Konica Minolta Awarded Top Position In the Tenth Quality Management Level Research by JUSE

February 5, 2019

Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) is pleased to announce that the company has been awarded the top position in the tenth Quality Management Level Research by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE).
The award presentation ceremony was held at the Report and Lecture Meeting of the tenth Quality Management Level Research in Tokyo on January 28, 2019.

In the research, Konica Minolta was among the top three in four factors among a set of six factors* to evaluate systematic programs for improving quality and the status of ongoing activities. Notably, Konica Minolta was highly evaluated for its commitment to advancing cross-organizational efforts and promoting in-house digital reforms to establish an IoT-based production system independent of people and place.

*“Top management commitment,” “expansion of quality management,” “development of human resources to ensure quality management,” “establishment and compliance of processes,” “customer value creation,” and “capability to cooperate across divisions”

Konica Minolta's Efforts

1. Promoting Service Development Using Design Thinking

Design thinking is introduced to create valuable services. The business divisions cooperate with the Human Experience Design Center to promote development. Design thinking is a mindset and a method for discovering the value that customers need. It helps create ways to realize that value by applying rapid cycles of observation, empathy, issue definition, idea generation, prototyping, and verification.

Based on design thinking, Konica Minolta will continue to pursue the creation of value that customers are truly seeking, in various business areas. It will also produce innovation that contributes to the identification and solution of challenges for society and local environments.

2. Quality Assurance System in Service Business Areas in the IoT Era

Konica Minolta has been transforming itself into a digital company with insight into implicit challenges, and has been expanding its scope of products offered to customers to service business areas. The company believes it must shift from product quality assurance to service quality assurance and establish the most innovative processes. The company promoted the construction of a service commercialization process, and human resource development for process management, to create a mechanism for ensuring quality in the upstream stage of the service business. Furthermore, a company-wide working group was established by the development and quality assurance divisions based on several key terms: cloud-based services, product security, and agile development. Konica Minolta has been promoting quality assurance in the service business areas worldwide.

3. Digital Manufacturing for Production Independent of People, Place, Country, and Variation

Konica Minolta has been promoting efforts to reform its manufacturing based on the IoT concept, and has been working to establish digital manufacturing. In addition to automating the work directly undertaken by people, digital manufacturing aims to create and utilize a mechanism to automatically collect huge amounts of information related to the production process by harnessing IoT-related technologies in order to produce substantial results. Digital manufacturing has been introduced in stages at Konica Minolta's model plants. It has facilitated a shift from the conventional production system dependent on individual skills to a production system independent of people, place, country, and variation. It has also effectively saved manpower while maintaining quality. A project is underway to deploy digital manufacturing from Konica Minolta's plants to main partner companies to produce more extensive results.

Overview of the Quality Management Level Research

The Quality Management Level Research, conducted every other year, offers an independent evaluation of up-to-date quality management in Japan. Analysis is made in six factors in terms of making a quality management system and actually running the system. Scores are given in each factor and summed up for the overall ranking.

The 10th research covered the manufacturing, construction, and IT service industries in Japan. It was conducted from July 2 to August 31, 2018, and 193 companies responded.

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