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Activities to Improve Quality

Epson conducts a variety of programs in line with a quality policy we established to provide concrete guidelines for continuing to create products and services that please and are trusted by customers. Good programs are shared across the global organization to boost the level of the Epson Group as a whole.

Quality Control Training

Epson provides QC training to all employees. The goal is to continuously improve quality by developing people who can identify and address the root causes of problems. Employees receive practical training that they can put to immediate use. In the basic course they learn the fundamentals of QC along with problem-solving tools and techniques. Epson also offers professional courses that teach advanced analytical techniques.

Quality control training program

Standard QC Courses for All Employees (Japan)

Trainer Training at Overseas Production Sites

Epson believes its products should be of the same high quality no matter where they are manufactured. That is why Epson puts a great deal of effort into QC training outside Japan.

Employees of global production sites who have undergone QC trainer training and who are recognized to have reached a certain level of knowledge and teaching proficiency become licensed as trainers.

Trainer training (Singapore)

Licensed trainers list (China)

Licensed Quality Control Training Trainers

Quality Improvement Initiatives (E-KAIZEN Activities)

Epson companies conduct so-called "E-KAIZEN" continuous improvement activities on both an individual and team level to systematically solve problems encountered on the job.

Every year, the results of team-based improvement activities are presented and evaluated in blocs. There are four blocs, consisting of Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe/America. The teams with the best presentations in each bloc are invited to the Worldwide Team Presentations in Japan, where the winning presentations are recognized with awards. In addition to presenting activity results at the various bloc events, we make QC circle presentations available for viewing online. By promoting similar activities across the Epson Group, we look to learn from one another and to raise awareness of the need for continuous improvement.

The Worldwide Team Presentations conference was held in October 2015, with 12 elite teams from the various blocs giving their presentations. Lulutong, a team from Epson Engineering (Shenzhen) Ltd., (ESL/China) came away with the President's Award in recognition of outstanding actions taken to establish a multi-model production system. Liang Weiguo, manager of P Key Components Engineering and Manufacturing, the department to which Lulutong belongs, said, "We want to help increase productivity across Epson by rolling out this production system to other production sites. The goal is not to win the President's Award but to further increase productivity. Still, we will try to win the President's Award again next year by further developing our skills and teamwork."

The FY2015 Worldwide Team Presentations, in Japan

Members of the President's Award-winning Lulutong team

Increasing Customer Value -CS & Quality Month-

FY2014 CS & Quality Month

November is CS & Quality Month across Epson.
We hold an employee poster contest to raise awareness of quality, choosing the best poster and posting it at Epson sites around the world. During the month we also review routine quality assurance activities and take action to further increase customer value.
A few examples of company-wide activities that took place in 2014 are provided below.

Example 1: Meetings to discuss, select, and address customer needs
We held discussions around the questions, "Do you genuinely understand customer needs? What can you do right now for your customer?" These discussions afforded an opportunity to examine our quality assurance activities in greater depth. Each department considered and discussed what they need to do from a customer perspective to maintain and improve product quality and customer service.
Discussions are the start of action, not the end. The content of discussions is incorporated in action plans.
Among other things, discussions were used to:
- Talk about past quality issues, select issues to address, explore countermeasures, and implement continuous improvements;
- Identify small "stresses" that have not yet been exposed; and
- Check whether work in administrative departments was tied directly to customer value.

Lecture on the prevention
of quality problems

Example 2: Lecture on the prevention of quality problems
An outside lecturer was invited to speak from a quality problem prevention standpoint about ways to correctly identify customer needs and how to link those to the creation of customer value.
The lecture reminded us that producing products exactly as instructed by planning and design departments does not create customer value unless the actual needs and wishes of end users are met. It is important for everyone to consider what the customer expects and to collectively come up with ideas for meeting those expectations.

Problem-Solving Training

Example 3: Problem-solving training
To sell customer-pleasing products and services, we have to solve problems in business processes. To do so, we have to follow the steps in a logical thinking process that accurately recognizes and defines problems and digs down to their root causes. Instructors provided employees with problem-solving training.
Employees learned to solve problems by thinking logically in line with a problem-solving process (problem identification -> identification of problem location -> cause analysis -> exploration of solutions).
Epson is improving its CS and quality control capabilities by using quality control and logical thinking courses to train staff who understand how to use the QC story, PDCA cycle, and logical thinking to solve issues.