Mitsubishi Materials Group cutting technologies are increasingly playing a key role across new markets all over the world, including the aerospace and medical industries, as well as the automotive industry. The Advanced Materials & Tools Company embarked on a branding project in 2013, with the intention of enhancing company brand value by providing more customers with attractive value propositions, and establishing an even greater international competitiveness. In 2014, we formulated a vision 2020 for the Advanced Materials & Tools Company, in line with the MMC group's long-term management policy. We also set out a brand concept, brand message and logo, as shown on the right, to help guide the way towards achieving that vision.
The terms "Waku Waku" and "your global craftsman studio" reflect a strong desire to share inspiration with our customers, and to continue to grow together. We have also produced a brand movie, and have been organizing helpful briefing sessions for all divisions, including domestic and overseas group companies, in an effort to better convey concepts such as these to individual employees.
To enable us to achieve our vision, we have had numerous teams working on value activities since 2015, covering two separate fields aimed at customers and employees.
In order to share inspiration with our customers, we believe that it is important to start by creating a culture that is conducive to sharing inspiration within the company. That is why we implement a range of value activities aimed at employees.
We get colleagues in each division within the company to work together and discuss in detail what "sharing inspiration" means to them, and what they need to do to achieve that. As a result, each individual workplace, from sales to manufacturing, have started to formulate their own "Waku Waku Manifesto," to help visualize their objectives and targets. Each division then posts its completed manifestoes and progress with day-to-day activities the "Waku Waku Site," a social network-style section of the company intranet. Sharing information on a broad basis within the company breaks down barriers and breathes life into communication between divisions, plants and branches, and enables employees to support one another's activities throughout the company.
Value activities for employee led to employees interacting with one another and broadening their scope of inspiration. We rolled out value activities for the customer at the same time in an effort to extend that to customers too.
In order to seriously address manufacturing issues being experienced by a wide range of individual customers, and provide them with solutions that offer high added value, we have assembled a number of teams consisting of members of different divisions, so that we can devote energy to activities on a daily basis.
We set up the Waku Waku Site so that all employees can access details of value activities for the customer too. Employees are also encouraged to share inspiration by posting thank you messages and positive comments to one another. The following section outlines a handful of examples.
We try to offer hospitality and services that exceed expectations, and have set ourselves the ambitious target of being listed in top 20 must-visit factories in the world. Three teams, from our Tsukuba Plant, Gifu Plant and Akashi Plant, are working on value activities together.
We provide a warm welcome when employees from other division come to visit too, as we continue to strengthen ties between employees.
In 2016, we launched the "Machining Technology Academy" at our Machining Technology Center, with the aim of communicating with customers about the technology, skills and expertise.
We have published three numbers of MMC Magazine to date. The concept behind the magazine is based on sharing a sense of excitement (Waku Waku) with those involved in manufacturing around the world, covering subjects such as trends in the manufacturing industry, particularly cutting, and efforts to challenge new themes.
Customers who have read the magazine so far have given us positive feedback, including comments such as "it has changed my impression of the company" and "we'd like to feature next time." Copies are even being kept at the Mitsubishi Archives.*
* Archives operated by the Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute URL：http://www.meri.or.jp/
"Everything starts with improving employee motivation." That is the underlying philosophy behind the Waku Waku Project. You could say that it's a question of reforming our corporate culture, extending beyond so-called corporate branding and focusing on improving employee awareness.
I always think of this project as being like climbing a mountain. It won't be easy making it to the summit. Success will depend on each and every employee being determined to make it through to the very end. I would say that we're about 30-40% of the way up at the moment. When we get to the top however, I imagine there will be a great view waiting for us, as we see the true beauty of sharing inspiration with our customers for the first time. Let us all keep on climbing, one step at a time.