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DISCO Story

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Personal computers and cell phones experienced explosive growth in 2000. Many semiconductor and electronic part manufacturers made daring capital investments. Accordingly, DISCO’s sales also leapt by 1.4 times compared to the previous year. However, upon entering into 2001, the IT economy rapidly lost momentum, and the overly exuberant capital investment came to an abrupt halt.

The valley of the Silicon Cycle that year was the deepest in the history of the industry, and in a sudden reversal the entire industry began the downsizing of their management, which moved the industry further towards requiring a restructuring. In the midst of this, even while trying every method to reduce operating expenses, a reduction of 60% in sales meant that DISCO accrued a loss of 1800 million yen.

However, Hitoshi Mizorogi who was handed the leadership baton from Kenichi Sekiya in June 2001 faced this unprecedented difficult business environment with a strong belief that “this is the worst it can get.” The reason for this was the DFP (DISCO Future Project), forged through thorough debates and started in 1995, clearly stated the direction that the management should aim to pursue.

The direction was “Pursue not a growth in quantity, but an improvement in quality.” In other words, the goal of the company was not to increase numbers which reflected the scope of the company like sales figures or the number of employees, but to make the figures which reflect the quality of profit, such as the gross profit, and all make all corporate activities excellent.

The management, centered on Mizorogi, believed that raising customer satisfaction (CS) and employee satisfaction (ES) which supports it as necessary for increasing the quality of management. In April 2003, the CS charter was signed and incorporated as a management system and the organization was changed so that it was possible to continuously pursue CS as an organization. In addition, with the implementation of the employee satisfaction survey in 2004, focus was placed on making a workplace worth working for.

In addition, to prevent the accumulation of inventory, factory production switched from planned production to pull production (only the number shipped is put into production.) From the income point of view, a unique management system called Will accounting was put into place. Will accounting is a concept where in addition to fixed expenses and variable expenses, when incurring expenses for the company an equivalent cost in Will for the decision will be incurred. The structure works such that when income worsens, employees will work to reduce the incurred expenses to preserve the gross profit. Furthermore, since 2004, the company has deployed many activities around the company to reduce structural costs, and each department has met its goal of reducing the previous year’s expenses by 5% for four years in a row.

Since 2003, the company has promoted the implementation of PIM (Performance innovation management). In PIM, each department sets indicators based on what they believe is the ideal form of their department. The goal is for departments to look back at short intervals and formulate method changes based on they have noticed (kizuki) to drive the evolution of the overall organization. This method has become a DISCO standard management method which has also been implemented at our overseas affiliates and, even now, is a large driving force in achieving the DISCO Vision.

It has been 70 years since 1937. From a later grinding wheel manufacturer, DISCO has survived many turning points to arrive at where it is today. Research into the possibilities of Kiru, Kezuru, Migaku technology applies not only to improving the precision of precision cutting with wheels, but also to thinning and laser technologies which will support future revolutionary semiconductor technologies. DISCO will continue to evolve and aim to improve the quality of every aspect of its corporate activities to bring greater comfortable living to people using its unique technologies.
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