June 27, 2013,15:10 +0900(JST) FY 2013 National Special Agents Conference

On June 10, Sumitomo Electric held a conference for national special agents related to our Network Products Sales & Marketing Unit and our Electronics Sales Unit.

At the conference, we explained our business performance and our new mid-term management plan VISION 2017, and requested special agents’ cooperation for a global expansion of sales. Subsequently, we presented awards to four special agents in recognition of their exceptionally outstanding performances over the past year.

Our business is supported by many special agents. At the event, we were able to hear from some of these special agents, our important business partners, about today’s market and customer trends. In addition, we were able to obtain some suggestions from them for the direction of future product development and establishment of a business model, making the event even more significant.

FY 2013 National Special Agents Conference

June 26, 2013,13:00 +0900(JST) Academic Initiatives Symposium at Osaka University

On June 1, I delivered a lecture at the Osaka University’s Academic Initiatives Symposium held at the recently opened Grand Front Osaka. Drawing approximately 300 audience members, the event took place in an exciting atmosphere.

In the keynote lecture, Osaka University President Toshio Hirano explained the future of the university truly passionately, saying that as a comprehensive research-oriented university, it will conduct reforms in order to be ranked as one of the world’s top 10 universities by 2031, the 100th anniversary of the university’s establishment.

Following his lecture, I spoke about what would be necessary for Japan’s new growth, with consideration for the dynamic change in the world caused by globalization. Additionally, based on this situation, I requested Osaka University to develop human resources who can play a major role in exploring the future, specifically “non-conformist with a solid backbone,” whom I have often mentioned before in my blog. I also asked the university to become more open to local communities, including industrial society.

Myself, giving a lecture

The Kansai region was once called the Financial Center of Japan. As indicated by this phrase, the region used to be home to a wide variety of industries such as textile, steel, and electrical machinery, and enjoyed great prosperity. I concluded my lecture by promising on behalf of the economic society that we will do our best to realize the revitalization of the Kansai region as a global center.

June 13, 2013,15:10 +0900(JST) Group-Wide Convention on Safety, Environment, Product, and Clerical Work Quality Improvement

Many important events took place in May. The last of them was the group-wide convention on safety, environment, product, and clerical work quality improvement held on the 31st.

This convention is a biannual event, where employees give presentations on their various efforts and improvements in these areas. As our group’s business covers a broad range of fields, there are a lot of challenges with varying possible solutions, and this convention serves as a great opportunity to discover such solutions. This year too, all the presentations were well aware of our current problems and carefully thought out, and I was deeply impressed and encouraged by their proposals.

I believe that each problem has different direct causes but, in most cases, it is caused by people. This is why I promote in-house improvement campaigns and activities, aiming to reduce as many such problems as possible. However, pursuing this aim is not easy in that when improvement activities work well enough to generate positive results, people tend to lose their awareness of problems, resulting in less active efforts.

Therefore, sticking to the basics in our day-to-day duties and raising our awareness of problems are the keys to our SEQCDD (safety, environment, quality, cost, delivery, and research & development) activities. In other words, the improvement of our attitude is essential to successfully overcome every challenge.

I often cite the Sumitomo Spirit of Banjinissei, which tells you to do your sincere best, not only in business but in every aspect of your life. Working haphazardly will end up a waste of effort with little gain. Only if you carry out your duties with strong problem awareness, things will work out for you and eventually your mission will be completed. In this regard, all of us are determined to remain fully committed to the SEQCDD improvement, while maintaining strong problem awareness, until we complete our missions.

June 7, 2013,10:00 +0900(JST) PM Engineering Center Opened

Although this happened prior to the date of the previous blog entry, I flew to Okayama on May 17 after attending a meeting in Tokyo in the morning. The purpose was to attend a meeting held at Sumitomo Electric Sintered Alloy, Ltd. (Takahashi, Okayama) for special agents carrying our cemented carbide tools and sintered powder metal products.

Since the company had just opened PM Engineering Center (PMEC) on May 9, the meeting also served as a good opportunity to introduce the facility.
(⇒Press Release:“Sumitomo Electric Sintered Alloy Establishes PM Engineering Center”)

PM Engineering Center Opened

At the meeting, we outlined the future prospects for the cemented carbide tools and sintered powder metal products businesses and also introduced our new products. At the same time, the attendees shared information with us on various topics, such as the front line business situation. By frequently obtaining information directly from those concerned, I can make my antenna even more sensitive. That is why I welcome an opportunity like this meeting.

PM Engineering Center Opened

PMEC features evaluation equipment for powder metal products and materials, which are used in various fields, such as automobiles, home electric appliances, and industrial machinery. The facility also contains product display spaces and education/training rooms. It is possible for the facility to receive products and materials from customers and evaluate them. Please do not hesitate to use this facility when necessary.

June 6, 2013,15:45 +0900(JST) VISION 2017 Released

On May 23, we released our next mid-term management plan VISION 2017. As a milestone towards a Glorious Excellent Company, this plan presents the ideal vision for our group in FY 2017, five years from now. We held a press conference for the announcement on the 23rd, and also explained the plan at the IR meeting held on the same day.

The IR meeting drew many people

Under VISION 2017, in addition to our current business fields, such as mobility, energy, and communications, where we can take advantage of our group’s strengths, we will expand integrated business fields where we will combine and systemize our tangible and intangible advantages and present new value in response to social needs, such as the environment & infrastructure. On top of that, we will challenge new business fields, such as life sciences and resources. By so doing, we will strive to accomplish the FY 2017 targets of consolidated sales of 3 trillion yen, operating income of 180 billion yen, and ROA of 9%.

At the press conference and the IR meeting, we were asked about our urgent problem of reviving our information & communications and electronics businesses. We, of course, realize that without a recovery in these areas, VISION 2017 will come to nothing. Going on the offensive, we are currently taking necessary action, such as restructuring our business operations and reviewing our business model. We hope to receive your continuous support and guidance.

Answering a question

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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