With Customers

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Objectives of initiatives Goals for fiscal year 2016 Achievements in fiscal year 2016 Evaluation Goals for fiscal year 2017
Propose solutions - or iented
businesses that respond to social
imperatives.
With the aim of creating next-generation businesses, enter new markets and promote the development of products that integrate multiple technologies to propose solutions that capitalize on the Group’s supply chain. Efforts to enter new markets progressed steadily. Examples include materials that lower the weight of automotive components, helping to reduce vehicles’ CO2 emissions and for high-performance packaging materials that help ensure food safety. ★★★ With the aim of creating next-generation businesses, strengthen cooperation with external organizations to accelerate business expansion on a global scale.
Participate in trade shows for key customer industries in Japan and overseas to strengthen the DIC brand. (Examples: FINETECH JAPAN and Tokyo Pack) Participated in major trade shows in Japan and overseas, including Tokyo Pack 2016 (Tokyo), Touch Taiwan 2016 and various display-related events in the PRC. Group companies in the PRC also staged private exhibition for local and overseas automakers. ★★★ Participate in trade shows for key customer industries in Japan and overseas to strengthen the DIC brand.
  • Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress. Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work

Responding Accurately to the Changing Needs of Society

In light of the expansion and increasing severity of environmental issues and other key social imperatives, expectations that companies will help contribute to the resolution of related problems are growing, the DIC Group’s approach is to swiftly gain insights into concerns shared by its stakeholders and to offer appropriate solutions. While the starting point of these efforts is listening to the voices of its customers—an approach known as “customer in”—the Group also takes a “market-in” approach, paying heed to the importance of anticipating social imperatives.

Promoting Businesses that Respond to Future Social Imperatives

One of the central strategies of the DIC Group’s current medium-term management plan, DIC108, is to create next-generation businesses. The Group is responding to this challenge through the cultivation of business models that address social imperatives.
For example, one of the principal objectives behind efforts to expedite the development of electric vehicles (EVs) is the need to address increasingly crucial issues such as global warming and the depletion of fossil fuels. However, the practicality of EVs depends on resolving a number of key technological challenges, notably increasing the capacity of storage batteries and developing new power semiconductors, battery charging devices. The DIC Group conducts tireless research aimed at addressing such technological challenges, and is developing innovative materials and systems for storage batteries, power semiconductors and sensors, among others, that will yield concrete, viable solutions, thereby contributing to sustainability. The Group will continue to promote business activities with roots in the needs of society with the aim of further evolving its business models.

Examples of Optimized Business Models that Respond to Social Imperatives

1.Linablue® Natural Blue Food Coloring: Contributing to Food Safety

Linablue® Natural Blue Food Coloring: Contributing to Food Safety

The DIC Group’s health foods business centers on Spirulina, a cyanobacteria rich in vitamins and minerals that contributes to a balanced diet. Spirulina also absorbs CO2 as it grows, thus helping to reduce CO2 in the air. The Group also produces and markets Linablue®, a Spirulina-derived natural blue food coloring that is the only natural food coloring that has been approved as safe by regulatory authorities in the United States and Europe, as well as Japan. The Group will continue to actively promote the expansion of markets for Linablue® as a product that responds to a variety of social imperatives.

2.PASLIM Oxygen-Barrier Adhesive: Keeping Food Fresh Longer

Examples of Structures of Laminated Oxygen-Barrier Films

With the aim of realizing more functional packaging materials that help reduce food loss and of contributing to the conservation of packaging resources, DIC developed PASLIM, an adhesive that prevents oxygen permeation. The Company continues to promote the development of packaging materials that improve the barrier properties of food packaging with the aim of extending product shelf life, thereby reducing food loss in distribution, retailing and consumption, and conserving packaging resources.

3.Plastics Products: Safeguarding Lifestyles

Helmets made with recycled plastics
Helmets made with recycled plastics

In addition to manufacturing and selling a broad range of plastics products in line with its ultimate objective of safeguarding lifestyles, DIC Group company DIC Plastics, Inc., is an active proponent of environment-friendly business practices, particularly material recycling*. Among the company’s noteworthy achievements is its development of a system for sorting waste plastics, generated during the manufacture of original products, by type and color, which has enabled the company to diversify its lineup of products made with recycled plastics, increasing the volume of such materials it uses and adding value to the products in which they are used.

  • *Material recycling involves the recycling of material from an original application but in a different form.

Anticipating Trends and Promoting Efforts to Identify and Cultivate Promising New Markets

With the aim of realizing sustainable growth over the medium to long term, the DIC Group has identified promising new markets arising from social imperatives in six key areas—resources, materials and energy; logistics and industrial equipment; electronic and electrical equipment; pharmaceuticals and medical devices; general consumer products; and construction infrastructure—and is striving to assess its ability to cultivate demand in each. The Group is also working to identify key technologies, as well as to discern technological issues that must be addressed, allowing it to accurately gauge growth and technology development potential and determine which of these markets it will enter. Such efforts have demonstrated considerable demand for building materials that contribute to more energy-efficient, comfortable and healthy homes. Materials that absorb and dissipate heat work to maintain a comfortable room temperature, reducing energy used for heating and cooling. One issue with conventional heat storage agents is oozing and leakage when they change from solid to liquid form, making the incorporation of such agents into building materials a key challenge. DIC has succeeded in leveraging its proprietary technologies to develop a sheet-form heat storage material that can easily be laminated together with a variety of building materials. The new material exhibited effectiveness in a demonstration project implemented by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in fiscal year 2016. DIC is currently in the process of obtaining Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) certification, among others, with a view to gaining wide market acceptance.

Anticipating Trends and Promoting Efforts to Identify and Cultivate Promising New Markets

Global Efforts to Expand Business Domains and Cultivate Next-Generation Businesses

The DIC Group currently encompasses 174 companies in 63 countries and territories. The Group classifies its operations into four regional groupings: Japan, where corporate headquarters is located, the PRC, the Asia–Pacific region, and the Americas and Europe.*
Once it has resolved provisionally to enter a promising new market, the DIC Group sets about clarifying necessary technologies, systems and services, as well as key development themes. Technology and sales departments work together to verify theoretical value and ascertain the appropriate opportunity to enter the market and, bearing in mind its position in the supply chain, aim to create an optimal business model that will enable it to provide innovative solutions to its customers and build a robust business. The Group is taking active steps to reinforce and expand its presence in key Asian markets, which are expected to see significant growth going forward, focusing particularly on core businesses, while at the same time broadening its reach to include emerging economies in Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East, with the aim of driving further growth.

  • *Information is current as of December 31, 2016.

Enhancing Brand Strength

The DIC Group’s booth at FINETECH JAPAN
The DIC Group’s booth at FINETECH JAPAN

Established as a manufacturer of printing inks, DIC has expanded its focus, capitalizing on its foundation in organic pigments and synthetic resins to develop a diverse portfolio of products that leverage its wealth of core technologies. Today, the Group supplies products that respond to the needs of customers in a variety of industries, including printing, automobile manufacturing and electronics. In line with its new branding program, launched in fiscal year 2016, the Group seeks to enhance its brand strength through active participation in a trade shows in Japan and overseas that convey the value it provides and the role it plays—which in the period under review included FINETECH JAPAN and Tokyo Pack—and through communication with customers.

Topics DIC Products and Know-How Are Helping Improve the Safety of Thailand’s Roads

According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics published in 2015, the traffic death rate in Thailand was 36.2 people per 100,000, second highest in the world and eight times the rate in Japan. In Japan, one strategy employed to increase traffic safety that has contributed to a reduction of accidents is colored pavement, which improves visibility for drivers. In Thailand, colored pavement has recently been used around airports and in tourist areas, but there have been complaints that not enough has been done to prevent road surfaces from becoming slippery in the rain. DIC Group company Siam Chemical Industry worked with a Japanese-owned formulator to conduct verification tests for a heat-blocking slip-resistant road surfacing material that balances two performance features that have proven successful in Japan, namely, slip-resistance and heat blocking, which is effective in countering the heat island effect and increasing the durability of roads. The company has since begun introducing this material to the Thai authorities. Going forward, Siam Chemical Industry will continue to capitalize on technologies developed by the DIC Group in Japan to help reduce the incidence of traffic accidents in Thailand and eliminate urban heat islands.

  • Road coated with heat-blocking slip-resistant surfacing material Road coated with heat-blocking slip-resistant surfacing material

  • Surface of bridge under construction (Siam Chemical Industry )Surface of bridge under construction (Siam Chemical Industry )

Composition of Road Surfacing Material

Leveraging a New Corporate Organization

With the objective of enhancing customer convenience and emphasizing its comprehensive product and technological capabilities, in fiscal year 2016 DIC adopted a new corporate organization that incorporates the best features of its previous matrix-like organization while clarifying the responsibilities of individual departments and enhancing speed, thus helps to maximize synergies among Group companies, as well as to reinforce collaboration. As part of this reorganization, DIC established a Marketing Division and a New Business Planning Department. The Marketing Division oversees two activities: market-focused cross-portfolio strategies and marketing of products requiring a medium- to long-term commitment before they contribute to business growth, as well as marketing of products and technologies that do not come under the jurisdiction of existing product divisions. The New Business Planning Department is charged with designing new business models for new businesses.

Leveraging a New Corporate Organization

VOICE

Our goal is to promote multifaceted marketing with an emphasis on enhancing our value chain.

In fiscalyear 2016, the Corporate Marketing Department and the three marketing departments attached to the sales administrative divisions were combined to create the new Marketing Division. Our focus is on three areas, which we have dubbed “industrial materials,” “life and infrastructure” and “packaging businesses.” Our core activities emphasize two perspectives, namely, DIC Group products and customers/regions. With the goal of helping expand the Group’s operating foundation and contributing to consolidated net sales, we promote multifaceted marketing with an emphasis on enhancing our value chain through efforts to respond to short- to medium-term shifts in needs of customers and markets and medium- and long-term changes in social structure. I am in charge of marketing in the area of packaging businesses, which involves promoting the expansion of sales of oxygen- and vapor-barrier adhesives, laminating adhesive and other high-performance materials in global markets. My team also works to cultivate new markets and accelerate R&D in line with next-generation themes by collaborating with the Sun Chemical Group to reinforce global marketing. In particular, we are stepping up efforts to promote the cultivation of new markets by offering materials with barrier properties, migration solutions and other products that respond to concerns relating to, for example, safety and security, as well as the environment. These efforts give us a broad overview of our value chain, positioning us to develop competitive solutions.

In charge of marketing for packaging businesses, Marketing Division Saki Urakami

In charge of marketing for packaging businesses,
Marketing Division
Saki Urakami

Ties with Customers

DIC Graphics’ Kansai-region private show (DICG365)
DIC Graphics’ Kansai-region private show (DICG365)

Touch Taiwan 2016
Touch Taiwan 2016

Guided by the basic policy of its medium-term management plan, which emphasizes the focused allocation of management resources in key business domains, in fiscal year 2016 the DIC Group took part in numerous trade shows in Japan and overseas. Such events provided valuable opportunities for the Group to communicate with its customers.
In Japan, the DIC Group participated in the Tokyo Health Industry Show 2016, held in March 2016, exhibiting Spirulina, which continues to attract attention as a superfood. In April, the Group took part in FINETECH JAPAN, where it exhibited TFT LCs, highly thermoconductive insulating adhesive sheets and other products that leverage state-of-the-art technologies. At Tokyo Pack 2016, the Group communicated with customers by exhibiting distinctive product lines that illustrate its three corporate values—“Making it Colorful,” “Innovation through Compounding” and “Specialty Solutions”—at a booth designed around the concept of providing innovative solutions to evolving needs. Overseas, the Group participated in trade shows at multiple locations around the world, in such various industries as packaging, rubber, plastics, automobile manufacturing and electronics. These included CHINAPLAS 2016, Paint India 2016, Touch Taiwan 2016, interpack 2016 and the European Coatings Show 2017.
The DIC Group also held private shows introducing Group initiatives and proposing solutions. DIC Graphics held DICG365, a private show in the Kansai region (Osaka), to which it welcomed customers, trading company representatives and brand owners, among others. This followed a successful private show at DIC’s corporate headquarters in Tokyo in fiscal year 2015.
On another front, the Central Research Laboratories, a key R&D base located in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture, continued to welcome visitors to its showroom, which features displays illustrating the key role DIC Group products play in everyday life, an approach designed to deepen public understanding of the DIC Group and its operations. In response to requests from sales departments and customers, the DIC Group holds study sessions on its sustainability initiatives as appropriate. In fiscal year 2016, customers of DIC sales departments paid a visit to corporate headquarters, during which time was set aside for a discussion on sustainability issues, enabling DIC to introduce its supply chain, environmental and human rights initiatives, as well as to exchange information with visitors.
On another front, efforts were expanded to provide detailed product information via Group websites. Additionally, the Group responded to customer queries regarding its CSR procurement practices in such areas as environmental safety, social issues and human rights.
As part of its current branding program, the DIC Group introduced new business cards designed in accordance with its Color & Comfort brand slogan. Based on themes drawn from nature and colors chosen from the DIC Color Guide® Traditional Colors of Japan, Traditional Colors of France and Traditional Colors of China series, the cards seek to enhance communication with stakeholders by using color to encourage conversation.

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