- Quality Assurance Philosophy
- Initiatives to Ensure Product Safety
- Response to Public Regulations Concerning Products
- Upstream Initiatives for Quality Assurance
- Promoting Human Centered Design
- Preventive Measures Using Analysis and Evaluation
- Customer Support and Service
- Responding to Customer Inquiries
- Product Repair Service
- Delivering Peace of Mind and Satisfaction
Quality Assurance Philosophy
Quality Assurance Philosophy
Offering customers products and services that generate satisfaction and confidence
The Pioneer Group regards ensuring quality as the most fundamental
issue in its pursuit of customer satisfaction. Therefore, the
Group has formulated its Quality Assurance Philosophy. With the
aim of realizing this philosophy, the Group has clarified its quality
assurance responsibilities and authority and is working to improve
overall quality. Specifically, the Quality Assurance Council has been
established, as well as three committees: the Product Safety
Committee, the Public Regulations Committee, and the Eco
Products Committee. These committees operate across organizations
within the Pioneer Group as a whole.
Based on its Quality Assurance Philosophy, the Pioneer Group establishes a Pioneer Group Quality Policy for each fiscal year. The policy outlines specific targets for important management items, including product quality, product safety, government regulations, and product environment. Understanding of the policy is promoted among all relevant employees, from development and production to sales and service.
Moreover, the Pioneer Group believes that efforts to further boost the promotion of human centered design, which customers expect from the Group's products, is an essential factor in providing products that fully satisfy customers. In this regard, every effort will be made to reflect this recognition in the Group's product evaluation.
Initiatives to Ensure Product Safety
The Pioneer Group has identified basic issues for ensuring the
safety of its products, promotional materials, installation work and
repairs, and it strives to prevent injury to people and damage to
property. To achieve this, a framework centered on the Product
Safety Committee has been established, and based on the Action
Guide of Product Safety, the Group works on a routine basis to
prevent incidents and to respond promptly should they occur.
In this context of product safety, information is actively collected from customers, dealers and distributors and collated by the Company's Quality Assurance Division. Reports are then promptly submitted to upper management, and relevant information is fed back to customers, dealers and distributors.
Outline of Information Flow from Customers Concerning Product Safety
Ensuring Product Safety
The Pioneer Group maintains a structure and system for ensuring product safety during the early stages of new product development. Taking into consideration a broad spectrum of factors, including the needs of users as well as the wide-ranging environments in which products will be used, the Group undertakes risk assessment relating to product safety. In implementing measures aimed at addressing individual risks, the Group is working diligently to prevent the chance of an incident occurring from product shipment through to final disposal.
Raising Customer Awareness of Safe Usage
The Pioneer website includes information concerning product safety precautions, with clearly presented visual explanations that allow customers to set up and use Pioneer products safely and correctly.
Product Safety Standards and the Product Safety Manual
As a part of the overall product development process, the Pioneer Group has formulated a set of proprietary product safety standards that encompasses not only statutory information but also past experience. In adhering strictly to these standards, the Group is endeavoring to deliver enhanced product safety.In addition, the Group has published the Product Safety Manual for product designers and engineers, explaining various vital aspects of product safety as well as other basic concepts. Drawing from resources both within and outside the Group, the manual includes a number of product safety examples. Written in a clearly presented manner, it is used internally as a product safety education and training tool.
Excerpt from the Product Safety Manual
Response to Public Regulations Concerning Products
The Pioneer Group collects regulatory information from the countries, regions and industries within which it conducts business, along with standardization information from international organizations. This information is disseminated by the Public Regulations Committee, which is organized on a Group-wide basis, and is incorporated in the development and manufacture of products. The Group also ensures through its sales divisions that products comply with national and regional regulations before release. Through these means, the Pioneer Group strives to ensure compliance with public requirements for products and promotional materials.
Main Public Regulations Concerning Products
- Regulations concerning product approval include safety regulations, electromagnetic compliance (EMC) and communications standards
- Labeling regulations for consumer protection and product certification cover labeling on products, operating manuals, packaging, and other matters
- Environmental regulations
Upstream Initiatives for Quality Assurance
Rapid Acquisition of Market Quality Information and Enhanced Responses to Issues
In the Pioneer Group, information from customers is accurately
communicated to relevant divisions for use in sales support and
quality improvement activities. For example, at the Customer Support
Center in Japan, inquiries and complaints are compiled into a monthly
report entitled "The Voice of the Customer," which is distributed to
directors, department heads of related divisions and all relevant staff.
In addition, the center provides information that can be used for product planning in periodic meetings with business divisions. Similar activities are undertaken at the Group's overseas subsidiaries.
In addition to consolidating this sort of regular monthly information exchange, the Group will reinforce its response to issues arising in the marketplace. Information about these issues is conveyed via inquiries to the consultation service, along with repair and service information, analysis of returned products, feedback from Internet surveys, and so on. The Group will promptly feed this information back to its planning and design departments.
APQP Activities at Pioneer
The product development process consists of a complex interaction
of various other processes. The initial (upstream) stage of
product development starts with planning conception, which has a
significant impact on product quality. The steps required for
achieving quality targets are identified at this stage. Pioneer uses
Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), an approach that cuts
across various organizations to find and resolve issues quickly.
The Pioneer Group will continue to identify best practices in order to maintain and improve total quality across the Group. In fiscal 2014, the Group is identifying steps for achieving the quality targets from the initial stage of product development, and it continues to implement activities that enable issues to be found and resolved quickly through team activities in all divisions, including the sales and services divisions.
The Four Key Points of APQP
- Predict and prevent problems rather than responding after the fact
- Team activities
- Information on current circumstances is constantly shared
- Effective communication
Outline of Information Flow from Customers Concerning Quality
Approach to Quality Assurance Activities
Establishment of a Process Framework Required for High-quality Product Development
Promoting Human Centered Design
The Pioneer Group promotes Human Centered Design, which is supported by Perceived Quality, Universal Design, and Ease of Use. The Group is constantly striving to offer a User Experience for customers to enjoy and be pleased to use our products with excitement.
Typically human centered design is a process concept for product development based on the user's perspective, and it conforms to the international standard ISO 13407 for human centered design processes for interactive systems. ISO 13407 defines the concept, for which there are specific standards concerning usability, Internet accessibility and so on.
If you want to know more, please refer to Details of HCD.
Preventive Measures Using Analysis and Evaluation
The Pioneer Group seeks to resolve quality problems in a timely
manner, undertaking preventive measures and prompt and
appropriate action against the reoccurrence of problems. This is
important for providing customers with products and services that
win their confidence and satisfaction. Therefore, the Group aims to
improve its analysis and evaluation technologies for quality
problems caused by materials and components, or issues arising
from work practices and the working environment at the site of the
development and production processes.
For example, utilizing sophisticated analysis evaluation technologies, the Analysis and Evaluation Center pinpoints the underlying issues and problems that cause defective products by examining market, domestic and overseas Group company, affiliated company and material supplier manufacturing processes.
Through an analysis and evaluation of non-defective articles, the center obtains know-how that can be reflected in preventive measures in the development and production processes to increase the long-term reliability of Pioneer products.
Customer Support and Service
The Pioneer Group is working to build a framework of the highest quality support and services throughout the world. Each year, the Group conducts a customer satisfaction survey concerning its support and services. The results of each survey are channeled directly toward further improvements in customer satisfaction. In this manner, the Group is endeavoring to expand the circle of Pioneer enthusiasts. The Group consistently makes decisions from the customer's viewpoint, building relationships of trust by providing service that appeals to customers and meeting their expectations around the world.
Results of the Independent Customer Satisfaction Survey for Japan
|Overall satisfaction following repairs as
reported by the survey
|Satisfaction with the Repair Desk||91%||93%||87%|
|Customer satisfaction with the Customer
|Customer satisfaction with the Parts Ordering Center||4.4points||4.1points||4.3points|
Responding to Customer Inquiries
The Customer Support Center in Japan integrates all the support
operations for Pioneer products in the country with the aim of
providing clear and effective service from the customer's viewpoint.
Every year, the center responds to approximately 430,000 beforeand after-purchase inquiries by telephone and e-mail. The center does not simply respond to inquiries—it also provides product information from the customer's standpoint and offers value-added proposals in order to provide a higher level of customer satisfaction.
In addition, information from customers, including the inquiries and complaints received by customer support departments in Japan and overseas, is accurately communicated to relevant divisions for use in sales support and quality improvements.
In fiscal 2013, the Customer Support Center again drew on an evaluation by an external agency to improve the quality of the responses of personnel, including their overall manner, first impressions and friendliness.
To support its initial launch of hearing aids (controlled medical devices), the Group opened a customer support center specifically for hearing aids in March 2013. Pioneer's hearing aid has been approved as a Class II-designated controlled medical device under Japan's Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, and marketing permission has been obtained.
Number of Inquiries and Response Rate for the Customer Support Center in Japan
|Inquiries on car electronics products||296,000||340,000||345,000|
|Inquiries on home electronics products||104,000||94,000||83,000|
Monitoring System to Enable Employees to Listen to Customers Directly
Pioneer offers its employees training opportunities to experience operations at the Customer Support Center. Listening to customers directly at the center enables employees to develop their own insight and more effectively act based on the customer's point of view.
Product Repair Service
Customers in Japan have praised Pioneer's efforts to respond to
their expectations and requirements for improved speed of repairs,
as well as for clear explanations from the Repair Desk, the courtesy
of responses, and the adequacy of repairs and explanations.
In fiscal 2013, the Pioneer Group took steps to strengthen and expand its automotive OEM product service network and systems worldwide. Carrying on from the previous year, every effort was made to bolster and augment the service network and systems that target such newly emerging growth markets as the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
Response to Inquiries and Repair Requests in Japan
Number of Repairs in Japan
Worldwide Service System
Delivering Peace of Mind and Satisfaction
Beginning with its range of CRT-based televisions released in
1983, Pioneer had continued to sell a wide range of display
products including projection and plasma TVs. Although the
Company withdrew from the display business in fiscal 2010,
Pioneer maintains supplies of components and repair parts for a
period of eight years commencing from the date of final production
of each model in order to ensure the peace of mind and
satisfaction of customers using Pioneer's display products.
Moreover, at the end of this eight-year period, Pioneer will continue to undertake display product maintenance and repairs until all supplies of component and repair parts are exhausted.
(Replacement parts may, however, be used for requirements other than performance components.)
While the Pioneer Group terminated production of laser disc players from April 2009, it is continuing to provide the same maintenance and repair services as those proposed for display products.