a key player in the Sumitomo Electric Group’s IT related business. Its motto is providing special solutions after a single contact. Its wide-ranging business domains include the design and manufacture of substrates and electronic devices, development of software packages and built-in software, system creation, operation and maintenance, all based on the IT expertise nurtured and developed over many years.

Listening to the management presentationWe went straight into a power lunch, where I heard reports from top management on the company’s performance, current management issues and future plans.

I was briefed on the company’s technology development efforts in improving safety and convenience and in adapting to energy efficiency and low carbon emission requirements, for example by using DSSS (*1) and telematics (*2), as a unique company that possesses all the technologies in transport, navigation, maps, servers and software. Although the company has now withdrawn from the car navigation system business, the constituent technology acquired there is utilized in the ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) business, I was delighted to hear. I was also provided with explanation on the FTTF (Fiber To the home solution for The Factory) business, which is the customization of the FTTH (Fiber To The Home) technology into a factory network that would serve as a company’s vital support infrastructure.

After the meeting, I went on a tour of the new office. The building being brand new, it felt great. The big windows looked out onto Tosabori River and the wonderful view beyond. On the spacious floor of the office were desks where a large number of technical experts were working. It was a real snapshot of an intelligent-labor-intensive industry.

I hope that the merger of the old offices would lead to the deepening of mutual interaction among the professional technologists, greater sharing of technical expertise and information, and healthy competition among staff. All these should propel the development of new products and new technologies that can meet the demands and expectations of our customers.

*1. DSSS: Refer to “DSSS Test Drive
*2. Telematics: Using mobile communication systems such as cell phones to provide services to automobiles and transport vehicles, with the two major aims of realizing safety and reliability functions and of improving customer usability and convenience through information distribution

October 6, 2009,16:53 +0900(JST) Welcoming new Sumitomo Electric members

Delivering a letter of appointmentOctober 1 was an extremely busy day, with many functions to attend: a company entrance ceremony in the morning, a reception in the evening for future employees informally engaged to start work next spring, and between the two events, meetings in which our Business Units and Divisions reported on their business plans for the second half of the current fiscal year-- in a way, in response to the appeal I made via in-house broadcasting, which I wrote about in the previous entry.

At the company entrance ceremony (or new recruit-encouraging ceremony) held early in the morning, I delivered in a solemn atmosphere letters of appointment to three new recruits starting their working life this autumn, and to six others hired mid-career.

Welcoming new Sumitomo Electric members, I always give the same message, requesting them to do the following:
- Master the basics of your work, and do your work conscientiously,
- Strive to improve and develop yourselves constantly, and
- Attach utmost importance to your communication with others.

For those starting out at their new job, the most important thing is to get used to the new environment and lifestyle while ensuring good health and safety. I hope our new members will do this well, and soon begin demonstrating their abilities to the fullest so that they can enjoy rich and rewarding working lives.

Proposing a toastAll the company executives were present at the reception held in the evening on the same day for the university students who are expected to join the Company in April 2010. I understand that this year's job hunting has been particularly difficult for students everywhere in Japan. I am very grateful that many talented students will soon be joining us.

In raising our glasses, I said that although we are headquartered in Osaka we always do business from a global perspective, and expressed my wish that our new members will forge strong wills so that they can move forward even in adversity, like the current severe business climate triggered by last year's financial crisis. You can tell which plants are strongest when a strong wind blows, as the proverb says. With these words, the reception began.

As for my impressions of those young people, they all looked spirited and lively. They broke up into circles here and there, chatting cheerfully. Many of them came up to me to ask to be photographed with me or firmly shake hands with me. Those future Sumitomo Electric leaders filled me with positive energy and optimism.

To those future Sumitomo Electric members: the period between now and graduation will be a very busy time for you, as you must complete your theses or research projects. I hope you will spend these last months of your student life in a meaningful way, doing your best at your studies and extracurricular activities, and cherishing moments you share with your friends and family. I look forward to seeing you in good spirits and health in April 2010, at your company entrance ceremony!

October 1, 2009,13:16 +0900(JST) At the outset of the second half of fiscal 2009

As of today, we are already in the second half of fiscal 2009. During the first half, we focused our efforts on corporate constitutional reinforcement and sales expansion. Such efforts enabled us to upwardly revise, in our statement published last Friday, our business performance estimates for the first half-year: sales 810 billion yen (+20 billion yen), operating income minus 10 billion yen (+20 billion yen), ordinary income minus 13 billion yen (+20 billion yen) and net income minus 14 billion yen (+8 billion yen). Though it is gradual, I can feel our structural reforms and reinforcement measures taking shape in concrete results.

As for our year-long performance, the future is not totally transparent, since there is some concern for the economy hitting another bottom. Therefore, we are carefully reviewing our estimates and plan on publishing figures on October 30, together with consolidated business results for the second quarter. We will continuously do our very best so that the Company's performance can meet the public's expectations. I sincerely hope that we will be able to enjoy your continued warm support.

According to "custom," to mark the beginning of the second half-year, early this morning I made an enthusiastic appeal to the whole company, via in-house broadcasting, about safety, environment, quality and the SWITCH Campaign, which comprise the foundation of our corporate activities. You might say that I'm always talking about the same things, but it’s because I believe that for an organization to firmly embrace the same policy and values it is vital that the leader at the top reiterate the message directly. So this is what I practice. Communication, information and dialogue are particularly important and necessary in order for people to understand and accept a new policy orientation. This applies, I think, to the ongoing change of government in Japan.

Coming back to my appeal, here's the gist of what I said:

1. S: Safety
In the first half-year we achieved some positive results, such as summertime occupational accident prevention, but we still have areas to work on, such as unsafe behavior and faulty control. In the second half-year, I hope to see the Company thoroughly and steadily promote safety, by carrying out the KKP (Monozukuri Kiban Kyoka Program = Manufacturing Foundation Reinforcement Program) and the group global safety and assurance diagnostic activities, thereby establishing safe working environments and methods and making equipment safer, so as to achieve the goal of "zero accidents."

2. E: Environment
Reducing CO2 emissions is our duty as global citizens. We have achieved steady, positive results in energy and resource conservation, recycling, reduced use of toxic chemicals and so on through our Action ECO-21 activities. Let us further promote environmentally responsible activities at work and at home, raising awareness about the environment and making our eco activities more visible.

3. Q: Quality
During the first half-year, our process of quality improvement, such as total loss removal, decelerated. In the second half-year, it is important to make sure that those solutions and measures will not end up as mere symptomatic remedies. Please make sure to follow without fail the cycle of setting up a correct framework – doing – checking and correcting throughout the process from design to manufacturing; clarify tasks and time limits and identify the causes of problems so as not to delay quality improvement.

4. SWITCH Campaign
We have made some progress in the framework of this Campaign, which encourages you to do no overtime work on certain days and take all your paid holidays by planning ahead. This year, the second year of the Campaign, we are working on clerical work review and efficiency improvement, so that we can work efficiently and produce quality results. Let us promote a corporate culture that enables all personnel to enjoy their work and their private time to the fullest.

SUMITOMO ELECTRIC President CEO Masayoshi Matsumoto

Born in 1944 in Hyogo Prefecture, Masayoshi Matsumoto joined Sumitomo Electric in 1967. After serving as General Manager of Chubu District Office, Managing Director and Senior Managing Director, he assumed office of President and CEO in June 2004.

His leisure activities include jogging, reading and art appreciation. Also a seasoned athlete, he played baseball in junior high school and practiced judo in senior high school. In university, he threw the javelin competitively and participated in all-Japan inter-university competitions.

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