Special: Dawn of a New Aichi Steel
New Workstyles and Eco-friendly
Design in New Administration Building
In December 2015, construction started on a new administration building as part of Aichi Steel’s 75th anniversary project, with the main structure being completed and opened in January 2017.
The new administration building was built around the three concepts of enhancing business continuity systems, supporting new workstyles, and halving energy usage in the office.
With this new building, we aim to improve intellectual productivity and creativity among our employees, achieve a more harmonious coexistence with all stakeholders, and become a respected, highly-valued company within the community.
Supporting new workstyles
Aichi Steel will achieve new workstyles in an office space that improves intellectual productivity, enhances communication, and encourages diversity.
- Communication Stairs in the middle of the building connect all floors through a wide-open stairwell
- Each floor consists of a single barrier-free workspace covering a large 630m² area
- Many different meeting spaces for a diverse range of needs
- Biorhythm-friendly lighting control promotes health and improves intellectual productivity
- Wireless LAN and mobile phones enable employees to work from anywhere in the building
Enhancing business continuity systems
Business continuity systems enable fast recovery of operations after natural disasters, including any major earthquakes in the Nankai Trough.
- Seismically isolated structure consists of laminated rubber bearings and hydraulic dampers
- In-house electric generators have been installed to provide 72 hours of operation
- Solar power generators will be installed after March 2018 on the roof of the hall
Halving energy usage in the office
Using advanced energy-efficient technologies will halve energy usage per unit of area compared to the previous building.
- LED lighting, daylight sensor control in the offices, and motion sensors in shared spaces
- Automatic wall louvers and low-e glass enable control of direct sunlight
- Air-conditioning costs have been reduced through the use of underground ducts providing ventilation for heat-exchange air-conditioning
- Solar panels installed for power generation
Innovation through Communication
Improving communication was a central focus during construction of the new administration building, so a lot of effort was spent to reform workstyles. Each employee becoming more aware of their own workstyle and changing their behavior will lead to great innovation in the future.
Copying positives from other divisions
The open-plan office space enables us to see what goes on in other divisions, so we can incorporate the good aspects of culture and the initiatives we see into our own divisions. We have been following efforts by the Corporate Planning Division to reduce overtime hours. Automatically changing lighting at set times, like normal finish time or 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. or so, is also a good way to make people aware of the time, so it would be effective for reducing overtime.
Chief of Staff, Accounting Dept. Finance & Accounting Div.
We use the Communication Stairs in the middle of the building all the time. When you pass people on the stairs that you have a work relationship with, you often remember something you wanted to ask them. As a result, you can get information there that helps speed up your work. There are computers in the meeting spaces as well, which help save time and resources because we do not need paper any more.
Compensation & Benefits Dept., Human Resources Div.
Confidence and pride in new administration building
With lots of meeting spaces, and lots of types, it improves work efficiency because we can promptly find a space that suits the people involved and the topics discussed. The Procurement Division has many meetings with suppliers, which we usually have in the first floor lobby area. The administration building is nice and new, with toilets and vending machines provided, and that gives us more confidence and pride in our work.
Purchasing Dept. No.2, Purchasing Div.
Maximizing divisional functions in a new environment
The directors and division managers have their desks in the middle of the floors, which improves contact between divisions, enables information sharing, and increases the pace of decision-making. The synergies created by improvements to both quality and quantity of communications within each division, enable us to quickly and accurately resolve issues and make it easier to create new ideas as well, and I think that is helping us maximize the ability of our divisional functions.
General Manager, Sales Planning Div.
Conference room perfect for interviews
With so many different meeting spaces, it is now easier to direct or meet with people in your office, which makes our jobs faster. There is a focus on interviews as part of improving communications with office staff, and one particular example of that is Conference Room 151 in the northeast cor ner of the building. It is a closed conference room but with two walls made of glass to improve light and openness, which makes it perfect for having discussions.
Representative Manager, Sales Dept. No.2, Chubu Sales Div.
Face-to-face more efficient than telephone
The open-plan office space has eliminated doors, which makes it easier to visit other divisions. Rather than telephoning someone, it is more efficient to meet face-to-face and talk while looking at materials, so I go to the Accounts Division all the time.
I also enjoy sharing a friendly greeting with the chairman, president or directors on the stairs.
Sales Dept. No.1, Toyota Sales Div.
Convenience in wireless computers and mobile phones
Being able to use computers wirelessly has made working with team members and meeting with users considerably easier.
The adoption of mobile phones has also made emergency contact more convenient when we have system troubles. In the past, we were assigned to different work spaces according to the user division involved, but because our division is together in a single space now, we have more frequent face-to-face meetings, which has improved working efficiency. We still have to go out to user divisions, but the advantages outweigh that issue.
System Planning Dept. No.2, IT Management Div.
New Aichi Steel excels!
A changed company with a changed attitude
The new administration building is a symbol of change at the New Aichi Steel, with every conceivable possibility and potential.
Going forward, business will require even greater creativity and imagination, with faster decision-making and action. That is why we have to make fundamental changes to our workstyles while making intelligent use of this new building. This is what will drive business growth and contribute to all stakeholders going forward, as we continue our growth into a company respected by local communities and society as a whole.
With this new administration building, I hope we can all work together happily and harmoniously to create environments and raise awareness that will enable us to realize our full potential for creating new value. Our aim is to create a better company, a company with happy employees.
Corporate Strategy Group Manager,
Corporate Planning Div.
Leader, Workstyle Subcommittee
New Administration Building Committee
Looking Forward to What a New Aichi Steel Delivers
Takahiro Fujioka, President
Replacing a building that served well for 57 years, the new administration building was constructed to achieve new workstyles and eco-friendly design. Along with my team, I am looking forward to seeing what innovations will be created from this new base. Construction of a hall on the south side of the new administration building is also scheduled for completion in March 2018. With display rooms as well, we plan to use the new hall as a visitor center that will serve as the starting point for plant tours. I hope the new administration building can become our place of interaction with the local community.