CSR Charter ⅠCreating Value for Customers
Proposing New Value
- Principle and Outline
- A Range of Pricing Plans and Services
- Providing Services to Customers through “Kurashi Plus” Osaka Gas Service Shops
- Services to Meet a Range of Customer Needs
- Website for Customers
- TOPIC: Osaka Gas Wins 2018 CRM Best Practice Award
- Behavior Observation: Creating New Service Value through Scientific Methods
- Promotion and Support of Technological Development
Principle and Outline
The Daigas Group has supplied city gas to the Kansai region in a stable manner while branching out into peripheral business fields. By doing so, the Group has grown together with the region.
To make customers' lives and business more fruitful and attain sustainable development and growth that address the needs of the environment and society, the Group will create new value and provide a wider range of services and new technologies to customers in collaboration with various stakeholders.
A Range of Pricing Plans and Services
Pricing plans and services to suit a range of customer and societal needs
Osaka Gas offers various pricing contracts to match the gas equipment and volume of gas being used.
Customers who use the ENE-FARM residential fuel cell cogeneration system or special equipment for a gas hot water floor heating system are given a discount aimed at promoting the use of gas equipment that offers great energy savings. Further optional discounts may be applicable, as well, in combination with other gas appliances.
A large number of customers already take advantage of the “Motto Wari” discounted pricing plan for high gas usage. Osaka Gas strives to offer optimal gas equipment and affordable pricing plans to meet the needs of customers and society.
Electricity pricing plans and services to match usage and lifestyles
Osaka Gas offers electricity pricing plans to match the usage situation of a range of customers. Basic Plans A–G are designed for customers with Osaka Gas contracts; a special household gas power generation plan is for customers who have adopted an ENE-FARM residential fuel cell cogeneration system; other affordable pricing plans are also available.
In FY2019, various new pricing plans were added. Style Plan P gives subscribers access to the Amazon Prime members’ program; Style Plan d allows customers to accumulate points in NTT Docomo’s “d POINT” system. These pricing plans build on relationships with other companies. Other choices are Style Plan S, which includes a warranty and troubleshooting service, and Style Plan E for customers who want to help the environment through their use of electricity. Such pricing plans offer convenience and affordability to support consumers’ lifestyles.
Providing Services to Customers through “Kurashi Plus” Osaka Gas Service Shops
Building relationships with local customers and enhancing their living environment
“Kurashi Plus” Osaka Gas service shops are partner companies that serve as a bridge between Osaka Gas and local customers. Since 1955 we have been outsourcing gas service administrative functions to partner companies. These companies are able to provide a number of other services as well, including the sale and repair of gas appliances, bath, kitchen and other home renovations, and the sale of fire alarms.
As of March 31, 2019, customers in our gas supply area are being served by 108 “Kurashi Plus” Osaka Gas service shops.
New Services, such as Raku-Toku Lease and Raku-Toku Warranty Service
Osaka Gas offers an equipment lease system that allows customers to use the latest built-in gas cooking stoves and other gas equipment for a monthly leasing fee. This can be combined with a warranty service that covers the lease period of up to 10 years, during which time customers can take advantage of a free repair service and periodic inspections for their gas water heater, gas stove, and other equipment. These are affordable systems that allow customers to safely use and enjoy the latest gas equipment. Currently, approximately 51,000 households have signed up for the lease system and 670,000 for the warranty system as of March 31, 2019.
Services to Meet a Range of Customer Needs
A range of home repair and other services to support comfortable, safe living
Osaka Gas provides a wide range of services under the umbrella of “Sumikata Services” for residential customers that extend beyond gas and electricity to support for the comfort and safety of people’s home living environments.
Sumikata Services include plumbing repair, air conditioning repair, home repair, house cleaning, and other services as part of “Kaketsuke Service,” which involves the dispatch of personnel to the customer’s home. Other services include safety-related services covering gas alarms, fire alarms, home security, and more. With the plumbing repair services, for example, personnel from the Osaka Gas service chain, with expertise gained through the repair of gas equipment, quickly accept and respond to service requests to repair water-related problems in the kitchen, bath, sink area or toilet.
Also, for a small monthly charge, customers can sign up for “Sumikata Plus,” as over 300,000 households have to date, to be covered by three additional services—free troubleshooting, free checks and quick fixes, and lifestyle support.
Osaka Gas Security Service Co., Ltd.
Launch of a GPS BoT service, a protective location-tracking service that employs AI and IoT
Osaka Gas Security Service Co., Ltd., a member of the Daigas Group, has partnered with Bsize Inc. on the GPS BoT service, a location-tracking service that utilizes artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to protect children and the elderly, which launched in July 2018.
This GPS tracking system involves the use of a tiny device that a child or other person whom you want to protect keeps with them to track their current location using GPS and record their movements. The service will send alerts to the smartphones of registered family members. The built-in AI learns the locations that the child frequents, such as a school or after-school tutoring class, and automatically notify the parents’ smartphones when the child arrives and departs.
As society ages and the population declines, we anticipate a growing need among the public to protect a relative living alone or to use safety measures for a person with dementia. Osaka Gas Security Service Co., Ltd. is promoting the introduction of the GPS BoT service to complement services currently provided by municipalities, such as an emergency warning system and health consultations, to further advance public safety and security.
<How the Service Works>
IoT Service for Plants Launched
On April 1, 2019, Osaka Gas launched a news business that utilizes IoT to offer solutions that lead to higher plant productivity. In June 2019 we started providing this service to our clients.
Manufacturers face a wide range of issues, from how to improve quality and production efficiency to labor shortages due to the aging of experienced technicians. IoT can be a solution to these issues, but there are obstacles to its implementation, including high capital costs and lack of systems experts.
Osaka Gas has accumulated strengths in simulation and sensor technologies in the gas business, and it also has access to the Daigas Group’s systems development and data analysis skills. Making use of these advantages and further deepening its consulting sales activities at customers’ sites, Osaka Gas will offer IoT systems that resolve plant-wide issues for customers.
The new service is expected to minimize unexpected equipment failures by monitoring trends in equipment operation data, and maintain stable quality by checking processing conditions against product quality data. It has now become possible to digitize the know-how of skilled technicians, which also helps in passing on their skills.
By combining our own expertise with AI, IoT and other advanced technologies, we will continue to expand our services that are helpful for our customers to grow their businesses and resolve any issues they may have.
About the IoT Service for Plants (diagram of the service)
Useful ICT Services for Business Customers: ekul and HelloOG!
The Daigas Group offers various services to business customers (such as Eneflex and Motto Save) to provide a visual view of energy usage and energy-saving control capabilities using information and communications technology (ICT). In July 2016, we introduced a simplified data measurement service for business use—“ekul”—to provide a range of customers with a low-cost measurement service that alerts them to wasteful use, allowing them to take energy-saving measures that reduce costs.
The “ekul” service uses wireless technologies and battery-powered measuring equipment to inexpensively and easily monitor gas and electricity usage and send the data to users in real time. The system can also measure such data as water usage, number of customers, temperature, and humidity for customers who are keen to see such information.
Now, as a comprehensive energy provider, the Daigas Group has begun offering the HelloOG! member-only free service for sharing useful information gathered by the company with individual customers.
HelloOG! was started as a service for restaurants and other businesses to be able to see their usage of gas and electricity and price information through an individualized information distribution system. Plans are in place to expand the service to other industries and give individual customers greater choice in the content and display of information. The Daigas Group will continue to propose optimal solutions to be the best energy partner for our customers.
Website for Customers
Providing information deemed useful for people's lives through the website in an easy-to-see form
Website for registered members “My Osaka Gas”
In 2009, we began offering the “My Osaka Gas” website to household customers of our gas and/or electricity services. The website is designed to enhance customer satisfaction and convenience. The number of members reached 1.21 million as of March 31, 2019.
After customers sign up for the site, they can check online their gas and power* consumption, gas and electricity bills and service appointment dates, as well as various contract information. Customers may also use an environmental accounting service to check household CO2 emissions or download the instruction manuals for our gas appliances. Registered members also can access Web content on energy and energy savings and can participate in a lottery to win gifts after collecting points earned from checking their gas and electricity bills.
Customers who are contracted with Osaka Gas for electricity can access a “daily electricity report” to check on their daily and hourly power consumption. Also available is a power consumption alert system, which notifies customers via e-mail when their cumulative electricity consumption from the start of the month is likely to surpass or has surpassed the target level they have set. The “Shittoku Enekurabe” service allows customers to compare their own estimated power consumption with the average consumption of a similar household, broken down into categories by use—such as for air conditioning, television or lighting.
- * Use of gas and electricity by household customers
- Only customers purchasing electricity from Osaka Gas can access their electricity bills and their electricity consumption data.
Osaka Gas website
The Daigas Group uses various media to provide customers with a wide variety of useful information for daily life regarding energy saving so that they can use energy efficiently.
“Kashikoi Kurashi no Hinto Zukan” on the Osaka Gas Website contains a collection of hints regarding measures aimed at promoting energy saving at households and their expected benefits. Users of the Website can access the content of a guidebook called “Anshin Guide,” detailing how to use gas safely, which they are to receive from Osaka Gas staffers visiting their homes for regular safety checks.
In 2018, the Website's English pages for household customers were upgraded, while the Chinese-language site (written in simplified Chinese characters) and the Korean-language site were launched.
We have set up an online site called Osaka Gas Report to deepen people's knowledge of Osaka Gas and increase their favorability of our company. Users of the service can access the most updated information about the Daigas Group and relevant topics through the website, Facebook and Twitter.
Osaka Gas Wins 2018 CRM Best Practice Award
On October 23, 2018, Osaka Gas received the 2018 CRM Best Practice Award from the non-profit CRM Association Japan.
This award is given to companies who practice “customer-centric relationship management.” Osaka Gas was selected for this award for sharing the customer information that the company accumulates and analyzes with face-to-face customer contact points such as contact centers and sales agents, while also advancing customer-centric relationship management through communications mechanisms such as ads targeted for unique customers and running a membership site. We will be pursuing CRM* activities to continue growing as a company that is appreciated by its customers.
Behavior Observation: Boosting Service Quality through Science Methods
Use of behavior observation techniques in various value creation
Osaka Gas has been studying behavior observation as a methodology for business innovation. This methodology enables us to observe various situations from a broad perspective, analyze observation findings using academic knowledge for insight, and propose and implement solutions according to the insight. Behavior observation is mainly used to “create new value.”
Since commencement of the “behavior observation” business in 2005, we have been part of a cumulative total of more than 1,000 “behavior observation” projects. In recent years, needs for such service science have been rising, not only in the field of research but also in the area of innovation, including value-creation projects involving business managers aimed at launching new businesses.
Promotion and Support of Technological Development
Osaka Gas has developed a pipe locator, a device that can identify the location of underground gas pipes and other objects.
Osaka Gas and Fuji Tecom Inc. jointly developed a new model for the Pipe Locator,* a device aimed at detecting the location of underground gas pipes and other objects.
The new Pipe Locator is designed to identify the location of underground gas pipes more accurately and efficiently. The device is designed to confirm and detect the location of underground gas pipes, water pipes, electric cables and telecommunication line cables by magnetizing the search area. It is aimed at preventing such underground objects from being damaged while road construction involving ground drilling is under way. The newly developed Pipe Locator can even accurately detect the location of pipes with complex structures to be laid in different directions. In addition, the device can accurately detect only the targeted pipes in areas where many other objects are suspected to be buried.
Osaka Gas is calling for gas service providers, water supply companies, power suppliers and telecommunications service providers across Japan to use its Pipe Locator to ensure safety and security in its underground civil engineering work.
- * Pipe Locator
- Osaka Gas has the trademark right for “Pipe Locator.”
How to detect underground gas pipes using a Pipe Locator
Development of a new cart-type gas detector
Osaka Gas developed a new cart-type gas detector jointly with New Cosmos Electric Co., Ltd. The device is intended to detect gas leakage from underground gas pipes.
The gas detector, operated by hand, is designed to detect possible gas leakage by absorbing ground-level air. It is equipped with a GPS function, aimed at improving search-route tracing ability, and a warning system against the cart's use at excessive speed in order to secure an appropriate speed for accurate detection.
Osaka Gas is prepared to diffuse the newly developed cart-type gas detector to gas service providers across Japan as part of its efforts to ensure safe and care-free gas services. We will continue to work harder to develop even more upgraded gas detectors and other equipments for safety.
Technology development with improved efficiency through open innovation
Open innovation refers to an efficient approach used to seek solutions outside the company to technology development problems that Osaka Gas is unable to solve independently and to speed up technological development for higher efficiency.
Osaka Gas has been using this approach ahead of our competitors since 2009. Our efforts have led to the building and expansion of a network of partnerships (Open Innovation Platform) with universities, public research institutes, small enterprises, large corporations, ventures and overseas companies.
To find outside partners to work with, we have revealed details of our technology to-do list, something we have rarely done in the past, in order to solicit promising technical ideas from outside parties. In FY2010, we launched full-fledged open innovation activities. During the ten years through FY2019, there were some 6,000 technology proposals, and we have commenced new collaborative projects on about 350 of them. Some of them have actually led to commercialization.
One example is the establishment of a “high-altitude training studio” that creates an indoor space that simulates the oxygen concentration in the air at an altitude of 2,500 meters. OG Sports Co., Ltd., a member of the Daigas Group, has partnered with a manufacturer of the technology to create low-oxygen spaces for this project. Another example is the use of drone technology for facility inspections, which creates value through the combination of corporate and outside technologies.
The task ahead is to introduce some of the efficient technologies that we obtained externally through the Open Innovation Platform, and together with our alliance partners, actively move forward with R&D and creating new business.
How Open Innovation Works