Our Value Creation Story
Schematic of our value creation process
Business Activities Report / Sales
The sales division consists of the chemical sales and equipment sales departments.
The chemic al sales depar tment, ba sed on their broad knowledge and experience, not only sells products but also makes technical proposals to solve problems that our customers may have. And the equipment sales department proposes equipment that can maximize the performance of chemicals to solve many problems that cannot be addressed solely with chemicals.
Through these operations, we strive to satisfy our customers.
Activities for Achieving our Medium-Term Corporate Plan Objective
Under our basic policy to strengthen our core businesses set out in our “Next 50 Innovation 2nd” Medium-Term Corporate Plan, we further strengthened collaboration between key regions in order to implement sales activities in line with the market needs in each region. In chemical sales, we strengthened our cooperation with overseas subsidiaries and promoted a global sales strategy that enables organized and efficient sales and marketing activities. By dispatching personnel who can best respond to the needs that emerge in each region, and by conducting sales activities in cooperation with overseas subsidiaries, we are steadily achieving results. In equipment sales, we focus on developing equipment that maximizes chemical performance and strive to improve our abilit y in equipment sales to make proposal s and solve problems for customers. In addition to our mainstay equipment for the decorative and functional sector, we have also grown sales of our equipment for the electronics sector, and have successfully closed large deals. As a result of these efforts, we are on track to achieve our Medium-Term Corporate Plan goals.
Identifying New Market Trends
Identifying new market trends In the short term, we strive to improve customer satisfaction by understanding their needs through thorough interviews and responding to their needs as soon as we can by proposing applications for technologies that they possess, as well as combinations of different technologies. In cases where a customer needs to introduce advanced technology, we also work with the CS division at our R&D Center.
For the mid- to long-term, in addition to our existing clients, we are also building connections and conducting interviews with leading-edge companies indifferent industries. Furthermore, equipment sales provides opportunities for us to learn more about our customers’ investment situation, allowing us to gather information with an eye on several years into the future. We share this information with the R&D Center and Corporate Strateg y Of fice to keep abreast of future technological trends.
Given the current growing awareness of the need to achieve carbon neutrality, we believe that we can enhance the value of the JCU Group by promptly responding to this need, and the group as a whole will pursue development and sales strategies to meet even newer needs.
Customer Support Through Information Sharing Among Group Companies
One of the factors that has supported the growth of the JCU Group is its global network. And in order to make the most of this strength, we are thoroughly engaged in information sharing between groups. All information within the Group is shared between the general managers of each local subsidiary and area managers (one in North America and three in Asia) to strengthen a sense of unity that transcends area boundaries.
The area where these efforts have worked the most effectively is in our support for multinational corporations. Information on customers doing business across borders is shared by all regional managers to eliminate regional differences and enable the JCU Group to provide the same quality and level of service. When a customer plans to start a business in a region that is new to them, our sales staff with proven track records of customer support visit group companies in that region and work with them to help the customer launch their business. By leveraging the unique strengths of the JCU Group, we have gained the satisfaction and trust of our customers, which in turn enables us to further strengthen our relationship with them.
Leveraging Our Global Presence to Establish a Support System
The JCU Group currently operates in 11 countries. One of our key actions is to establish a support system early. For example, in China, deducing that companies from all over the world would be there in a few years, we were one of the first to enter the market where the surface treatment industry has grown remarkably since 2000. At the beginning of our expansion overseas, we were concerned about whether customers will accept our Japanese style of support. However, our conscientious follow-up to ensure that our customers’ production lines operate smoothly was well received and led to an increase in our market share. The fact that we are able to provide extensive support to our customers when they enter a market̶thanks to the fact that we had established our systems early in anticipation of the market’s future̶is another factor in our success in expanding our business overseas.
In recent years, new product sales are increasingly being kicked off as product launches overseas, so we are developing a new service system to address these cases, where we send personnel involved in product development to the local market to assist expatriates and local sales staff.
With Thailand, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian regions drawing much international attention, we continue to expand our overseas operations in anticipation of future market growth. One of these is the new local subsidiary we have established in Malaysia in September 2022. The semiconductor business in Malaysia is expected to grow going forward. In addition, we have already established an office in India, a market that is undergoing rapid growth bolstered by its growing population. By developing these systems at an early stage, we strive to be a reliable business partner, thereby enhancing the JCU Group’s corporate value.
Developing Sales Personnel Who Are Capable of Working Actively Globally
We focus on developing local sales staf f and global human resources. One of the key features of the JCU Group’s sales operations is that, as professionals in technology sales, we work to understand our customers’ gemba, optimize operations, and solve problems. I have learned and grown a great deal from following in the footsteps of those who have come before me. I believe that it is very important to pass on what we have inherited to our local staff. Our efforts to train local sales staf f include the transfer of knowledge and know-how necessary to perform this technology sales work. To this end, we send Japanese staff to provide training.
At the same time, the development of global human resources is an essential initiative for the future of the JCU Group and for the continued expansion of our business. This program is currently conducted for sales staff who work in Japan. We provide employees with opportunities to realize the fun and satisfaction of working with new perspectives by having them apply the knowledge and experience they have accumulated from working in Japan to their overseas assignments, and to further develop their skills. We also create an environment that motivates them to work globally, such as by providing opportunities to hear from employees who have experience working overseas.
For Future Sales Operations
Individual skills and collaboration are what support our ability to make proposal s and of fer support, which are valued as one of JCU’s strengths. To improve our sales staff’s skills, we provide on-the-job training given by veteran sales staff, as well as study sessions by R&D Center staff to learn about ever-evolving technology and acquire knowledge. In addition, we have systematized a number of other training systems to create an environment where learners are able to efficiently acquire a wide range of knowledge.
Currently, we are looking at environmentally conscious products and products that outperform our competitors’. Through the gemba responsiveness of our up-skilled sales staff and industry-leading research and development capabilities, we hope to be the first to bring to market products that comply with ESG and SDGs, and meet our customers’ expectations.
Business Activities Report / Development
The R&D Center is what supports the foundation of the JCU Group, which is a research and development-oriented company.
Our development division, which is responsible for everything from information gathering to product development, and the division in charge of customer support (CS), one of the JCU Group’s strengths,contribute to enhancing corporate value through the development of new products and support offered by our sales division.
Aiming to Be the World’s Best in Manufacturing
At the R&DCenter, we are engaged in research and development with the aim of becoming the world’s best in manufacturing. In the context of our basic policy in the Medium-Term Corporate Plan̶our policy to strengthen our core businesses̶the R&D Center’s development strategy is to develop products in environmentally conscious ways.
In order for surface treatment technologies to continue to contribute to a prosperous society, their contribution to carbon neutrality will be a particularly important environmental theme. So we selected a theme from the viewpoint of “new technologies that coexist with nature” and are working to realize the world’s best product development to contribute to carbon neutrality early in the game.
Another initiative in our development strateg y is to develop products that outperform our competitors’. The most recent outcome of our efforts include chemicals for semiconductor package substrates. High-performance semiconductors require fine -wiring forming technologies, which in turn require high performance surface treatment chemicals such as for plating and etching. The JCU Group has continued to answer these increasingly sophisticated needs, resulting in products with superb technological capabilities. This led to a steadily increasing track record of contracts.
Looking toward the future, it is predicted that the growing need for next-generation semiconductors used in generative AI and other applications will require more complex structures and advanced surface treatment technologies in the back-end processes of semiconductor manufacturing. The JCU Group will combine its wealth of accumulated technology with new knowledge and experience to develop high value-added products that will also vastly outperform competitors in this new area.
Developing Equipment That Maximize Chemical Performance
The requirements placed on surface treatment technologies are growing ever y year. O ne solution to these growing needs is the MC integrated approach, which combines high-performance equipment (Machines) and high-performance Chemicals to achieve advanced performance. The JCU Group is one of the few companies in the industry that runs both equipment and chemical businesses. We take full advantage of this strength to continue to meet these advanced requirements.
Specifically, equipment technology staff are assigned at the R&D Center to promote research and development aimed at improving the performance of surface treatment technology from the viewpoints of both equipment and chemicals. These results are shared with the Equipment Technology Department̶the department responsible for equipment development̶ to develop equipment with structures and functions never seen before to maximize the performance of chemicals. We are committed to continue reinforcing this MC integration to achieve the high performance levels that our customers need.
Our Efforts to Develop High Value-Added Products
The strength of our R&D Center is that it has accumulated a wide range of knowledge and technologies that are necessary for research and development̶including inorganic and organic chemistry as well as electromagnetism and fluid dynamics̶and is capable of creating new technologies by combining these technologies. For this reason, market research to keep abreast of trends in next-generation technologies plays a key role in supporting the creation of corporate value for the JCU Group, a developer of high value-added products.
As for market research performed by the R&D division, we gather information on cutting-edge market and technology trends mainly by networking with experts in the academic field, and participating in academic conferences and consortiums. Furthermore, with an eye on the next generation, the sales division operates at the forefront of business, and the corporate strategy office carries out market research on industry-wide trends. The R&D Center has created a development roadmap based on information gathered from market research operations at these three divisions, and is promoting R&D with an eye toward the next generation. We have also built a system that enables us to provide technologies and products as quickly as possible when needs become manifest.
Another division that leads high quality product development at the R&D Center is its CS division. One of the responsibilities of the CS division is to provide technical support to customers. With a clear understanding of the conditions at a given JCU Group product customer, this division advises them on how to configure conditions for optimal operation, and occasionally provide troubleshooting. They then turn around and apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the field to development. Whenever a prototype of a new product is completed, the CS division evaluates its performance, advises on improvements to make, and sometimes may even reject a prototype, effectively pushing its development back to the initial stages. The reason the JCU Group has been able to build a solid position in the industry is because of this development system that it has built and continues to operate reliably.
Enhancing Cutting-Edge Technology and Expertise
As technologies continue to evolve by the day, it is important for product development to determine what constitutes a needed technology, and what technologies will become important going forward.
In terms of acquiring cutting-edge technology, we occasionally contact university laboratories that are engaged in cutting-edge research in their respective fields of specialization and seek guidance directly from the professors. In addition, as with our market research, we strive to deepen exchanges with people involved in cutting-edge technologies and acquire the ne cessar y knowle d ge throu gh p resentatio ns made at domestic and international academic conferences related to our business areas and by taking part in various consortiums.
At the individual level, we encourage people to upgrade their skills beyond their everyday levels with the use of a skills matrix. We are also moving forward with developing an environment where employees can expand their expertise through participation in external seminars as well as study groups and discussion groups held at the R&D Center.
Creating New Technologies at Our New Domestic Plant
The Kumamoto Plant (provisional name), scheduled for completion in April 2025, will play an important role in creating corporate value going forward. A research building will al so be built at the Kumamoto Plant, where we will continue to drive research and development using the latest equipment and technologies. One of these efforts involves the introduction of MI (Material Informatics) through which we aim to improve efficiency in materials development. MI is a method of designing chemical structures and compositions that are likely to produce expected performance features by analyzing vast amounts of experimental data using machine learning. This is an indispensable tool in the rapidly progressing technological environment of today. We believe that we can continue to enhance our competitiveness by promoting the digitization of our accumulated knowledge and know-how from the perspective of DX (Digital Transformation). One particular area of technology that we will be focusing on is the application of this technology to the development of semiconductor-related technologies. Demand for semiconductors is expected to increase going forward owing to such factors as the commercialization of 6G, a new standard for automated driving and high-speed data communications. In semiconductor-related fields, where technological evolution is rapid, we will work to create even more corporate value through the development of new technologies and products that the JCU Group has not possessed to date.