Along with developing and providing inks and other products in response to social changes and customer needs, T&K TOKA purchases raw materials and packaging materials from suppliers including pigment manufacturers, resin manufacturers, and packaging material manufacturers, using these to manufacture products at our Saitama Headquarters and Shiga Factory and delivering those products to printing companies and other customers. We have more than 300 suppliers and outside manufacturing subcontractors in Japan, and other overseas suppliers in many countries.
Procurement of raw materials
The Saitama Headquarters' Purchasing Section orders, manages deliveries, and receives all raw materials and packaging materials used in Japan, based on the production plans of domestic production bases such as the Saitama Headquarters and the Shiga Factory. When selecting suppliers, factors are evaluated including stability of supply, quality management, price and environmental initiatives, and multiple suppliers are chosen and a certain amount of inventory is maintained as part of our business continuity planning (BCP).
In addition to documentation audits, we visit domestic suppliers to conduct on-site audits as necessary. With documentation audits, we request answers regarding quality, quality-related evidence, chemical substance management systems, conflict minerals, and risk management including BCP, and based on those replies, we create radar charts to manage audit results. On-site audits are conducted by teams comprising staff from purchasing, R&D, and production divisions, and rehearsals are held carefully to ensure that audits run smoothly and are meaningful for both parties. When items for improvement are identified, we send a written request for improvement and request an improvement plan in reply and evidence of the improvement.
When the Great East Japan Earthquake struck northeastern Japan in 2011, there were interruptions in our domestic supply chains, but responses by our purchasing, R&D, and production divisions enabled us to continue supplying products. Based on a senior management policy of "fulfilling our responsibility to provide supply regardless of profit", with regard to procurement, we fulfilled our responsibility as a supplier using emergency airlifts from overseas for raw materials we became unable to purchase because of the earthquake disaster. With regard to product manufacturing, companywide teams representing purchasing, R&D, and production divisions were also formed to search for possible combinations of raw materials that could be used, and alternative ink products were manufactured. Sales divisions explained to customers that we were providing alternative products, and sought customers' understanding and cooperation.
More recently, to thoroughly prevent the spread of infection in response to the 2020 novel coronavirus pandemic, employees worked from home in principle except for production divisions (where working from home is difficult), staff refrained from calling on customers, and both domestic and overseas business trips were prohibited in principle. From June 2020, staff have returned to working at offices but with staggered working hours while taking countermeasures to prevent infections. Overseas business trips remain prohibited in principle, while domestic business trips and sales activities are in principle allowed by taking measures to prevent infection in accordance with customers' circumstances.