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Responsibility to Customers (Provide Quality Products and Enhance Customer Satisfaction)

JFE Group Standards of Business Conduct

1Provide quality products and services

Earn the trust and regard of customers by endeavoring to provide safe, high-quality products and services based on superior technology, and by fully respecting and protecting the privacy of personal and customer information. Also, leverage our superior technologies for the sustainable growth of the Group and society.

Quality Initiatives

The JFE Group manages quality by ensuring compliance with quality standards set by each operating company. All manufacturing sites that require ISO 9001 certification for their quality management have been duly certified.

Strengthening Quality Assurance System

JFE Steel

To serve customers by meeting their quality requirements and delivering products that boast the world's highest quality, JFE Steel has established a quality assurance system with advanced sensors for process monitoring, in addition to its ongoing efforts to develop new products and advanced manufacturing technologies.

The company's quality assurance system is being continually improved based on the Guidelines for Enhancing Quality Assurance Systems, issued by the Japan Iron and Steel Foundation (JISF). Moreover, in an effort to enhance reliability in its product testing, the company has introduced high-precision equipment and is working to thoroughly eliminate human error and data tampering by automating each process, from conducting tests that include providing instructions on testing and collating specimens to the delivery of test results.

JFE Steel has received all quality assurance certifications required for steel products, including the JIS mark and approvals from ship classification bodies, regarding its quality management system based on ISO 9001. In response to customer demand, the company has also received certification under the national standards of relevant foreign countries.

JFE Engineering

Products and services that JFE Engineering designs, procures, manufactures or constructs must comply with all required rules and regulations, and quality must satisfy the needs of our customers. Under this corporate policy, the company continually strives to improve the quality of its products and services.

For example, certified inspectors conduct inspections at each phase of a plant construction project, including the design, construction, and test-run phases. Immediately prior to final delivery to the customer, a witness inspection is conducted either in person or remotely so that the customer can be directly assured of its quality with their own eyes. In addition, JFE Engineering has published quality-management manuals based on the specific characteristics of each product and obtained ISO 9001 certification for each product category.

To further strengthen its quality assurance system, JFE Engineering uses an electronic document processing system in its quality inspections to prevent omissions in inspection data and data tampering, and it electronically stores all inspection data to reinforce traceability.

JFE Shoji

Guided by its quality philosophy of maintaining customer trust by consistently delivering products that satisfy quality requirements, JFE Shoji is constantly striving to enhance the level of its quality assurance for customer confidence and satisfaction. Its processing centers in Japan and abroad are systematizing and automating operations to eliminate human errors. Raising employee awareness is essential for preventing human error at every stage, from receiving orders to processing, inspecting and shipping. The company continues to strengthen quality education for employees by introducing case studies of non-conformance at other companies as well as at Group companies in Japan and abroad. JFE Shoji also conducts a quality audit at all relevant Group companies in and outside of Japan to confirm the quality of each processing center and to provide advice. Moreover, it follows up as necessary by continuously monitoring the progress of improvements to maintain and enhance the level of quality assurance.

Ensuring Stable Supply

JFE Steel

Right up to the present day, JFE Steel has been strengthening its manufacturing base while bolstering the capabilities of the West Japan Works by maximizing its performance.

Under the Seventh Medium-term Business Plan, JFE Steel will pursue digital solutions to strengthen its manufacturing base. It will also boost yield by stabilizing quality such as through the full-scale introduction of quality prediction technology that utilizes data science based on integrated data, across the entire manufacturing process, from steelmaking to final processing.

Through these activities JFE Steel will stabilize facility operations as well as production and quality to continue providing high-quality products to customers.

JFE Engineering

As a licensed contractor undertaking mechanical, civil engineering, and construction work, JFE Engineering is required by the Construction Business Act to assign dedicated managing engineers at construction sites to oversee the technical aspects of construction work. The smooth implementation of plant construction projects depends on licensed specialists. The company is always striving to secure the necessary human resources by encouraging employees to acquire qualifications by granting expenses and through mid-career hiring of licensed personnel.

JFE Shoji

JFE Shoji will ensure stable supply by strengthening regional marketing channels, making capital investments for the Group and raising efficiency to realize an optimal system for sales and processing, and by conducting quality audits at Group companies to bolster its quality assurance system.

Improving Customer Satisfaction

JFE Steel

Aggressive Advancement of DX

JFE Steel's Digital Transformation (DX) strategy revolves around technological innovation based on the active introduction of IoT, AI and data science (DS) and the application of data assets. Compared to mills in other countries, we possess an enormous amount of know-how and data accumulated through many years of production operations. Our abundant data assets are the source of our value creation.

We will harness the latest DS and AI technologies to make versatile use of such data in achieving innovative improvements in productivity, enhancing quality and ensuring stable operations to raise our competitiveness.


Advancement of Digital Transformation (DX)

Advancement of Digital Transformation (DX)

Please see the DX REPORT.

DX REPORT

Testing and Research Centers for Collaboration with Customers on Product Development

JFE Steel collaborates with customers in research and development. The Customers' Solutions Lab (CSL) for auto industry customers, the Steel Structural Materials Solutions Center (THiNK SMART) for infrastructure-related customers and the JFE Welding Institute -Center for Integrity against Fatigue and Fracture (JWI-CIF2) are located in eastern Japan, while the Customer Center Fukuyama (CCF), which develops materials and conducts applied technology research, is in western Japan. Using these facilities to strengthen early vendor involvement (EVI)*enables the company to quickly identify customer needs and develop products based on cutting-edge evaluation techniques and innovative production processes.


*Customer participation in product development is from an early stage to facilitate innovative new methods, functions, processes and evaluations for new steel materials.

Customers' Solutions Lab (CSL)
Customers' Solutions Lab (CSL)

Enhancing Our Response to Customer Needs

In an effort to strengthen the company's total capabilities for better responding to customer needs, its sales department emphasizes sales education for sales personnel, from the headquarters and branch offices according to position, and for regional employees of overseas offices. Specifically, it develops abilities in areas such as engaging in technical conversations, picking up clues from customer relations and using them in product development, offering suggestions to improve logistics and distribution, and analyzing financial indicators and costs. We also constantly strive to improve our ordering system to ensure that customer product specifications are accurately reflected in manufacturing.

Unified Customer Care

JFE Steel regularly conducts customer questionnaires and interviews to draft strategies for greater customer satisfaction. Business strategies are shared among the sales divisions, the business planning functions and steelworks to facilitate unified customer care and proposals that leverage the collective strengths of the JFE Group.

JFE Engineering

Create and Continue to care for the Foundation of Life by Maximizing DX

JFE Engineering plans, designs, builds and operates the infrastructure that supports people's lives and industry. Digital transformation (DX) is crucial for accelerating the pace of its work and for maintaining its position at the forefront of the engineering industry.

JFE Engineering will aggressively pursue DX beyond simply raising operational efficiency to fundamentally reform its operational processes, add new functions to its products and services, and take on the challenge of developing new businesses that utilize data, to address ESG issues and enhance corporate value.

Maximizing DX to Create, Support and Maintain  the Foundation of Life

Please see the DX REPORT.

DX REPORT

Engineering Company Assessments Based on Customer Evaluations

JFE Engineering uses customer surveys, interviews, and contractor performance evaluation forms to collect and assess data on the company's construction management, quality, advanced technologies and innovation. Each division analyzes and applies the data for quality improvement, new product development and the overall strengthening of aftersales service, to ultimately enhance customer satisfaction.

JFE Shoji

Meeting Customer Needs

To respond quickly to diversifying markets and increasingly sophisticated requests from customers, JFE Shoji is strengthening its entire supply chain from materials procurement to processing and distribution.

Recognizing that meeting customer needs requires proposals of a higher level than what they expect, the company also focuses on educating employees through training, in addition to actual practice and on-site experience for gaining knowledge and expertise.

Furthermore , it will take into consideration the implementation of DX into the steel supply chain as a means of providing a higher degree of innovative value to its customers.

For more details related to customers, please refer to the following information.

Data on Training Related to Customer Care

Responsible Export Practices

Each JFE operating company promotes international peace and security by working against the spread of weapons of mass destruction and excess accumulation of conventional weapons. Specifically, the company carries out internal inspections to confirm the final destinations, customers and applications of its exported products, and then ensures that export procedures are carried out properly. In addition, the Legal Affairs Department conducts internal briefings to disseminate knowledge of export-related laws and regulations, such as the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act. Also, JFE provides education on export security controls and related measures for the employees of Group companies involved in trading.

Promotion of Research and Development

JFE Steel

Under the Seventh Medium-term Business Plan, JFE Steel is promoting research and development of innovative technologies for the steel manufacturing process, such as CO2 reduction technology, carbon‐recycling blast furnaces and CCU, and hydrogen-based ironmaking (direct reduction) . These technological developments leverage data science and robotics to closely align with the needs of customers and society at large.

In addition, JFE Steel is accelerating the introduction of new products and solutions for each field, with automobiles including EVs and new energy as key areas of R&D.

JFE Engineering

JFE Engineering develops technology as a company that creates, supports and maintains the foundation of life. In the area of creating infrastructure, the company has developed proprietary high-efficiency boilers for waste-treatment and power-generation facilities that realize stable, clean incineration treatment and generate power at the highest level of efficiency in Japan. In the area of supporting infrastructure, JFE Engineering continues to develop technologies that collect and analyze a range of data from the plants it operates in Japan as well as technologies that utilize AI to achieve optimal plant operation and automation. As for maintaining infrastructure, the company develops technology for upgrading and extending the operating life of facilities so that they are safe and secure for society into the next generation.

JFE Engineering plans to spend 21 billion yen in research and development over the four-year-period of the Seventh Medium-term Business Plan.

Internal Awards

The following technical and product developments were awarded in FY2020.


■ Internal Awards (FY2020)

  Prize/Award Project Recipient
JFE Steel Excellence Award,
JFE Steel President's Awards
Creation of a new overseas business scheme through business collaboration with JSW Steel Global Business Development Division,Business Planning Dept., etc.
Shift in the product mix through the development of manufacturing and sales system for roadbed material Slag Business Planning Division, Planning & Marketing Dept., etc.
Initiatives for maintaining and raising efficiency for land-based transport functions—Leading the industry (Japan Iron and Steel Foundation, trading companies and other companies) to break with longstanding business customs Logistics Division, etc.
Development of an integrated manufacturing system for the reliable supply and sales expansion of oil well pipes made of high-grade chromium steel Products Service & Development Dept., Chita Works, etc.
JFE Engineering Grand Prize, JFE Engineering President's Awards Zero-coke operations for waste gasifying and melting furnaces —Major step toward commercialization of green technology Environmental Solutions Sector

For more on external awards, please refer to the following information.

External Awards