Sumitomo Chemical reduces customer complaints by 50% in Brazil and wins international award

October 7, 2022 | News Brazil

Project, recognized by Sumitomo group with a best practices award, was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of the Brazilian subsidiary and supported by Staufen Consulting

Solving problems may seem commonplace, but in fact this is one of the main practices that great managers use to increase the business efficiency, reducing errors and increasing customer satisfaction.

This was the direction Sumitomo Chemical chose. The Japanese chemical company, operating in Brazil, offers the market solutions for crop protection, from sowing to post-harvest.

A multidisciplinary team from the Maracanaú unit, in Ceará/Brazil, met with the support of consultants from Staufen to definitively solve recurring problems at the unit – such as product leakage and late deliveries -, in addition to problems related to product failures, the production, packaging, logistical operations and formulation development.

Recognition of the Sumitomo Chemical Company Group

The project, entitled “Root Cause Analysis Applied for Different Complexities to Solve Quality and ESH Issues”, was developed by Sumitomo Chemical’s Quality area, with the support of Staufen Consulting.

As a result, the work was recognized by the Sumitomo Company Group with the Responsible Care Awards 2021, in the best practices category.

According to Rafael Oliveira, manager of Sumitomo Chemical’s industrial complex, the group’s main objective was to apply the investigation methodology to act and classify the causes of the problems.

“We implemented the Go&See tool, developed by Staufen, to solve about 80% of the problems raised, which were considered to be of quick investigation, as they happen directly at the point of cause. These are our visible problems, that is, they are easy to solve and require 2 to 4 hours of investigation. For the remaining 20%, which are hidden problems and, therefore, require more complex tools, we apply RCA – or Root Cause Analysis”, explains Rafael.

According to Fábio Silva, consultant partner and project leader from Staufen, the success of the project reflects the commitment of the entire team.

Whenever we combine the use of simple and robust practices – looking at the problems head on – with the correct intensity to address them and to envolve people, the results come. This was the case of Sumitomo in Maracanaú.

Fábio silva, partner consultant at staufen

Also according to the manager of the industrial complex, the methodologies were applied throughout the company’s customer complaints base, which currently has around 1,800 customers. Using this base, the team separated the problems according to the degree of complexity to start investigations.

The project reached 47.3% reduction in the total number of complaints by Sumitomo Brasil in 2020, compared to 2019. In addition to the reduction in total numbers, there were decreases in the recurrence of complaints per customer.

“In fiscal 2019, we recorded that 258 customers complained at least once, and in 2020, we had only 136 unique complaints registered,” concluded the industrial complex manager of Sumitomo Chemical.

In addition to the structured problem solving, the project also aimed to promote a cultural change in the organization through the application of excellence tools; developing leadership skills and understanding their role in dealings and problem solving; exchanging information, knowledge and experiences between the areas involved; and finally, a sustainable transformation in the investigations of problems acting directly on the cause.

Sumitomo Chemical’s multidisciplinary team wins an award for the results achieved with the application of structured problem solving tools. Carlos Magno (Production engineer), Saulo Almeida (Process Safety Engineer), Victor Aguiar (Occupational Safety Coordinator), Emanuele Ribeiro (Management System Coordinator), David Alencar (Manufacturing Coordinator), Leyde Rodrigues (Management System Analyst), Thayanne Paz (Safety Technician), Rafael Oliveira (Site Manager), Thacio Pagels (Logistics Manager), Marcio Alves (Quality Control Analyst ), Helton Colares (Quality Control Coordinator) and Rodrigo Adamy (Quality Control Packaging Formulation and Development Manager).

about Sumitomo Chemical

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sumitomo Chemical is one of the world’s leading chemical companies. Founded in 1913, it is present in more than 180 countries, with around 32 thousand employees. In Latin America, it operates with solutions for agriculture, animal nutrition and environmental health with the aim of promoting well-being by offering sustainable solutions for food production and the health of society. In Brazil, Sumitomo Chemical carries out its activities from a central office located in São Paulo (SP), a research center in Mogi Mirim (SP) and an industrial complex in Maracanaú (CE), in addition to having distribution and highly qualified technical team throughout the national territory. Reaffirming its commitment to sustainable development, the company is a signatory of the Global Compact and promotes actions to contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an initiative of the United Nations (UN) that sets goals to transform the world by 2030.





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