The Daikin Group Philosophy states that our mission is to identify and realize customers' future needs and dreams, even those that they themselves may not yet be aware of. By providing high quality products, materials, and service, as well as proactively proposing new solutions, we want to not only improve convenience and comfort for customers, but also increase the level of customer satisfaction.
Daikin aims to expand development sites and enhance our technical capabilities in responding to diversifying customer needs and creating new value that will contribute to society. We will deliver the best possible customer satisfaction by providing products and services localized to each market and ensuring they have a high level of quality.
We will continue to pursue customer satisfaction throughout the entire lifecycle of our products by assessing customer needs around the world and applying them in our product development and other business efforts. Daikin measures the degree to which customers are satisfied with after-sales services and utilizes this information to improve customer satisfaction. We are engaged in enhancing service engineer technical capabilities and improving the level of support for customers under a basic policy aimed at "the ultimate in quality service through speed, accuracy, and good manners" in the service divisions responsible for maintenance and other services.
In order to meet diverse customer needs and create new value that contributes to society, it is important that Daikin first build up its technological superiority by leading further advanced technologies: inverters, heat pumps, and fluorochemicals. It is also important to combine state-of-the-art technologies from around the world—such as information-communication, sensors, materials, processing, medicine, and healthcare—with Daikin technologies to come out with products and services that provide new value to customers.
Today’s world of unprecedented and rapid technological change requires the creation of new value, which is only possible through collaborative innovation that fuses a wide range of knowledge and technologies and takes us beyond current boundaries. To this end, Daikin established the Technology and Innovation Center in November 2015 with the aim of promoting collaboration with external partners in order to contribute to society through the creation of new value. We have established 30 development bases in six regions around the world at which we develop products in order to promptly and accurately respond to the needs of regional customers.
In November 2019, we established the Technology and Innovation Center CVC Office to promote collaborative creation with startup companies as a mean to accelerate open innovation integrating technologies and knowledge from both inside and outside the company. We will aim to quickly verify hypotheses to create new products, services and business models through collaborative creation with startup companies around the world practicing fast-paced management with advanced technologies, innovative ideas, and a spirit to challenge.
The Technology and Innovation Center (TIC), Daikin’s core base of technological development, brings together approximately 700 technicians in a range of fields. Amassing the strength of Daikin Group technicians, and strengthening cooperation and ties among companies, universities, and research institutes possessing unique technologies in differing industries and fields, the TIC is aimed at combining the strengths of people, information, and technologies from inside and outside Daikin in order to come up with innovation through collaboration.
To maximize this collaboration between Daikin and its partners, the TIC has gathering rooms, which can be used for anything from technician meetings to exchange unbridled opinions, to gatherings of opinion leaders from universities and industries around the world to use as they wish in spreading their ideas. They act as satellite offices of industry-academia collaboration projects between Daikin and the University of Tokyo, Osaka University, and other universities.
Daikin has established over 100 production bases around the world and does business in over 170 countries, and more than 75% of its sales come from outside Japan. To create the new value demanded by customers and their societies, we must develop products that match the cultures and values of each worldwide region. Daikin has R&D centers around the world, including in China, Europe, and North America, where efforts are made to create new value that matches various regional needs.
In today’s era of lightning-fast change, conventional core technologies no longer meet the world’s diverse needs. That’s why in May 2017 we have established the Daikin Open Innovation Lab Silicon Valley (DSV) as a sub-office of the TIC, a place where we come up with distinctly new products through the fusion of state-of-the-art technologies in artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). At the DSV in North America, a society of rapid technological change, we are striving to both absorb current state-of-the-art technologies and strengthen IoT and AI technologies.
In December 2017, we opened the Daikin Information and Communications Technology College in the TIC with the goal of fostering human resources who develop technologies and new businesses utilizing AI. The aim is to create new innovation through basic research in areas such as AI and IoT, the creation of systems for things like smart factories, the passing on of expert production-line techniques to the next generation, and the fostering of human resources who can advance the utilization of AI.
At Daikin, we aim to enhance the comfort and convenience of customers; thereby increasing their satisfaction by taking the initiative to make proactive solution proposals in addition to continually enhancing the skills of our engineers and level of dedication.
For customers in Japan, the Daikin Contact Center is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year for general inquiries from addressing repair requests to providing information and advice on our products from purchasing to technical consultations. We have also established overseas Contact Centers and an information provision platform on our website or via app to build up our after-sales service system so that customers can access the service they need according to the situation in their particular country or region based on Daikin's slogan of "speed, accuracy, and good manners," thereby improving customer satisfaction.
At Daikin, we conduct customer survey annually to assess the degree of service satisfaction.
In Japan, we conduct fureai surveys to assess customer support within after-sales services. In fiscal 2021, services received an overall customer satisfaction score of 4.60 (average on a scale of 5). We believe this result reflects our enhanced online survey security measures and other priority measures taken such as "dispatch within two days" for commercial air conditioners that we implemented in fiscal 2021.
In addition to basic training on air conditioning service quality for service engineers, we conduct a variety of training for each management level and job description and provide education necessary for acquiring certification.
In Japan, we hold workshops and giving technical assessment tests to all service engineers. Our rule is that no one other than service engineers who are certified with a minimum level of skill should carry out repair work alone. We are striving to provide training and education that raises skill levels and produces service engineers who can carry out precise, appropriate work while ensuring their safety on the job, thus meeting customer demands in terms of technologies and skills.
To further improve their abilities, we hold high-level training for chief engineers. So far, a cumulative total of over 2,000 people have passed the certification test for chief engineers. We have revised our certification examination system to incorporate quantitative evaluation for service quality performance in the certification standard in fiscal 2021. The quantification of technical capabilities on the job site allows us to identify their strengths and weaknesses, which will contribute to their growth.
Overseas, we also introduced service engineer certification systems and educational programs among other efforts. We launched programs in China in 2016 and in the ASEAN/ Oceania region in 2017. Further, we will also introduce these programs in Europe and Latin America.
We dispatch service experts from Japan to each country to conduct instructions on brazing, diagnose failures and provide technical guidance on repairs for key personnel to improve service quality. We provide a foundation to enable key personnel to continue developing these efforts in their own country.
After holding the first Service Olympics in 2016 at which 28 service engineers in 20 countries were selected to compete, the skills contests where participants competed on repair technology and customer support service quality were held in China, Asian countries and European countries. In 2019, contests were held in Central Europe, the U.K., and Thailand, and a regional contest was held for the first time in Europe.
In fiscal 2021, the competitions were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, a service innovation contest was held in search of new solution products where we invited participants from around the world to submit their ideas.
Going forward, we will provide an environment in which employees and engineers in each area able to improve through competition.
In the "Service University" training program for service engineers in Japan, participants take training courses right for their job over a period of four years. They also have regular tests to ensure they are retaining what they have learned. In fiscal 2021, there were 63 participants in their first year, 54 in their second year, 24 in their third year, and 24 in their fourth year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the training program has been offered through our website, such as via e-learning (Daikin Online Training) and Web-LIVE training.
Also, at service bases across Japan, teams are created that compete against each other in the annual Service Awards tournament. There, teams are quantitatively judged and awarded for their level of service in areas such as speed, accuracy, and good manners.
Quality of installation work is also an important aspect of customer satisfaction. Daikin Industries, Ltd. has seven training centers around Japan where we hold a variety of courses so that engineers can learn design, installation, and service techniques. We develop training programs to improve the installation and service skills of Daikin engineers as well as dealers.
In fiscal 2021, we established Training Plaza Saitama within the HVAC Kanto Sales Office in Omiya and began lectures on the fundamentals and installation. With the significant increase in demand for heating and cooling, we encourage more attendees to participate in lectures from Saitama and Kanagawa in aiming to enhance partnerships and expertise in installation among dealers.
We implemented an overhaul to step-up training to respond to a wide variety of job types and scopes of work in the market. This involved dividing job types into seven categories and changing the training structure to allow participants to choose training courses that are more practical. We will provide a total of 74 courses, which include step-up training, qualification acquisition and preparation courses for qualification exams.
In addition, we added 10 new online courses to extend flexibility to suit different learning styles for distributors to attend the courses more efficiently.
In particular, Daikin is among the first to introduce lectures on flareless joints, which enables consistent installation quality without requiring specialty skills in order to prevent refrigerant leakage resulting from deficient quality in flare installation.
Moreover, we provide support on human resources development to promote and enhance energy management business aimed at improving energy efficiency.
Daikin is conducting development rooted in the community led by our R&D centers in China and Europe, as well as in other locations around the world, including Asia/Oceania and North America, in order to accurately and promptly assess the needs of each region and apply that knowledge to product development.
In addition, in an effort to development new business and explore new technologies, we utilize open innovation labs to collaborate with local venture firms and start-ups in Silicon Valley and Shenzhen. In Japan, we pursued industrial-academia collaboration with universities such as the University of Tokyo and Osaka University. .
Furthermore, with the establishment of the Technology and Innovation Center CVC Office, we are now able to cooperate with start-ups around the world with speedier decision-making processes. By quickly examining novel thinking, we will aim to swiftly create new products, services and business models.
We plan to implement trials for the above technology and services within China in the future.
Going forward, we will strengthen collaboration with TIC, such as conducting research with mutual operation, with a focus on the key theme of converting combustion heaters to heat-pump heaters as a strategy for space and water heaters in the Fusion 25 Strategic Management Plan.
In the future, we will promote the creation of new values through utilizing AI and IoT technology.
Daikin Turkey A.S. is conducting surveys on NPS* and level of satisfaction via questionnaires among its business partners including retailers and service partners. The surveys examine the level of satisfaction, expectations, and requests with regard to quality and services.
Following from the survey result, we enhanced our online features in fiscal 2021 by moving away from mail orders to making it possible to handle quotes and manage orders, sales price of products and inventories online. Currently, this system is being used at many dealers and service partners.
Provision of product information to customer
To anticipate future customer desires, we believe it is essential that products designers and engineers deepen direct communications with customers. At our Solutions Plaza facilities located in Tokyo, Osaka, Shanghai, New York, Istanbul in Turkey, and throughout the world, we consult with customers while they are browsing actual products and energy management systems.
The virtual showroom fuha that was launched on our website in 2020 offers informative videos on the concerns customers may have or products of interest, as well as direct chat with dedicated staff through Online AC Consultation.
In addition, our initiative for customers to experience fuha up-close, such as Online LIVE Tour that allows customers to see products online, have become well established. Going forward, we will continue to make more new proposals for Daikin’s customers.
Requests, complaints, and other information obtained by the Contact Centers is recorded in a database. Information regarding the opinions and requests that sales representatives obtain from customers is shared among the Quality Division and relevant departments, who investigate causes and establish countermeasures to improve products and after-sales services.
Each division conducts customer surveys to enhance customer satisfaction.
We gather opinions on products on the Daikin website and we invite customers who purchased products to join the Daikin membership site Club Daikin, which has around 600,000 members, through which we conduct questionnaires.
In fiscal 2017, in response to requests for stylish air conditioners from customers who "want to remodel their home to become more fashionable but don't know what to about the air conditioner," we developed risora residential air conditioner offering designs that pursue harmony with interior design and offer the latest features.
With a body only 185mm thick, this model pursues comfort of space and is equipped with the latest features, including vertical airflow, ceiling airflow and premium dehumidification, features culminated in the Urusara 7 energy-efficient air conditioner.
In fiscal 2018, we added the option of customizable coatings of the front panel with a selection of 600 colors available in order to coordinate with the diversified interior designs.
The risora residential air conditioner design and functionality have gained a strong reputation in Japan and overseas, winning the fiscal 2017 Good Design Award and the international design award iF Design Award 2018.
In fiscal 2018, we launched Karaie, which dehumidifies homes without manual draining, in response to customers who worry about the interior humidity while they are away from home for an extended time for the Japanese market.
Daikin incorporates universal design (UD) into product development to enable even the elderly and physically disabled to operate products with ease.
Daikin Industries, Ltd. constantly strives to ensure that UD takes into account the needs of users by developing products with the realization that UD and monozukuri are one and the same.
Commercial air conditioners used in offices, shops and hotels are advancing with a variety of features that consider comfort, energy-saving and convenience.
At the same time, remote controls are becoming more complicated, making them difficult to understand by seniors and foreign visitors to Japan, two groups that have been on the rise in recent years, resulting in an inability to use the air conditioner in the way they expect.
The intuitive remote control used for the FIVE STAR ZEAS series of air conditioners for stores and offices released in April 2017 have a limited number of buttons and the LCD display can be changed to make operation easier for the user.
In addition, the display languages include Japanese, English, and for the first time, Chinese, as well as pictograms for those who speak other languages. In addition to the FIVE STAR ZEAS series, the remote controls can be used with multi-split type air conditioners for business use, realizing intuitive remote control operation easy for anyone to understand in a wider range of settings.
The chemicals divisions have identified "improvement of quality," "stable supply," "communication," "response to needs (development of new products)," and "environmental consciousness" as the main points to increase customer satisfaction, and aim to gain greater trust and satisfaction from customers by continually assessing information regarding the level of customer satisfaction and making improvements accordingly.
While the fluorochemical products produced by the chemicals divisions are highly advanced and highly functional materials, molding/processing them can sometimes require specialized methods. Not only do representatives of the Technical Service Department visit our customers to explain about our products, but we also conduct customer-oriented training seminars, titled "the Fluorine Classroom," to explain about the special properties of fluorine materials, and we hold product study sessions to guide them on the molding/processing methods using the facilities and equipment available to the company.
In fiscal 2021, we held 20 online sessions of Fluorine Classroom for customers who have expressed interest, which were attended by around 900 participants.
In addition, our annual networking sessions of "Chemicals Customer Appreciation Meeting" and "Dai Fluorine Gas Meeting," which are normally held between top management where participants deepen interactions through the introduction of efforts for application development and functions of fluorine that lead to new application development, have been postponed once again in fiscal 2021 after the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, we have vastly increased the amount of product information on our website in efforts to share more about the features and safety of our products. Inquiries from customers via our website are handled by sales representatives, who share the details of these inquiries with Daikin divisions related to technical service, research and development, quality assurance, and environment and safety.
The sales representatives of the chemicals divisions need to listen to researchers and product developers, who are Daikin customers, about the product functions they seek and offer them the ideal products for their needs. In order to optimize product functions in accordance with the circumstances of these customers, it is essential to have diverse knowledge of such things as processing methods, amount of additives, and temperatures.
For this purpose, once a month the chemicals divisions hold meetings that integrate business, research, and manufacturing, and training sessions. The goal is to share not only business information, but also knowledge regarding products, related laws and patent information. By giving concrete examples of product applications and use, as well as relaying customer needs, these meetings aid in the development of new products and applications. They also give sales staff a deeper understanding of product features so that they can provide customers with new solutions.
In fiscal 2021, sales departments also held training and educational sessions on such topics as the environment, AI & IoT, and compliance.
The chemicals divisions will continue to train personnel so that they acquire a deep knowledge on the use of fluorine in various business situations.
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