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Interview with President and CEO12345678910

Q9.What are you planning to emphasize in structural reforms designed to reinforce the business foundation, the third one of the basic strategies in the mid-range management plan?

Since 2001, when we began reforming our business structure in order to strengthen our foundation, for 12 years we have consistently worked on cost reduction and prevention of increase by advocating separation of costs from growth. Under the new mid-range management plan, we are going to make aggressive investment in necessary areas based on the growth strategies I have mentioned; however, we are also determined to keep the current level of overall fixed costs by generating ideas and further streamlining operations while engaging in structural reforms.

At our plants in Japan in 2011, we launched the project to cut electric power consumption in half, and we are going to unfailingly advance it and generate good results. Today, factory buildings of 40 years old or older account for about 60% of total floor space of our plants in Japan. We are going to renew those old buildings and manufacturing equipment with new buildings installed with leading-edge, energy-efficient equipment. New buildings will take advantage of solar power, natural lighting, groundwater and waste heat, for example. While working to reduce electric power consumption in half, we are also going to improve productivity.

From the viewpoint of linking customers directly to our plants, we are working to simplify and streamline our operations. Concerning spare parts, we are linking distributors directly to plants, thereby improving profitability by cutting down trading inventories and transportation costs. We have already linked four overseas subsidiaries to our plants, and are planning to link eight more subsidiaries in FY2013.

Our groundwater cooling system (left) introduced to an office building inside the Awazu Plant and its conceptual drawing (right)
This system uses groundwater at a constant temperature of about 17 degrees Celsius, throughout the year, to cool the air for comfort in summer, and waste hot water generated inside the Plant to heat the air for warmth in winter. This system uses a radiator of construction equipment as its heat exchanger. Compared to common air conditioning systems of the same capacity, our system enables an outstanding reduction of electric power consumption. (Groundwater used to cool the air is returned to the ground in its original quality to minimize its impact on groundwater resources.)