With Customers

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Objectives of initiatives Goals for fiscal year 2017 Achievements in fiscal year 2017 Evaluation Goals for fiscal year 2018
Propose solutions- or iented businesses that respond to social imperatives. With the aim of creating next-generation businesses, strengthen cooperation with external organizations to accelerate business expansion on a global scale. By reinforcing collaboration with other companies and organizations in the c reat ion o f suc h nex t - generat ion businesses as near infrared dyes, QD jet inks and cell culture substrates, the DIC Group made steady progress toward entering promising new markets. ★★★ Implement value chain–oriented marketing and emphasize two perspectives, namely, DIC Group products and customers/ regions, with the goal of expanding the Group’s operating foundation and helping to increase consolidated net sales.
Par tic ipate in trade shows for key customer industries in Japan and overseas to strengthen the DIC brand. The DIC Group participated in major trade shows in Japan and overseas, including FINETECH JAPAN, Food Safety Japan, Wood Ecological Technology Fair 2017, Highway Techno’ Fair 2017 and the 30th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery (Japan) and interPack (Germany). Group companies in the PRC and the ROK also staged private exhibitions for customers. ★★★ Participate in trade shows for key customer industries in Japan and overseas to strengthen the DIC brand and promote digitization to improve efficiency.
  • Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress. Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work

Responding Accurately to the Changing Needs of Society

Given the economic impact of key social imperatives, expectations are growing that highly competent companies—including those able to make decisions and act quickly and those with the expertise and efficiency necessary to resolve issues—will help contribute to the resolution of related problems. The DIC Group’s approach is to ensure an appropriate grasp of changes in the social structure to gain insights into concerns shared by its customers 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 Anticipate 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 widespread adoption of renewable energy is to address increasingly crucial issues such as global warming and the depletion of fossil fuels. However, this depends on, among others, installing largecapacity storage batteries to resolve issues related to the generation of surplus electric power. The DIC Group conducts tireless research aimed at addressing such challenges and is developing innovative materials and systems for storage batteries and sensors that will yield concrete, viable solutions, thereby contributing to sustainability. The Group also continues 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.Near Infrared–Based Food Contaminant Detection System that Will Improve Food Safety

Near infrared–based food contaminant detection system
Near infrared–based food contaminant detection system

DIC is currently developing a near infrared–based food contaminant detection system in collaboration with Mitsui Kinzoku Instrumentations Technology Corporation. The system combines dyes that emit infrared for plastics and a device that detects near infrared and is thus expected to be able to identify plastic contaminants, which has traditionally been considered difficult. Thanks to near infrared’s safety—it has minimal impact on human health—and the ease with which it penetrates matter, the potential for application in the detection of contaminants in food products is seen as being high.

2.Inks for Use in the Production of Inkjet-Printed QDCFs for Power-2 Efficient Displays

Colloidal QD dispersions irradiated with a UV light
Colloidal QD dispersions irradiated with a UV light

DIC is working with quantum dot (QD) manufacturer Nanosys to develop inks for use in the production of the world’s first cadmium-free QD jet inks for use in inkjet-printed quantum dot color filters (QDCFs). Because they facilitate the manufacture of displays that are more power efficient and deliver a wider color gamut and viewing angle than existing units, QDCFs are garnering considerable attention for use in next-generation displays. Going forward, DIC will continue promoting development with the goal of marketing inks for use in the production of inkjet-printed QDCFs, which will join the Company’s LC materials and organic pigments for color filters as key offerings in this area, in fiscal year 2020.

3.Cell Culture Containers with Thermosensitive Polymer Coating for Use in Regenerative Medicine

Cepallet™ cell culture containers
Cepallet™ cell culture containers

DIC recently developed the Cepallet™ series of cell detachment–enhancing cell culture containers, which minimize damage to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) and embryonic stem (ES) cells during cell recovery. The containers represent a practical application of the results of research conducted in collaboration with Associate Professor Hirofumi Suemori of Kyoto University’s Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences and Masato Nakagawa, lecturer at Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Research and Application (CiRA). The containers, which capitalize on DIC’s exclusive synthesis and coating technologies, minimize damage to cultured cells during recovery, improving cell survival rates and the efficiency of recovery.

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.

AQUACEPTER®

Sealing leaks
Sealing leaks

AQUACEPTER
AQUACEPTER®

Addressing the need to repair aging tunnels, roads, bridges and other infrastructure elements is an urgent priority. DIC and the Hanshin Expressway Group recently developed an innovative agent for stopping water ingress that employs AQUACEPTER®—a new material developed exclusively by DIC—and are currently conducting field trials on Hanshin Expressway tunnels. In addition to excellent adhesive strength for sealing leaks, the new agent provides flexibility that accommodates later concrete structural movement, making it an effective choice for preventing leaks not sealable using conventional methods. This new low-odor, environment-friendly, water-based agent also improves conditions for workers. DIC and the Hanshin Expressway Group will continue to promote active development efforts with the aim of helping extend the life of infrastructure.

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

The DIC Group currently encompasses 171 companies in 64 countries and territories. The Group classifies its operations into four regional groupings: Japan, where the corporate headquarters is located; the PRC; the Asia–Pacific region; and the Americas and Europe.
Once it has resolved provisionally to enter a new market that offers promise from a global value chain perspective, 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 the Group’s 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.
Focusing particularly on core businesses, the DIC Group is currently taking active steps to reinforce and expand its presence in key Asian markets, which are expected to see significant growth going forward, while at the same time broadening its reach to include emerging economies in Eastern Europe, South America and the Middle East. The Group is also seeking to drive further growth by promoting active R&D initiatives, spearheaded by R&D units at its domestic sites, in collaboration with R&D bases in the PRC, the Asia–Pacific region, and the Americas and Europe (the Sun Chemical Group).

Enhancing Brand Strength

The DIC Group’s booth at FINETECH JAPAN in fiscal year 2017
The DIC Group’s booth at FINETECH JAPAN in fiscal year 2017

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 branding program, launched in fiscal year 2016, the Group seeks to enhance its brand strength through active participation in trade shows in Japan and overseas that convey the value it provides and the role it plays—which in fiscal year 2017 included interpack (Germany), FINETECH JAPAN and Food Safety Japan—and through communication with customers.

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

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

Ties with Customers

Guided by the basic policy of its previous medium-term management plan, which emphasized the focused allocation of management resources in key business domains, in fiscal year 2018 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 Group participated in Chemical Material Japan 2018 in May, where it displayed sheet-form passive heat storage material and other advanced technologies, and in Tokyo Pack 2018, held in October 2018, where it exhibited a variety of products that demonstrate the value that the Group provides to its customers. These included a new water- and oil-resistant coating varnish for the interior surfaces of paper food packaging that was developed as a uniquely DIC solution to help address such key social imperatives such as marine plastic. Overseas, the Group took part in Paint India, one of India’s largest exhibitions of coatings and related materials, in March 2018, with the aim of strengthening its communication with customers in the rapidly growing Asian market.
In commemoration of its 110thanniversary, in February 2018 DIC welcomed a total of approximately 1,000 customers and suppliers to events in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. The DIC Group will continue to held such events with the goal of promoting growth both for itself and its customers. In April 2018, the Group established the DIC Packaging Solution Center, a facility for collaboration with customers in the development of packaging, primarily for food products and everyday commodities, from planning and design through to commercialization. The following month, DIC held an event at corporate headquarters to mark the launch of the Asia Color Trend Book 2019–20 to unveil the latest edition of this unique publication and introduce initiatives that embody the Group’s Color & Comfort brand slogan, while at the same time creating new value by providing an opportunity for interaction among people from various industries. On another front, DIC continued employing a dedicated system in operation since 2013 to measure the portion of sales accounted for by repeat customers, using this as an indicator to measure customer satisfaction, as well as to working to grasp and improve customer satisfaction.

 

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