June 9, 2011,10:28 +0900(JST) Safe Environment, Product Quality, and Clerical Work Quality Conventions
As in previous years, the Sumitomo Electric Group held Group-wide Conventions on Safe Environment, Product Quality and Clerical Work Quality, all the elements comprising our Group’s priority issues. I attended the conference together with many other parties concerned.
The conventions comprised reports on activities in fiscal 2010, commendation of excellent workplaces, and discussions on activities and tasks to be fulfilled during fiscal 2011. These programs were designed to allow all the management, ranging from corporate executives to frontline supervisors, to share information and foster common values. At the same time, I hoped that the conference would inspire the management of Group-wide organizations to apply best practices introduced at the meetings.
Attending the conventions, I had an impression that activities were being increasingly specialized, and speakers were developing their presentation skills year by year. I am concerned, however, that with the growth of respective organizations and scale of activities, individual workers involved in these activities might feel that they are only small cogs in a large wheel. Rather than voluntarily committing themselves to such activities, workers might feel organizational pressure to engage in them. To cope with such problems, we must further empower frontline leaders so they will be able to resolve various problems on site in a timely manner. Moreover, we must facilitate communication within the respective organizations, and maintain transparency and openness within our corporate culture.
To deepen awareness of related problems among all staff members across the Group, and to thoroughly promote relevant activities in all workplaces concerned, grassroots campaigns are essential. Since assuming the office of president, I have taken every opportunity to ask plant managers and frontline supervisors to tour around their respective workplaces at least twice a day, and to identify and take notes on at least three items that need improvement. At the conventions, I reminded participants of that instruction once again.
This year, in the wake of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, several speakers reported on our disaster preparedness, examining our existing measures against worst-case scenarios. After the disaster of March 11, many leaders of disaster-affected organizations excused themselves by saying, “the disaster was of an unexpected scale.” They used this phrase so frequently that it has become popular buzzwords. At the conference, I stated that in the Sumitomo Electric Group, all staff members should prepare for the worst, so that there would not be a single incident of an “unexpected scale.”
Concerning environmental activities, there were presentations about energy conservation, resource conservation, recycling, and the management of chemical substances. Some reports concerned measures against possible shortage of power supply. For instance, some speakers suggested the introduction of cogeneration systems and other responses to power supply regulations. With regard to eco-friendly products, it was decided that efforts should be made to improve their sales ratio to 50% of our sales by 2012.
Finally, I truly hope that all staff members will be patient and make tireless efforts to promote SEQCDD (safety, environment, quality, cost, delivery, and research & development) activities. Since new challenges continue to emerge in succession, we must remember that we should continue these activities endlessly. In this regard, I would like to remind us all of the saying: Perseverance leads to success.