Following is the transcription of the New Year’s greetings extended by President Hiroaki Sunakawa at Cataler’s Head Office on January 9, 2023.
【Reviewing the last year】
Firstly, on this occasion at the beginning of the year, I would like to look back on the year 2022 together with you, before talking about the prospects for the year 2023. And then, I would like to address the Project Plan with youーbrightly, lively, and enjoyablyーwith an aim to achieve the 2025 Vision.
At the beginning of the year 2022, we received awards from many of our customers for our quality and cost improvement. Also, with some of our overseas business entities (Cataler group companies) having received prizes from customers around the world, I think we have been able to advance forward toward Customer Delight.
In February, Tsubaki Miki (Alpine Snowboard) competed at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Many people watched her races and could receive a lot of energy and encouragement from her aggressive riding. We believe that she will do her best in this season, too.
Tsubaki Supporters site run by Cataler Corporation, a company supporting Tsubaki Miki, an alpine snowboarder and member of Japanese national team.
On the production side, we were affected by the reduction of OEM production due to the semiconductor shortage, but our production-related people, thankfully, responded to the situation flexibly and promptly.
And the moves toward the production start-up and the reintroduction of new equipment were accelerated in Cataler’s overseas bases. Besides that, CATALER EUROPE CZECH s.r.o. started its mass-production. I would like to express my respect to your teamwork to have made these moves possible and say thanks to you again.
We started the new fiscal year in April with our new initiatives, into which we incorporated several important implementation items, including the promotion of DX (digital transformation), the efforts toward a carbon-neutral society, TPS (Toyota Production System) activities, and Cataler-style internal control system. In particular, our TPS activitiesーunder the guidance of Toyota Mortor Corporationーkicked off simultaneously in the Production, Engineering, and Administrative Divisions. We look forward to the great business reforms that should happen a few years later, including the improvement in safety, quality, and cost, through the approaches like 5-tei (5 fixed items) and Just-In-Time.
TQM activities in overseas bases have also advanced greatly. In addition to 科特拉(無錫) 汽車環保科技有限公司 (CATALER CHINA) which received the Deming Prize in October, CATELER NORTH AMERICA and CATALER (THAILAND) CO.,LTD also improved their quality management system through TQM activities. I hope that, by challenging the Deming Prize, more and more overseas bases will strangthen their quality management system and achieve all-employees-participated, continuous improvement.
Thanks to your hard work to face a variety of difficulties, Cataler was able to see a high profit (although declined compared to the previous fiscal year) in the consolidated settlement at the end of March 2022. I would like to take this oppotunity to thank you for your efforts.
As for the company’s global policy for FY2023, we discussed it at the global meeting held in December last year, where we agreed on the 12 important implementation points, and selected the officers in charge of its promotion. Currently we are preparing an implementation plan, which comprises detailed schedules, target values, and organizations in charge of promotion, etc. We will tell you about the further details at another global company-policy meeting.
On the profit side, we are still in a severe economical situation due mainly to rising prices of energy and materials (such as precious metals). So, I would like to ask you to continue addressing all-members-participated profit improvement, which include the efforts to reduce costs and improve efficiency by reorganizing our operations. While tackling these issues, you might face various changes in market and economy. However, I expect all members in the Cataler Group to cooperate and respond to these challenges by “Shun” (瞬).
Finally, let me say a few things about health management and road safety, which I would like you to keep in mind.
We will continue to maintain and improve the company’s work environment so that all employees can work without worries even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nowadays so-called “living-with-COVID19 lifestyle,” where one does not necessarily need to follow any particular rules about COVID-19 prevention, is gradually becoming the norm. Conversely, however, it might indicate that we are beginning to have less and less self-discipline. So, I would like to ask you to keep acting cautiously, without letting down your guard, in order to protect you and your family.
Speaking of road safety, the analysis of the traffic accidents has led me to feel that more and more drivers have been, little by little, becoming aware of the importance of the No.1 rule of “Watch where you drive.” However, it can be seen that the number of “accidents-incurred” (which is the accidents caused by another party, including being rear-ended) is higher. So, I would like you to think about how you can avoid getting involved in an traffic accident, and how you can let other cars near you recognize the presence of your car. That you don’t cause a traffic accident is, of course, an important thing, but beyond that, I expect you to drive a car with good manners, aiming to be regarded as a model driver to local residents.
In concluding my New Year’s greetings, I sincerely hope that you and your family will have a good and productive year, and that you will stay safe and healthy, and work on your own tasks brightly, positively, and enjoyably.
(※)Shun (瞬) refers to “Proactive Action.” Under the slogan “Aiming to become a ’proactive company’ that can stay ahead of the changes in environment,” this is one of the components of Cataler Group’s GLOBAL VISION 2025. With the business environment changing at a rapid pace, we are aiming for taking proactive (ahead-of-time) actions. We want to be a company that can forecast and detect the changes ourselves and aggressively undergo a dynamic turnaround if need be. For this goal, we will strive to achieve earlier problem-solving, more prompt dicision-making and operations, more smooth comunication by using IT, thereby making Cataler transform into a ‘proactive company.’