Customer Commitment

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Customer Satisfaction

Epson uses its technology to create unique materials that are used in a variety of industries and to create solutions to customers' problems.

Development of Ultra-fine Magnetic Powder

Metal powders are materials that are used to inexpensively mass-produce metal components with complicated shapes. Within this highly competitive market, Epson Atmix Corporation, an Epson Group company, has established technology for manufacturing magnetic metal powders. These magnetic powders, which have no rival when it comes to the fineness of the grains, make it possible to produce extremely small and high-performance components that are used in an expanding range of applications, from PCs and smartphones to solar power generators, electric vehicles, and low-power home electronics.

Magnetic powder

SMD (Surface Mount Device) coils
used as electronic components in notebook
PCs and other products


Members of R&D discussing components
of magnetic powders

Epson Atmix acquired the knowledge and expertise that would enable them to unearth industry needs by directly engaging in dialog with players in the metal powder industry and with component manufacturers in the electronics, automotive, and other industries. These conversations convinced Epson Atmix of the strong need for ultra-fine magnetic powders that only Epson could provide.

Moreover, since magnetic powders can be mixed with other materials to develop applications such as magnetic shield materials and magnetic fluids, we see growing opportunities to provide customer value.


The GP-C800 Color Business Inkjet Printer

In Taiwan most hospitals and clinics dispense medicines in a bag made from fanfold paper. A dot-matrix printer is used to print dosage information and other instructions on the bags. Hospitals and pharmacies wanted to be able to print a large volume of prescription bags quickly and quietly without paper jams. They also wanted to print color photos of medicines on the bags to ensure that patients correctly identify the medicines. Epson realized it could solve the customers' problems by developing an inkjet printer capable of handling fanfold paper.

Prescription bag used in Taiwan

GP-C800


Operation panel designed for usability

Usability was another high priority. To maximize ease of use, product designers modified the size and placement of buttons so that they would be easier to operate while wearing gloves. They increased the amount of ink onboard so that cartridges would have to be replaced less frequently. Epson developed a new mechanism that protects the print head from paper dust and sharply increases its durability. Thanks to this innovation, these printers deliver up to 1.2 million total prints1.

The GP-C800, which combines traditional Epson strengths in dot-matrix printers (the fanfold paper feeding mechanism) and inkjet printers (fast, high-quality prints), is the product of a close partnership with customers, whose comments and ideas led to innumerable modifications and improvements. Today, the printer is being used not only by hospitals and clinics in Taiwan but by courier services and retailers in China, as well as by customers in various industries for other applications.

1 When using paper the same size (6.5 x 7.5 inches) as that used for pharmaceutical bags in Taiwan

Design-by-Customer Approach

Epson has product design centers around the world. Our designers visit customers on-site to learn about their problems and wishes, and to identify ways we can make future products easier to use.

Case Study 1: Office Printer Housing Color

A survey conducted by Epson showed that the requirements and wishes of printer users in North America, where home offices are commonplace, are different from those in other regions. One of the differences was that, whereas white is generally considered to be the color of choice for office equipment in other markets, many North Americans strongly prefer black. This discovery led Epson to develop black office printers.

Customer requests led to new black office inkjets

The same model in white


Kenji Yanagisawa
U.S. Design Dept.

Kenji Yanagisawa of Epson's American design department says, "The information we gathered by going out into the field and talking to and observing customers is invaluable to our development efforts for the North American market. Going forward, we intend to do an even better job of thinking like a customer and designing products to meet their wishes, whatever they may be."


Case Study 2: Fixed and Stowable Designs

When we visited customers who use our office printers, we noticed that paper trays and operating panels were often left open. This suggested two things: 1) the importance of being able to use the printer without any setup; and 2) the value of a design that makes the printer look clean, uncluttered, and solid during use. Conversely, a lot of home printer users told us that they would prefer a printer with trays and so forth that can be closed up so that the printer fits easily on a shelf when not in use. Given these different wishes, we took a different design approach for business and consumer printers.

Office inkjet with fixed paper trays and control panel

Home inkjet with stowable paper trays and control panel


Isao Sakamaki
European Design Dept.

Isao Sakamaki of Epson's European design department says, "We try to gather as much feedback as possible from customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and to design our products to fit their use."

Epson collects information about how products are used around the world, shares that information with other departments from the product planning and development phases, and sets clear design quality objectives. We also build prototypes to repeatedly verify the quality of designs so that we come up with products that not only are visually appealing but are also easy to use.


Employee Monitor Program

Monitors evaluating products

Epson has a monitor program in which employees and their family members can participate. Persons registered as monitors evaluate products not as employees but as customers. The objective is to identify ways to improve product usability, quality, and design.

In the 2011 fiscal year Epson had 605 registered monitors. The monitors evaluated nine products, including printers, projectors, and watches. We use the feedback from monitors to improve things such as user manual readability and product usability.