Epson conducts activities to improve the quality of its products, services, manufacturing and sales in order to provide quality that exceeds customer expectations and earns their trust.
Supplier Quality Assurance
Epson internally manufactures key components such as printheads for inkjet printers. At the same time, our suppliers also provide us with many of the parts needed for manufacturing. Therefore, our quality assurance programs go beyond the Epson Group. We share our approach to quality with our suppliers and work with them to improve quality.
For example, we stipulate our basic quality assurance policies and requirements in quality assurance standards, verify the quality of parts by visiting suppliers, and give them advice about ways to improve.
Quality Control Improvement in Manufacturing Processes
The role of manufacturing processes is to create products that accurately reflect the voice of the customer captured in product plans and designs. In manufacturing processes, we build products that meet specified quality requirements. We specify a lot of quality controls for product components and processes. Quality control engineers are sent to manufacturing sites worldwide to introduce quality improvement activities so that we can strictly manage required controls at the sites and assure quality.
We collaborate with local engineers to solve problems logically, develop the talents of manufacturing professionals, and improve quality at plants around the world.
Global Sharing of Service & Support Information
Epson has built service and support organizations around the world so that our customers can use our products and services with confidence.
We hold an annual Epson Group Services and Support Conference that is attended by people in charge of these functions at our overseas regional sales headquarters and some sales companies. The purpose of the meeting is to improve the quality of our service and support. At the meeting, we share technical information about service and support, as well as about the use of our products and services by customers. We also review actions and discuss issues to formulate long-term strategies. The results of the meeting are used in our Group companies around the world.
Improvement of Employee Quality Control Skills
Epson provides quality control training to all employees so that they can help improve quality. Manufacturing personnel, engineers, and office workers separately receive training for the basics of QC first. After that, they receive systematic training to learn the skills required to fulfill their duties and participate in E-kaizen programs (see below).
In addition, we train and certify QC trainers at overseas production sites and certify trainers so that our overseas employees can receive the same level of training as our employees in Japan.
Epson aims to develop people who are able to identify and address the root causes of problems so that we can produce and sell products and services that exceed customer expectations.
Standard QC Courses for All Employees (FY2020, Japan)
|Course||People tranied||% trained|
|Region||Number of Production Sites with Licensed Trainers||Licensed Trainers*1|
|Southeast Asia||7 companies||77|
*1 Number of licensed trainers as of March 31, 2021.
The entire Epson Group participates in continuous improvement activities. Called "E-Kaizen" at Epson, these activities are used by both teams and individuals to solve problems.
Epson holds an annual Worldwide Team Presentations conference at which the best teams from each of four blocs (Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe/ America) present the results of their kaizen activities. Their accomplishments are judged, and the teams that report the most outstanding accomplishments are recognized with awards. In addition to sharing kaizen presentations within each bloc, Epson reports best activities in the company newsletter and on the company intranet to motivate others to learn and make their own improvements.
The 2020 Worldwide Team Presentations were conducted by judging video presentations to avoid the risk of COVID-19. Four teams from two companies in the Japan bloc, four teams from four companies in the Southeast Asia bloc, and four teams from two companies in the China bloc presented their Kaizen results. A team named "Open Circuit Pioneer" from Epson Engineering (Shenzhen) Ltd. came away with the top prize, the President's Award, for their effort to reduce the functional defect rate of the S9000II models.
Activities to Raise Awareness
November is CS & Quality Month across the global Epson Group. During the month, we review and improve our business processes from a customer satisfaction(CS) and quality standpoint.
In FY2020, we used the month as an opportunity to improve the quality of work by re-learning the basics of the quality management system and by reviewing our current practices. One of the events for CS & Quality Month was a talk given by a director, who spoke about executive management’s commitment to CS and quality and about initiatives to improve CS and quality in Epson’s businesses. The talk, which included numerous specific examples, helped raise awareness of the importance of both customer satisfaction and quality. A large number of employees listened to the talk live in the main hall and at the 13 sites to which it was broadcast. Others listened in after a movie was posted on the company intranet. An online course for Epson Group employees was also offered in Japan and completed by 94% of employees. In addition to the talk event and the online course, each of our sites and global manufacturing affiliates carried out their own events. We use events like these to help shape our products and services to the needs of our customers.