Product Responsibility

Basic Approach and Policy

In response to the growing social demand for high-quality and safe products and services, the Olympus Group is working to improve the quality and safety of its products and services and provide reliable services that satisfy our customers.

Quality Assurance

The Olympus Group has established the Olympus Group Quality Policy based on its management philosophy. We continue to implement measures to instill quality policy standards in our daily operations for all members to foster a mindset that emphasizes safety and quality.

Olympus Group Quality Policy

Initiatives

Creating a Safety-and Quality-Oriented Corporate Culture

QARA function believes that it is essential for Olympus members to act with a mindset to always prioritize customers and patient's safety and security by implementing activities to foster an organizational culture where it emphasizes safety and security of our customers and patients. One example is to provide seminars to share case studies for both R&D and manufacturing members to let them realize that their daily work directs to the customers and patient's safety.

Quality Management System

The Olympus Group, with its Chief Quality Officer (CQO) and QARA members of each region, review and improve their global-wide work processes. As a result, the Olympus Group business divisions and subsidiaries have actively been obtaining and maintaining ISO9001 or ISO13485 certifications, the international quality control standards. Based on the global management rules revised in FY2021, QARA members regularly report to executive officers and chief quality officers who are top of quality and regulatory functions, to clarify company-wide issues. In addition, we conduct group internal quality audits aimed at monitoring the status of each quality management system from an objective perspective to get hold of the status of each organization to promote improvement.

Appropriate Communication

(Case 1)

In order to comply with the Laws concerning environmentally related substances for Olympus Group Products and to reduce environmental impact, we collect information on handling of environmentally related substances and trends in laws and regulations in each country, As a consequence, we have established the "Standards for management of environmentally related substances" in our group products, and publish them on the website.

(Case 2)

Olympus offers advanced information on endoscopes, and diagnostic test using endoscopes and techniques through a membership website for medical professionals. Medical safety information, such as corrective actions, recall letters regarding Olympus equipment and warnings are available to non-members to ensure greater transparency.

Valuing Bioethics in Evaluating Product Efficacy and Safety

Olympus and its Japan subsidiaries may conduct animal research to develop medical equipment, assess product efficacy and safety, and promote the correct usage of the products. We are keen to ensure that the research we carry out is ethical from both the scientific and animal welfare viewpoints, because we value the lives of animals.
Olympus and its Japan subsidiaries introduced their animal research corporate rules based on the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals, Basic Guidelines for Animal Research in Institutions under Management of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and other related laws and guidelines. We established the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) based on the animal research corporate rules to rigorously review all our animal research plans and ensure that they are based on the 3Rs of animal testing —Replacement (of animal testing with alternative methods), Reduction (of the number of animals to be used), and Refinement (of the testing method to minimize animals' suffering).

We are committed to the ethical and humane handling of the animals used in our research, paying extra attention to their physical and psychological wellbeing. Self-inspections are also conducted, verifying our compliance with the research corporate rules for animal research. Our practice is accredited under the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care and Use by the Japan Pharmaceutical Information Center.

Improvement of Sales/After-Sales Service Quality, Basic Approach

To implement a customer-centric approach and a constant quest for quality under the Olympus Group Quality Policy, the Olympus Group regularly monitors customer satisfaction in each of our activities, from sales to after-sales service, and provides feedback on our activities during and after sales to improve the quality of our operations. Especially in the medical area, we are working to provide a safe and reliable healthcare environment for our customers. Specifically, we are contributing to greater efficiency in medical care at medical institutions, including communicating important information to customers, providing training on the appropriate use of our products, maintenance services and prompt recovery and repair services for our products.

Promotion Structure and Initiatives in the Medical Business

Initiatives to improve sales activities

Olympus seeks to improve the customer experience of doing business with Olympus, while also improving our commercial efficiency and meeting operating income goals. Olympus' Vision is to evolve our customer engagement model in a comprehensive manner to respond to rising expectations in the medical device industry.

Customer Response

Call centers
Global
  • Call centers located in major cities are set up with dedicated teams to handle medical equipment and troubleshoot, providing a detailed response suited to each region. (Japan, United States, China, etc.).
  • Major medical devices are installed in the call centers so we can provide accurate support for inquiries (Japan, United States, China, etc.).
Japan
  • Running Endoscopes Customer Support Center, a call center dedicated to providing an information service for healthcare professionals.
  • The call center operations are continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic through remote working to support healthcare professionals. The immediate telephone connection rate has stayed at 95% or more, which is the same level as pre-COVID-19 .
  • Introducing advanced technologies such as AI to improve quality of response.
  • Immediate hybrid response system based on coordination and interaction between call centers and Olympus sales/service personnel or authorized distributors in various areas.
  • Initiatives to share the content of call center inquiries inside the company for the purpose of product and service improvements.
  • Our innovative initiatives have won the recognition of the call center industry and led to us winning the Operation Category Award in Center of Excellence 2020 sponsored by a monthly magazine called Call Center Japan.
Enhanced information on the corporate website
Global The "Olympus Continuum," a comprehensive training platform providing medical professionals with training in medical products and skills, has been introduced to provide training adapted to the skill level of the medical professional and to further enhance patient value. In addition to the existing hands-on group training programs that have been organized for medical professionals, we provide integrated online training and programs that combine preliminary study and post-training study effectively.
Japan Running Medical Town, a membership website that offers up-to-date information on medical endoscopes and related medical treatment for healthcare professionals.
Response to COVID-19 pandemic USA Holding webinars covering infection prevention measures during endoscopy cases, contact information for relevant authorities, customer letters, COVID-19 Q&As etc. Customers can also register themselves to receive updates by following a link on the website.
Europe Publishing information about infection prevention measures, endoscope reprocessing procedures, equipment handling cautions against COVID-19 (tutorial videos), etc. The website also offers PDF files in 10 different languages that show the above information and a list of relevant contacts for our customers.
Japan Publishing COVID-19 FAQs and other related information through our membership website, Medical Town

Safe handling of our devices

Training
  • Lectures on how to use, maintain and manage our products.
  • Training on how to prevent problems offered to customers who have service contracts, tailored to their actual situation and the types of problems that have occurred.
Customer support by field service staff
  • Engineers and technical staff with specialized skills are deployed to enable prompt response to problems and maintenance requests.
  • Providing preventive maintenance to ensure that equipment stays in good condition.
  • In case of a problem, dedicated technical staff respond promptly for troubleshooting and quick recovery.
Repair service

We offer a prompt repair service at each of our repair service centers. To minimize downtime at customers' site, we handle repair service orders as quickly as possible and also respond to customers' requests for loaners during repairs appropriately.

Repair service network
Major repairs* (Repairs in need of overhaul) Overseas Service centers in the United States, Germany, France, Czech, Portugal, United Kingdom, Russia, China, Singapore, India, etc.
Japan Medical Equipment Service Operation Centers located in Shirakawa and Nagano
Minor repairs (to endoscopes and peripherals) Available through a worldwide network of approx. 150 repair sites
Response in case of a natural disaster Multiple service centers are operated in each region, in order to be able to offer uninterrupted repair service even in case of an earthquake or other natural disasters.

* Repairs in need of overhaul

Service contracts

Offering multiple maintenance contracts globally in accordance with the product characteristics or the regional situations and demands.

Promotion Structure and Initiatives in Scientific Solutions Business

Customer Response

Global New customer support through websites and blogs In response to the spread of COVID-19, we started customer support activities through websites and blogs. We set up specific COVID-19 pages, and started offering a range of information and services, including virtual demonstrations through a video conferencing system and webinars.
Japan Call Center Running Customer Support Center to solve customers' problems in using our products
Technical assistance
  • Running the Olympus Techno Lab for customers to experience our products and evaluate their performance
  • Holding Microscope Training Program for customers to learn how to use the product correctly
USA Expanding training opportunities In addition to training programs for customers in the safe use of Olympus products, a program has been created to train nondestructive inspection engineers. In 2019, we donated Olympus nondestructive inspection devices to a university in Pasadena, Texas, known prominently for its ties with the petroleum industry and provided trainings for their use because these products are widely used in the inspection of petroleum pipelines, etc.
Europe Olympus Academy activities Manned by specialist staff, the Olympus Academy provides training in products and applications for subsidiaries and sales distributors in various countries. Product and application seminars are then held for customers by the subsidiaries and sales distributors that have undergone such training themselves.

Repair system

Providing repair services at the same high level at service sites across the world.

The following services are provided at manufacturing sites, service sites, sales subsidiaries and contracted agents around the world.

Microscopes Back-to-base repairs, on-site repair services, function inspections, calibration, service contracts, delivery installation
Industrial endoscopes Back-to-base repairs, function inspections, service contracts
Non-destructive testing devices Back-to-base repairs, on-site repair services, function inspections, precision calibration
X-ray analytical systems Back-to-base repairs, function inspections
Main service contents
Back-to-base repair services Transportable products and those that may require extensive repairs are shipped to and repaired at service sites across the world.
On-site repair services For installation-type products, technical staff is dispatched to provide on-site services, including repairs, calibration and maintenance inspections.
Service contracts Offering multiple maintenance contracts depending on the product.

Reference Information

Calls Received at Customer Support Centers (Japan)
FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Medical business 142,279 138,878 124,736 140,074 129,079 115,027
Scientific Solutions business 18,127 17,733 17,864 16,604 18,276 14,740

* In Medical Business, the number of calls only by telephone until FY2018 and includes inquiries through website in/after FY2019.