The Value We Offer Our Customers
The Citizen Group always lends an ear to the voices of its customers. By not only developing technology-driven products but also creating value together with customers to meet the changing needs of society, we aim to continue to be an enterprise that evolves with its customers as their valued partner. We believe that this aim is embodied in its CSV initiatives.
The Solutions for New Value That We Provide the Manufacturing Industry
Citizen Machinery Co., Ltd., provides the "alkapplysolution" service, a collection of solutions that meld the functional and technological know-how the company has long accumulated with ICT*1 and IoT*2.
Notwithstanding the trend of automating factories to the greatest extent possible, which was strongly advocated in the 1980s, we pushed for "Human Oriented Factories" (1990, CFA*360). It did so under the belief that people are not tools to raise efficiency but rather represent the foundation for the creation of quality products, and, by virtue of that, the presence of people on the factory floor is indispensable. The "alkapplysolution" service was created out of this support for "Human Oriented Factories".
As an initiative to advance "Human Oriented Factories", we began to advocate for "Impressive Value Production" (2000, CFA70), which shares added value with customers in addition to the value provided through manufacturing. Through the promotion of the idea of "Impressive Value Production," we implemented "Ko no Ryosan"—create many different products—at CFA85 in 2015. The "alkapplysolution" service supports this concept. Further, the service has helped us evolve our ICT infrastructure and realize the establishment of e-learning programs, the visualization of machine conditions, and cloud-based support for program creation.
By strengthening the partnership with customers and continuing to provide solutions to the issues they face, we will contribute to the evolution of manufacturing around the world. *1 ICT: Information & Communication Technology *2 IoT: Internet of Things *3 CFA: An abbreviation for Citizen Factory Automation, an event that presents Citizen’s vision for metalworking factories with a focus on factory automation
Promoting Product Development That Pursues "Quality of Light"
Citizen Electronics Co., Ltd. has manufactured and sold LEDs for lighting since 2003 and has developed various technologies that enhance brightness and reduce environmental impact of its products.
In recent years, customer needs have been changing and related to not only power consumption, efficiency, and brightness but also added the value of "quality of light." Customers now desire products that focus on details and tones of objects, such as high color-rendering LEDs which closely reproduce natural colors, and high coloring LEDs which vividly illuminate objects. Citizen Electronics properly responds to the changing needs of customers and further pursues the value of "quality of light."
Conventional lighting (HID)
Lighting with enhanced "quality of light" (LED)
Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine's Fujisan Ootorii
Taking on the Challenge of Developing New Hybrid Machine to Respond to Customer Needs
Citizen Machinery Co., Ltd. has been responding to needs for medical parts centered primarily on its "Cincom" sliding headstock type automatic lathes. However, the company faced challenges in regard to micromachining for stents that dilate blood vessels.
To overcome these challenges, we developed a hybrid machine equipped with a laser device suitable for micromachining, the first machine of its kind.
When cutting and laser machining is carried out with one machine, extremely precise machining is able to be performed with stents and endoscopy forceps. Medical parts made with this hybrid machine help reduce the physical burden on patients.
Even when processing costs are high, using one machine is less expensive than introducing multiple machines for separate processes. In addition, this hybrid machine conserves space and contributes to reductions in equipment costs and increases in productivity.
Through collaboration with third party that possesses technology featuring system integrator functions, we will continue to cooperate with our customers and develop technology that meets their potential needs. In doing so, we aim to create further value together with its customers.
The Value We Offer to Society
The Citizen Group bears in mind the impact its products have on society. As such, we promote R&D with a constant awareness toward contributing to environmental conservation and the resolution of other social issues. Not only do we make efforts to reduce our environmental impact, we provide value to society through new branding in our advertising and sales activities. In these ways, we aspire to further improve our corporate value.
Endorsing the "Because I am a Girl" Campaign
Citizen Watch Co., Ltd., has endorsed the "Because I am a Girl" Campaign. Promoted by the NGO Plan International, the campaign supports girls and women in developing countries. We are providing support for the campaign in such ways as donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of our "Citizen xC" watches.
By lending its support in this way, we help raise awareness of social issues among a great number of people through product advertising and sales. In addition, the purchase of "Citizen xC" watches allows customers to personally get involved with activities to resolve social issues.
Donation in 2015 were put to meaningful use in an educational program for girls in Pakistan as well as a project to improve the livelihood of women in Mali. We will continue to promote participation in activities to resolve social issues through our support of the "Because I am a Girl" Campaign.
At the same time, we will move forward with a variety of initiatives under the aim of establishing brands that provide social value. Because I am a Girl × xChttp://citizen.jp/product/xc/girl/index.html (Japanese only)
Promoting CSR Development and Responding to the Issue of Conflict Minerals
Grounded in the spirit of the Citizen Group Code of Conduct and the U.N. Global Compact, the Citizen Group gives consideration to social issues related to human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption.
Citizen Watch and Citizen Electronics have established CSR procurement guidelines and are working to clarify the guidelines' stance on human rights, the environment, and ethics with their business partners. Specifically, the companies are making efforts to clarify the important items of the guidelines with their suppliers. Furthermore, Citizen Watch and Citizen Electronics conduct inspections in response to customer requests to determine whether or not their products contain conflict minerals—namely, tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold—mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries and disclose the results of these inspections. In addition, these companies request that their business partners do not use conflict minerals. In these ways, Citizen Watch and Citizen Electronics aim to eventually eradicate the source of funds for armed groups in these countries. More information on the initiatives these companies are taking toward conflict minerals is posted on the Citizen Holdings CSR site.
Children selecting minerals at a cobaltite mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Building on 40 Years of "Eco-Drive" (Light-powered Technology)
In 1976, 40 years ago this year, Citizen Watch launched the world's first light-powered analog watch. From only a small amount of light, the technology used in this watch can harness enough power to allow the watch to continue to run. The technology's name "Eco-Drive" represents the technology's benefits to people, society, and the environment, as well as the fact that this light-powered technology allows watches to continue to run over a long period of time.
"Eco-Drive" promotes non-polluting clean energy as there is no need to periodically change batteries. Accordingly, "Eco-Drive" has received high praise for its environmentally friendly qualities. In 1996, the "Eco-Drive" watch became the first wrist watch to receive the Eco Mark product certification. Furthermore, in 2014, Citizen Watch became the first watch company to receive a gold prize at the "Eco Mark Award 2014." This award recognized our contribution to improving consumer awareness about the environment through the widespread use of our "Eco-Drive" series of watches.
The manufacture of products incorporating the environmentally friendly "Eco-Drive" technology has helped change the way employees of the Citizen Group think about the environment and encourage initiatives toward environmental conservation as well as cosponsorship and philanthropy.
The Value We Offer Our Employees
As a basic principle, the Citizen Group maintains the belief that fostering employee growth and development is directly concomitant with improvement in corporate value. Based on this belief, we conduct educational training to encourage employees to improve their careers on their own initiative. To create a corporate culture that not only allows employees to improve their technical skills but also grow on a personal level, we provide opportunities for employees to actively communicate with each other regardless of whether they are general staff or manager.
Aiming for All Employees to Acquire the QC Certification
Since the establishment in 2013, Citizen Watch Manufacturing Co., Ltd., has worked to improve the professional capabilities of all employees by aiming to achieve a 100% acquisition rate for the Quality Control (QC) Certification.
In addition, through the establishment of an in-house certification system for contract employees, we have sought to improve the level of employee expertise group-wide.
In fiscal 2015, three years after the establishment of Citizen Watch Manufacturing, we were able to reach an 80% acquisition rate for the QC Certification. We also proactively implemented the in-house certification system at such locations as Guangzhou Most Crown Electronic Ltd., in China, achieving a 100% acquisition rate for rank four in April 2016.
How our employees will leverage their acquired certification in their daily work will be a major issue for us going forward. As such, we will continue to promote initiatives to improve the professional capabilities of our employees. In doing so, we will make group-wide efforts to continue pursuing our goal of "Building the World's Foremost Watch Factory."
Promoting Diversity and the Active Role of Women in the Workplace
Toshio Tokura, President and CEO of Citizen Holdings, has declared that Citizen will promote diversity and vigorously create a work environment that embraces diversity.
By exercising the individual capabilities of a diverse of human resources, diversity helps maximize the accomplishments the Citizen Group can make as an organization. The Group will be able to develop superior personnel and achieve its management targets by having all employees utilize their individual strengths and work in an outgoing manner.
In order to raise employee awareness toward diversity, Citizen Holdings invited external instructors to come to its offices to hold a seminar. At the seminar, these instructors gave lectures on the importance to realizing one's own unconscious bias and prejudice as well as on the kind of merits the active role of women in the workplace can bring to a company. Participants in the seminar made such comments as "I became aware that some of my views were narrowminded, making it difficult to accept diversity" and "Diversity is an important, long-term theme that I hope we can make well-known throughout the Company." These lectures provided employees with an opportunity to recognize the importance of diversity on an individual level.
Going forward, the Citizen Group will engage in specific initiatives toward enhancing diversity, including efforts in response to the Act to Advance Women's Success in Their Working Life.
VOICE : A Message from Citizen's First Female CEO
When I was a student, it was my ambition to work in a job where I would be positioned overseas, mostly due to my experience studying outside Japan. At that time, it just so happened that I heard about an overseas sales position opening at Citizen Trading Co., Ltd. (now Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.) in Japan. Rather than a desire to work at Citizen, I chose the position because I wanted to work overseas. After joining the company, I had various roles within the Asian Sales Department and the Central and South American Sales Department, which were part of the Overseas Sales Division. These roles included working as a point of contact, designing product catalogs, and receiving orders. After a few years, I was transferred to Citizen Latin America Corporation in Panama, where I oversaw sales and marketing. I also spent time at the sales office of Citizen Watch Co. of America, Inc., where I assisted the company chairman. In addition, I have been involved with work related to over-the-counter sales promotions at the Sales Control Division of Citizen’s domestic Sales Headquarters.
I believe that when you have something you truly wish to pursue in your career, you should convey that to those around you. When the opportunity presented itself to me, I applied for a position to work as the CEO at one of our overseas bases, even though there had yet to be a female CEO in the history of the Company, and thereby I was appointed as CEO of Citizen Watches Australia Pty Ltd.
As CEO, the level of responsibility for me will be higher than ever before as I will have no local supervisor and I will have to make various decisions on my own. While I of course feel some pressure, I am excited to tackle the challenges I will face in this position. Australia is a country where over half the people are immigrants, and, as such, I will be working with an extremely diverse group of people. In addition, with a number of female sales managers, the work environment at Citizen Watches Australia will be completely different from that of Japan. I recognize that as the CEO the most difficult tasks for me will be finding ways to unify this diverse group of employees and have them work in the same direction toward achieving shared goals.
However, I do not want people to look at me as “the first female CEO” or think that the actions I take are “because I am a woman.” Rather, I simply wish to be viewed as an individual. In many countries outside Japan, women in senior positions are not typically viewed in a special way, and a workplace with a high number of female employees is commonplace. In addition, women often return to work after childbirth. As many countries have a work environment in place that is extremely welcoming of women, there are many women who work in the managerial ranks at banks and other places of employment. This is one aspect of overseas work culture that differs significantly from Japan. However, recently, there has been an increase in the number of women in Japan who return to work after taking maternity leave, which I believe shows that the culture is beginning to change a great deal.
When it comes to promoting an active role for women in the workplace, even if numerical targets are set—say, to increase the percentage of female managers—actually finding people with the capabilities necessary to fill a the position is difficult. Rather than numerical targets, it is more important to have systems in place where employees can assess their own level of ability, and I feel that Citizen is lacking in having such systems in place. I believe there is a need for employees to understand their own skill level and recognize areas where they need to improve. This awareness could be accomplished, for example, through meetings once a year with a supervisor who could clearly point out an employee’s strength and weaknesses. Without knowing whether you are fit for a management position or if you have the necessary skills to do what such a position requires, striving to become a manager as a career goal is difficult. Knowing your own abilities is a necessity for all employees, not just female employees. However, in the case of women, there is a significant amount of uneasiness toward continuing a career due to such life events as marriage and childbirth. I believe that, to truly realize an active role for women in the workplace, Citizen needs to establish a system where employees can assess themselves through research as well as meetings with supervisors and HR staff. Just because a company is evaluated highly based on the number of female managers, it does not necessarily mean that management is being carried out in an effective manner.
Recently, the number of women working in technical positions at Citizen, as well as other companies, has been increasing. As technology is an important facet of Citizen’s business, I am happy to see a rise in numbers of women working in these areas. By having women enter into areas that have been historically dominated by men, the Company can gain new realizations from the perspective of women. Furthermore, the tendency of women to excel in communication and be considerate of others can bring forth new value for the Company. In that sense, I believe the active role of women is an indispensable component for the next stage of the Company’s growth.
As for human relationships in general, you never truly know how a connection you have with someone now will lead you to somewhere important in the future. Therefore, I feel that making efforts to respect those around you and express gratitude can connect a person to a future career opportunity.
Women will naturally have times when they feel uneasy about their future career due to the life events they face, such as marriage, childbirth, and care giving. However, by maintaining a clear vision of themselves both professionally and privately, I believe that opportunities for women to succeed will present themselves.
Chief Executive Officer
Citizen Watches Australia Pty Ltd.