(1) The issue of QS customer requirements [From 2003]
Quality has improved remarkably compared to the 1990s. The reason for this is that two quality assurance systems (ISO and QS) have been established, effectively creating a framework that doesn’t produce defects. There have been significant changes in the operating environments of customers, and while companies were not considered to be among the worst manufacturers if ten defects were delivered per month ten years ago, since around 2003 two to three defects per month have been sufficient to be considered among the worst manufacturers.
It was determined that the QS standard would be terminated by December 2004, and it would be necessary to migrate to another system as an upgrade at that point. In order to meet the needs of customers, meticulous support was necessary, including consistent quality and just-in-time delivery management.
(2) Business Management System migration
There was a pressing need to migrate to ISO 9001 version 2000 as a QS standard upgrade. TS16949 (*2, hereinafter “TS”) was considered to be the successor to QS, and in the initial migration plan we aimed to adopt this standard after migrating to ISO. We held talks with a consultant that had been hired as an instructor for ISO introduction training for members of management from division managers and upward. The consultant suggested that we make a sudden transition to TS. This suggestion was immediately communicated to top management, and the approval of top management was gained. In the end, the only difference is whether the migration to TS is made sooner or later.
The TS introduction master plan was formulated in August 2003, following which activities to prepare for audits were steadily commenced, including the establishment of quality manuals and procedure documents and the planning and implementation of internal quality audits and management reviews. The certification body was the same as that for ISO and QS (TUV Rheinland Japan Ltd.), and the chief auditor was the same as for QS (Mr. Fisher). After a preliminary audit in March 2005 and a certification audit in July 2004, certification was received in September 2004.
As we were able to leverage our experience of establishing the two ISO and QS systems, this was achieved in a little over a year from the start.
(3) Spreading and instilling of the Fukai Business Management System [from 2005]
With the commencement of the application of TS as a tool for day-to-day operations, the Fukai Business Management System was launched. It is a framework for conducting all of the company’s operations in accordance with TS and evaluating the results every year. All operations are conducted based on TS. The company’s operations as a whole can be summarized as follows.
1. The medium-term management plan (draft) is prepared based on the business policy and quality policy, and approved by the executive committee after a department manager meeting is held.
2. Each department makes single fiscal year department targets and policies based on the medium-term management plan that is approved.
3. Targets and policies for each division are prepared and deployed among division employees based on the department targets and policies after an internal department meeting is held.
4. The supervising executive confirms the implementation status and progress of the targets and policies by each group and section and evaluates the results reports.
5. Each department and division conducts analysis of the differences between targets and results.
6. Each department and group/section reflects on the past fiscal year and incorporates the results in the following fiscal year.
Process 1 through 6 are repeated every year in an aim for continuous improvement.
*The results of 5 serve as feed-back for the department targets and policies for the next fiscal year.
*The results of 6 serve as feed-back for the business policy and quality policy.
With this becoming possible, there has been not only an improvement in manufacturing quality, but also a remarkable improvement in business management.