To provide quality products that exceed the expectations of our customers around the world, we strive to develop systems and human resources that can further enhance quality so that customers may use our products safely and well into the future.
The AISIN Group has advocated the philosophy of “Quality First” and believes that maintaining and enhancing quality forms the basis of our existence. In addition, we promote Total Quality Management (TQM) as a corporate activity to improve the constitution of the Group based on a “Customer First” mindset, in which everyone involved in work within the Group cooperates with each other to achieve management goals. To reinforce our “Quality First” and “Customer First” philosophies, we held the second All AISIN TQM Conference in fiscal 2017, in which 434 participants, including members of top management of Group companies, directly shared commitment of AISIN’s top management to TQM activities. The AISIN Group continues to develop human resources capable of maintaining and improving quality standards throughout the Group.
A group-wide and worldwide effort to put customers first
The AISIN Group shares quality-related information of each Group company and deliberates on matters to be addressed at Group quality assurance meetings. Our global quality assurance system includes quality improvement committees in North America, China, Oceania, Europe, India and South America, and each region is collaborating with the head office through the corresponding committee to enhance quality. Moreover, our QA Centers in North America, China and Oceania are engaging in development of human resources in seeking to ensure self-reliant quality assurance in each region.
In April 2017, we established the All AISIN Quality Assurance Center. We will channel the knowledge and resources of the entire Group into the center and work to prevent the occurrence of major quality issues.
Enhancing the quality of products through full employee participation
AISIN Group companies conduct QC circle activities that engage all personnel in each workplace, and activities to propose innovative improvement ideas for achieving higher product quality and work quality. We also promote human resources development through these activities.
These QC circle activities are now widespread throughout Group companies in and outside Japan, and the outcomes are announced at the Global QC Circle Conference. In fiscal 2017, a total of 42 circles, or 200 employees, from 40 Group companies overseas and two companies in Japan participated in the conference and were keen to report on their activities. As for activities to propose innovative improvement ideas, we remain at the highest level in terms of the number of awards for the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Awards recognizing outstanding examples of improvement.
Developing professionals in quality
The AISIN Group promotes the nurturing of quality professionals capable of using statistical quality control (SQC) methods in their work and encourages employees throughout the Group to attain QC certification (levels 1-4) issued by the Japanese Standards Association. By the end of fiscal 2017, 28,872 employees had acquired the certification at the 14 main Group companies. Additionally, to cultivate scientific problem-solving capabilities, we are promoting the practical use of a fact- and data-based scientific approach through training in SQC methods and by sharing information in improvement examples presentation sessions.
Initiatives to ensure reliability
The AISIN Group thoroughly surveys actual product usages in different parts of the world to increase the level of its performance evaluation, and consequently, ensure safety and reliability in products.
In an effort to ensure the reliability of automotive parts, we operate three large-scale proving grounds, and from the standpoint of finished vehicles, conduct repeated adaptability tests using actual vehicles. Each testing ground has updated its test tracks designed to recreate various road conditions around the world to reflect changes in the marketplace. We also repeat tests across the world based on stringent conditions that accurately reflect different natural environments and ways in which vehicles are used in different countries. This enables us to accumulate new knowledge and data, which we then incorporate into development, quality assurance and improvement of evaluation technologies.
For lifestyle and energy related products, we use large-scale equipment, such as an environmental chamber, and repeatedly conduct tests that take into consideration how products are used in the actual market so that we can continue to create products that are both safe and reliable.
Responding to customers
The AISIN Group sincerely listens to the voices of its customers and responds to their requests. During large-scale exhibitions we organize twice a year, we set up booths for employees of the AISIN Group to listen to recorded complaints from customers and truly learn what our “Customer First” philosophy means. For lifestyle related products, we respond promptly, accurately and thoroughly to customers’ inquiries through the Customer Support Department and incorporate their requests into product development. In Europe, we have created a customer response manual in fivelanguages and have been working to improve our customer response skills.
Developing human resources and systems with a consumeroriented perspective
While capturing customers’ voices and social trends, the Customer Support Department foresees trends in relevant laws and regulations as well as in international standards and reflects the findings in a review of catalogs and operational manuals. The department also provides education for employees responsible for creating product catalogs. We also encourage employees to obtain certification as Advisory Specialists for Consumer Affairs, with the aim of developing more human resources capable of incorporating consumer perspectives into their work. We currently have 30 certified employees.