[C&C for Human Potential / NEC Corporation]

Press Release
                          Aston Bridgman
                          NEC Corporation
                          TEL    : 81-3-3798-6511
                          FAX    : 81-3-3457-7249
                          E-mail : aston@p10-22150.star.nec.co.jp

***** For Immediate Use January 16, 1997

NEC presented with the first ever Japan Quality Award

NEC Corporation (NEC) was today recognized for its corporate excellence with the presentation of the first ever Japan Quality Award. The Committee on Japan Quality Award, which makes the presentation, was formed to encourage higher quality management, as the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award made by the President has done in the United States of America.

Under its policy of, 'Putting Customer Satisfaction First with Better Products and Better Service', NEC has returned to the origin of all business, the customer. This approach emphasizes customer value in all fields of its business, with 'Customer Focus' as the main pillar of NEC's management style. The award comes a year after President Hisashi Kaneko, in his new year greeting speech to NEC employees, urged the company to implement customer value style management starting with the Semiconductor Group.

The Semiconductor Group is promoting management culture based on putting customer satisfaction first ,and on improved business results. Acknowledged as most important, is customer satisfaction based on customer value, while key to achieving customer value is realization of highly capable 'system on a chip' or one-chip semiconductor solutions. Globalization of the marketplace and establishment of an international R&D/manufacturing/marketing system across North America, Europe, Asia and Japan is seen as further promoting customer value.

Thanks to this management style, the Semiconductor Group is now ranked number two in the world overall, with its ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) business positioned number one, memory the world's number two, and holds the global market's third largest share in the microcomputer business.

Aiming at better results still, the Semiconductor Group is now identifying business partnerships that offer the most potential for the company, while rethinking and innovating company processes and structures in each area of its businesses. These forms of benchmarking the Group's performance are to become a natural element of everyday management.

The Semiconductor Group began concrete measures in 1986 with general efforts to halve costs, and the launch of its 'Challenge the Best' program. From 1994, with the intention of raising customer satisfaction another level, the Group also introduced the 'Time to Market' program to cut management reaction time and boost its speed of response.

Through these programs, four departments of the Semiconductor Group have won the Demming Award for their total quality management (TQM) achievements; 16 departments (including plants outside Japan) have won total product management (TPM) awards in each category; and 23 departments have received ISO 9000 certification.

The Japan Quality Award to NEC not only represents acknowledgment of outstanding quality in products and services, but also recognition of the advanced level of both NEC's global management system and customer value management style. With this honor, NEC aims at raising the level of competition it has achieved in world markets higher still. Other divisions of the company are now also planning their challenge for the award, driving yet stronger and continued innovation at NEC.

The status of the Malcolm Balridge National Quallity Award made by the U.S President for corporate excellence has spurred higher quality management and in turn, many other quality awards. As no similar award previously existed in Japan to spur management quality, it was decided to create the Japan Quality Award. It is intended as prestigious recognition of achievements to create higher standards of customer satisfaction through higher quality management.


[Copyright(C) NEC Corporation 1997. NEC and C&C are trademarks of NEC Corporation.]