Message from the President
The President Ikuo Akutsu delivers our mission, targeted
corporate image, aims and understanding of CSR.
Looking back at fiscal 2015
The TOK Group’s management vision is to “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,” and this vision represents the ideal for our company in 2020, the year we celebrate our 80th anniversary.
Based on this vision, we formulated the TOK Medium-Term Plan 2015 and made “Build close relationships with regional users” as the first pillar of our company-wide strategy, working to deepen partnerships with customers under a system for providing rapid user support, with development, manufacturing and sales integrated, and developing products that precisely meet advanced needs.
In fiscal 2015, the final year of the plan, the strategy paid dividends as cutting-edge photoresists and high purity chemicals related to the manufacture of photoresists experienced growth. However, the smartphone market, which had been achieving remarkable growth, lost its momentum and other uncertainties began to emerge.
Market conditions in the electronics industry are clearly changing as new applications are expected in connection with self-driving
vehicles and semiconductors for IoT.
Challenge for the Future! – Bold Challenge to Build a Foundation for the Future
“Challenge for the Future!” is the slogan of our new medium-term plan.
TOK manufacturing, “monozukuri,” is carrying on the company’s founding spirit of “creating distinctive products that cannot be easily imitated by other companies.”
As was introduced on the first page, we have grown while developing Japan-first, world-first and world-leading products.
Taking a frank and honest stance toward even better “monozukuri,” we take part in detailed discussions with customers to identify their true needs, thoroughly search for useful information and ideal materials, and put particular emphasis on establishing an assessment facilities environment equivalent to the customer’s. This stance has been passed down throughout our history.As a slogan, “Challenge for the Future!” encourages us to again take on bold challenges to build the foundation for the future, never forgetting the earnest spirit of challenge since our founding.
At the same time, in the new medium-term plan, we will also be required to focus strongly on performance.
This includes firmly raising the various seeds (investment) sown under the previous medium-term plan and firmly building a foundation
for the results needed to achieve our operating income target of 20.0 billion, our "ideal company image for 2020.”
Challenge1 : Awareness-raising and renewal anticipating change and leveraging opportunities
Predicting the future of the electronics industry is exceedingly difficult due to the rapid changes the market undergoes alongside the development of computer technologies, but in this rapidly changing market, new needs constantly emerge. Because of change, there are chances. This is why raising awareness and carefully observing these changes is necessary.
There is a humorous parable in China about carve on gunwale of a moving boat.* It teaches the foolishness of overlooking changes due to sticking to old ways and becoming trapped by conventional thinking. This is not necessarily a laughing matter, however.TOK products maintain their stable levels of quality thanks to faithful reproduction of product performance at the prototype stage in the
mass production stage. This suggests that there is great value in faithfully maintaining an established routine. However, at the same time,improvements and innovations are needed to create even better products; we can’t simply strictly adhere to conventional ways of doing things. What this means is we can’t always be looking at the notch we made in the boat for guidance because the boat keeps moving. Of
course, meaningful adherence is necessary, but becoming a captive to traditional practices inhibits the challenge of the future.
In the new medium-term plan (page 12), “Reform the business portfolios” is listed as the first pillar of the company-wide strategy. Working to renew mainstay products is a major initiative in this regard. While it may be obvious, this also entails raising the awareness of employees.
*In this parable, a man on a boat crossing a river accidentally drops his sword in the water, and to mark the spot where it fell so he could find it later he carved a notch in the boat. Of course he was
never able to find his sword.
Challenge2 : Measures to provide a sense of achievement through work and further enhance the varied abilities of employees
TOK’s “monozukuri,” which produces products that are customized for each customer, involves close cooperation with the customer and both the company and individual employees grow through a process of being trained and disciplined by customers—it has this aspect.In a fiercely competitive market, customer needs never stop evolving, so even if we produce good results at a given time, the next time the requirements will be even more demanding due to changes in the market environment. Through this back-and-forth process, TOK employees enhance their communication abilities, grasp the changes taking place, polish their sensitivity to the customer’s true needs and their ability to collect relevant information and thereby build further trust with the customer. These abilities are developed the closer employees are to customers, and as we evolve our strategy of building close relationships with customers, which continues to be part of the company-wide strategy under the new medium-term plan, expectations are high for these secondary benefits as well.
As an R&D-driven company, TOK maintains close relationships with customers and provides unique products that meet their various, differing needs. We have inherited a corporate culture that highly values employees and sees people as invaluable resources.With TOK continuing to globalize and based on the fact that our overseas sales ratio has approached 80%, developing global personnel remains a part of the company-wide strategy. At the same time, we will also focus on measures for facilitating a sense of achievement through work and enhancing the various abilities of each individual.
Challenge3：New challenges as a global corporation based on a sincere and honest approach
In the previous year’s CSR report, I pledged that we would continue building a robust management foundation as we work to become a sustainable, 100-year (or more) company, and under the new medium-term plan, we added strengthening the management foundation to the company-wide strategy and incorporated an initiative for deepening coordination between sites. Through this initiative, we will work to consolidate the technologies and know-how accumulated at each site and bind them into proposals for even better products. I expect this to be a starting point for a form of management that fully leverages diversity.
As globalization proceeds, the scope of risk also expands. TOK has prioritized addressing risks through rigorous compliance in Japan and overseas and strengthening information security (See the Special Feature on page 21). Going forward, we will expand the scope of potential risks and actively carry out initiatives to mitigate those risks.
TOK increased its overseas sites during the period of the previous medium-term plan and the percentage of foreign national employees within the overall Group has increased as well. I expect this percentage to increase further going forward as we continue to develop overseas, and the challenge will be to build organizations that raise corporate value through utilizing our systems and human resources.
We will utilize the sincere and honest approach to things that we have cultivated through a commitment to better “monozukuri” in our drive to
build a new company as a global corporation, and all employees together will generate results that steadily and assuredly lead to new inspiration.