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DISCO Story

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In addition to the good sales of the new equipment born from the X-project, DISCO’s financial performance was also buoyed by the personal computer boom, which brought stunning growth to the semiconductor and electrical part industries, and expansion continued. On the other hand, Kenichi Sekiya (current honorary chairman) strongly felt the need to create a clear, reasonable management vision and corporate culture to unify the energies of all employees.

The growth up until this point had been supported by an overwhelming “try everything” corporate culture which had been born from the equipment development endeavors in the 1970s. However, due to the increase in scale of the company from the outreach into vertical diffusion furnaces and other initiatives, many middle managers were hired externally, and the company was swamped with differing value systems.

Much time with little result was spent debating what kind of vision DISCO should have. In the end, the management began researching a management vision and a corporate culture to form the foundation of achieving that vision in collaboration with a management foundation structure specialist (Grey Institute of Management).

On December 20th, 1995, the DISCO FUTURE PROJECT-α was started with 10 executive members. They started the project by reconfirming the framework of the overall management foundation and clarifying the areas of the core values of the corporation which should be prioritized to achieve the envisioned result (this would become the core of our corporate culture). Every month, a debate would take place regarding what DISCO’s role in society should be and what DISCO’s line of business should be, which reexamined DISCO’s corporate activities from their origin. Although, initially, the debates were a clash of different ideas, through thorough discussion, a shared system of values was formed.

Future Presentation
On December 2nd, 1997, the results of two years worth of discussions were presented to employees at the “Future Presentation”. DISCO Values, which defines what kind of corporation DISCO should be and its future direction, DISCO Vision, which sets a target for what kind of corporation DISCO would like to be by 2010, were announced.

Subsequently, as DISCO Values (DV) was made more robust, plans to increase the permeation of DV within the corporate structure and official areas began. A system to share DISCO Values was developed and implemented as a management system. Through these activities, thinking such as valuing “what is correct” over “who is correct” was made a standard and valuing what is reasonable permeated through out the company. The change in thinking strengthened the organization, and delegation of power which had previously been concentrated with the top management gradually progressed.

Near the time when DISCO grasped its new compass, DISCO values, and oriented itself towards its new targets, rough waves hit the global IT economy. DISCO had been desperately increasing production for several months in a row to meet the tremendous demand from semiconductor and electrical part manufacturers to expand their facilities. As a result, DISCO achieved its best ever financial results in 2000. However, the next year, the IT bubble burst. As the world sunk into economic depression, DISCO’s sales also shrunk by 59%. However, there was no uncertainty about the future. DISCO’s goal was not to make a large profit, but to qualitatively improving its ability to achieve its mission of “Bringing faraway science to comfortable living through advanced Kiru, Kezuru, Migaku technologies” as written in DISCO Values.
Story 6: Towards the signpost for true growth, DISCO Vision
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