Overarching policy for improving customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is the most fundamental of principles underpinning Advantest's business. Our product quality policy, which is common for the Group — "Elaborate for quality from the design stage, promote to optimize the whole process of manufacturing, and offer the timely and high-quality products our customers expect" — characterizes our portfolio of products that offer not only superior performance, but also superior environmental friendliness and safety. We are committed to keeping our customers satisfied at every stage, from design and manufacturing to sales and service, via guaranteed quality, top-notch service, and support on a global scale.
Sales and marketing practices that support customer satisfaction gains
The mobile device market, consisting mainly of tablets and smartphones, has been the leading source of demand for semiconductors in recent years, and demand shifts in this market are growing larger. It is imperative for Advantest to respond to these shifts by strengthening its product supply system through parts procurement readiness, shortening of manufacturing processes, and reduction of production costs. In line with this we implemented the integration of our factory in Gunma in September 2014.
Previously we performed manufacturing of semiconductor test systems and installing of boards used for them in separate factories, but by integrating these processes into one factory we were able to streamline the overall production process.
Through this we have been able to establish a manufacturing set-up able to respond to customer’s steadily changing business environment.
On the other hand, in the case of device interfaces, which require customization for customer products, we are working to establish production bases close to customers in China, Korea and South East Asia in order to be able to respond directly to customer needs and achieve fast delivery times.
We are aiming to further improve customer satisfaction through these measures.
Sales and marketing activities to improve customer satisfaction
In the semiconductor industry, which we support, there is constant severe competition in the development of next generation technologies. Every year we hold the "VOICE 2014- Advantest Developer Conference" together with partner companies, not only with the purpose of providing test solutions to semiconductor industry customers, but also to act as a platform for information exchange. In May 2014 we held events in Silicon Valley (California, USA) and Austin (Texas, USA), and through the introduction of success examples and information about latest products, we were able to support information exchange among users. In fiscal 2015 we plan to make our activities more global and hold an event in Shanghai, China in addition to Silicon Valley.
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Also, in October 2014 we held technical seminars in Korea and China, and in November of the same year we held “Technical Seminar 2014” in Shinagawa, Tokyo. At this seminar our aim is to provide an active platform for technical exchange by introducing our latest test application information and enabling customers to understand our strengths. In this seminar, we had a keynote speech by Akira Minamikawa, the Japanese representative of IHS Global Inc., a presentation by Minoru Mikami from Form Factor Inc. and seminar sessions on the theme of “Test Environment” and “Test Technology” where each products’ features and future solutions were presented.
We will continue to hold sessions that match customer needs and take actions to improve customer satisfaction in the future.
Promoting customer support
The Advantest Group has established its basic policy for customer support with the aim of globally-oriented restructuring of the Group's service businesses.
Our basic policy is outlined as follows.
Basic policy for customer support
- We will propose total solutions in the form of support packages designed to deliver maximum efficiency to our customers in their device measurement operations.
- We will propose unified service support matching the customer's business model from development to the mass production environment.
- We will respond to customer demands by proposing service support packages that encompass total solutions.
- We will always take the customer's point of view and draw on our global organization in offering solutions.
- Our premium services and customer support will not only be efficient, but will also take the environment and safety into consideration.
- We will offer high-value-added professional services.
- We will strive to maintain our zero-accident record by thoroughly observing safety standards in field services and elsewhere.
Better customer support with a global focus
Advantest is forging a global support framework capable of responding to service support requests and other inquiries from customers. While responding to everyday service support requests through contact centers in each country, as well as by telephone and e-mail, we are also implementing primary support consisting of technical service and onsite repairs by field engineers.
We station expert support teams in product development bases to carry out secondary support, allowing us to respond appropriately to the content and difficulty of service requests.
We have developed a global supply-chain network covering customer operations ranging from their development bases to mass production facilities. Moreover, we also operate a supply-chain control mechanism through which replacement equipment and parts at service centers in each country are monitored to determine inventory needs at respective locations worldwide.
We continue to run an engineer exchange program between overseas subsidiaries and our secondary support division, which helps engineers improve their professional skills and raises the quality of our support. The two- to three-year program aims to sharpen engineers' technical skills, develop cross-cultural competencies, and raise foreign language and communication proficiencies. In the mass production facilities of customers, we offer on-request expert consulting and solutions regarding productivity issues. Also, we offer device measurement training to our customers, and provide professional advice in that regard.
Global Support Center system
Recipient of “10 BEST” customer satisfaction award for 27th consecutive year, on basis of VLSI Research survey
VLSI Research : 10 BEST
Advantest aims for a clear grasp of customer needs and strives to provide them with high performance, premium-quality total test solutions in a timely manner.
At Advantest, we gain a better understanding of our customers' needs through information we acquire from our daily business activities, and also through yearly participation in the customer satisfaction survey conducted by VLSI Research, a company well-renowned for semiconductor market research. Based on this year's survey, we received the “10 BEST” award granted to the top-ten ranking companies for the 27th year in a row.