The HORIBA Group's quality assurance activities cover the following three stages: the first stage, covering product planning to design; the second stage, covering material procurement to manufacture; and the third stage, covering shipment to after sales services. In order to satisfy the needs of our customers, we strive to develop the highest quality standards in the world at each stage, in addition to producing safe and Eco-Design products of outstanding quality. To this end, we are working to reduce total quality costs in a balanced manner with respect to prevention, assessment and loss.
We also collaborate with HORIBA Group and suppliers to establish a comprehensive quality assurance system so that we can provide customers with high quality products with consistency throughout the world.
The HORIBA Group hosts the HORIBA PQI Competition in which employees compete over quality improvement results every year. In the competition, participants vie with one another to achieve the best results under themes such as reducing the defect rate, making technological improvements as well as on-site improvements. During the course of this event, a wide range of quality improvement activities are carried out. The HORIBA Group and its suppliers are committed to quality improvement activities and are building a system to work together.
The BlackJack Project began in 1997 with the objective of changing the awareness and activities of employees. In 2016, 819 project themes were registered. In addition to themes related to improving operational efficiency and reducing costs, many themes related to developing human resources and improving organizational strength were registered.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the BlackJack Project, the corporate activity and one of the features of HORIBA's corporate culture in which employees take the initiative to drive organizational reform.
We hold an internal World Cup competition among candidate proposals from each country where we operate and have employees. This competition also provides an opportunity to demonstrate to management and employees how we make our belief a reality. We see the BlackJack Project as having the important function of sharing corporate culture, experience and knowledge.