Message from the President
The President Ikuo Akutsu delivers our mission, targeted
corporate image, aims and understanding of CSR.
TOK’s ideal company image for 2020 and the TOK Medium-Term Plan 2018
TOK, which will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2020, has set its management vision of "Aim to be a globally trusted corporate group by inspiring customers with high value-added products that have satisfying features, low cost and superior quality" as the ideal company image for 2020. In fiscal 2016, we launched the TOK Medium-Term Plan 2018, and we view the three-year period ending December 2018 as an important period that holds the key to achieving our ideal company image. Under the TOK Medium-Term Plan 2018, we will aim to further increase corporate value, including posting record-high profits, based on the company-wide strategy comprising four priorities: reforming business portfolios, evolving our strategy of building close relationships with customers, developing global personnel, and strengthening the management foundation.
TOK, was founded in 1936 and began by launching domestic production of potassium hydroxide (high purity caustic potash). The management principles at the time of TOK’s founding included “creating distinctive products that cannot be easily imitated by other companies,” “building our business around high purity products,” and “developing advanced technological capabilities.” These management principles have been passed down within TOK over the years, and based on TOK’s identity as a technology-driven company, they have been leveraged to create many top-level products, as well as many products that are the first of their kind in Japan or the even the entire world.
“Inspiration,” as discussed in the medium-term plan, primarily refers to “creating added-value that only we can provide,” and indicates our honest and earnest commitment to establishing technologies and delivering products that are the best in class or not offered by anyone else.
Further improvement of technology and product capabilities and reforming the business portfolio
The state-of-the-art technology in the miniaturization of semiconductors indispensable for the evolution of computers is about to enter the ultrahigh difficulty domain, aiming at line widths of 10nm or less (the width of integrated circuit wiring). The world's top level of technological capability is required for cutting-edge photoresists that enable such ultra-miniaturization and the ultra-high purity chemicals indispensable for manufacturing these
semiconductors. In this high-end "global niche" field, we are proud to be one of the few companies in the world that can create higher added-value.
As a technology-driven company, TOK aims to become a 100-year company. It is only by continuing to play a role as a best partner to users who are assuming the challenge to create products utilizing such cutting-edge technologies in a broad range of electronics-related fields that we will be able to achieve this aim. We also believe that this will lead to the creation of additional social value.
Both R&D and capital investment are essential elements for our endeavors. During fiscal 2016, in addition to introducing evaluation equipment with state-of-the-art devices (including high-resolution ArF exposure equipment) at the Sagami Operation Center, which is our core R&D site, we also expanded production facilities (overseas sites), for high purity chemicals targeting cutting-edge fields and launched a mass production plant for high-functional films, which is a new business, among other initiatives. While ascertaining the needs of users and society, and looking to expand and change our business fields, we will continue our proactive investment activities from a medium- to longterm perspective, and continue to strive to create distinctive products in existing and new businesses.
Bolstering our strategy of building close relationships with customers and pursuing positive communication
Our strategy of building close relationships with customers is the most important strategy for us to continue to play a role as the best partner of users. In the field of semiconductor manufacturing, users have different manufacturing technologies, equipment, and processes, so most of the cutting-edge photoresists that we provide are basically built from scratch together with users. The only way to gain users’ trust is to stably provide products with characteristics superior to those of other companies, and the key to this is repeatedly engaging in detailed communication with users.
Departments responsible for development, manufacturing, and sales all work together to be physically close with users to grasp their true needs, and by pursuing a strategy of building close relationships with customers to create products that will satisfy these needs, the frequency of contact and information exchange with users has steadily increased. This is partially due to the fact that we have moved development functions to overseas manufacturing sites. However, against a backdrop of increasingly challenging market conditions, users are trying to gauge TOK's willingness to go the extra mile for them.
Steve Jobs once said that great products can only come from people who are passionate. For TOK to continue to
win the trust of customers in the cutting-edge fields of semiconductors where technological innovation is progressing
at a feverish pace in step with the evolution of smartphones and other mobile devices, we must do a good job of
communicating our commitment to our customers along with our spirit of going the extra mile for them.
“Glocalization" and development of global personnel
The TOK Group has an overseas sales ratio above 70%, and the number of employees working at overseas sites has been increasing year by year. However, for the entire group to grow further, we must establish a global standard that we can be proud of around the world. To that end, we will further advance global collaboration (globalize), including corporate governance and risk management, to improve quality and EHS (environmental, health and safety), while we must also firmly establish such efforts at each site in more effective ways that match the particular characteristics of each site (localize).
For a company aiming to truly globalize, it is extremely important to firmly establish "glocalization" as a part of the corporate culture. Going forward, the Group will basically set "Putting the right people in the right positions" as the only standard, and I believe we should strive to secure, retain, and develop personnel responsible for these efforts, regardless of their race, nationality, or gender.
Strengthen the management foundation and assume the challenge of "growth-oriented CSR"
Given the need for global business collaboration among group companies in conjunction with the progress in overseas development, we have launched the GMS (Group Management System) Project, and are aiming to build a business management system for the entire Group, including effective risk management. In addition, we are also improving the work environment to realize a satisfying work style that meets the needs of everyone. Such efforts include work-life balance and work style reform.
For example, with respect to the environment, we view measures to fulfill corporate responsibility by complying with standards and rules stipulated by laws and ordinances as “defensive CSR.” In our case, we define initiatives such as further developing our microprocessing technologies and other core technologies to increase energy-saving benefits as “growth-oriented CSR,” but I believe that in addition to clearing environmental standards, striving to further reduce environmental impact is also “growth-oriented CSR.”
CSR is a continuous, proactive effort to raise shared value with society. Previously, I mentioned that "inspiration" is the creation of added-value that only we can provide (to users). Going forward, while deepening communication with various stakeholders,including shareholders and employees, we will continue to firmly communicate to our customers that we have the commitment to go the extra mile for them, as well as act on this commitment.