Activities to Improve Quality
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.
Employee Monitor Program
Epson has a monitor program in which employees and their family members can participate. Persons who register as monitors evaluate products not as employees but as customers. The objective is to identify ways to improve product usability.
In the 2016 fiscal year we had 512 registered monitors who evaluated 15 products from a variety of perspectives prior to market release. The monitors rated the products, which included printers, projectors, wearable products and more, in terms of operability, visibility, and other usability and development objectives. The information gleaned from the results is used to improve the products and user manuals.
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. In addition, we hold meetings with suppliers and our own people who are in charge of supplier quality control at our operations divisions to improve quality assurance programs.
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.
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. The teams' accomplishments are judged, and the ones 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 2017 Worldwide Team Presentations conference was held in October, at which four teams from two Japanese companies, three teams from three Southeast Asian companies, five teams from two Chinese companies and one team from a European company presented their Kaizen results. A team named Inaugurator from Tianjin Epson Co., Ltd. came away with the top prize, the President's Award, for their development of an automatic ink cartridge vacuum packing machine.
Activities to Raise Awareness
November is CS & Quality Month across the global Epson Group. In 2016, we had employees take an online course in the product commercialization process and in methods to raise the quality of work to help ensure that we provide customers with higher quality products. In addition, about 1,000 of our employees attended an event arranged to present them with customer feedback. We use events like this to help shape our products and services to the needs of our customers.