KYOCERA AVX Brings the Voice of the Customer to the Forefront

Headquartered in South Carolina, KYOCERA AVX is a leading global manufacturer of advanced electronic components. KYOCERA AVX has an expansive global footprint comprised of dozens of research, development, and manufacturing facilities spanning more than 15 countries.

Lori Gioia is the Director of Corporate Quality at KYOCERA AVX and has been in this role for almost 5 years. She is a Six Sigma Black Belt with more than 20 years’ experience with quality and continuous improvement. In her role at KYOCERA AVX, Lori leads Quality programs across 30 plus plants globally for KYOCERA AVX. 

The Challenge

Kyocera AVX has manufacturing facilities around the world. Each location maintains their own quality management systems and continuous improvement programs. The company’s management had no real time visibility into the different plants to know what was happening with their initiatives. In 2020, KYOCERA AVX came up with the plan to globalize all the systems across the company and began this effort by standardizing its customer complaint system.

The company wanted to:

  • Standardize templates and training to provide one voice from the company to customers around the world.
  • More easily bring the voice of the customer into R&D and corporate strategic planning.
  • Communicate lessons learned more easily between similar locations and businesses.
  • Provide management with real time visibility into projects to help with decision-making, removing blocking points and to pinpoint areas for improvement.

The Solution

“Taking feedback from different plants, we were introduced to Minitab Engage,” said Gioia. “One of the plants was using it and demonstrated its capabilities and we realized it was a much better place to build templates, monitor improvement projects & direct customer feedback as well as roll the pertinent key metrics up in a way it could be viewed at a high level within the organization.

8D Executive Global Metrics

"The first major project that was selected was to standardize our 8 Discipline (8D) template and processes, that were in use across the company to manage customer complaints. As companies grow and acquire companies, there is a tendency to have a variety of systems that meet customer or ISO requirements. In the beginning, our manufacturing locations had their own quality management system in place, each with their own 8D templates."

Being a global company, it is possible for KYOCERA AVX customers to interact with more than one manufacturing facility. To provide a consistent customer experience, the 8D template and other associated tools needed to be standardized at a global level.

“Even though we are a global company, we weren’t communicating as effectively as we could have until we brought Engage in.”

    - Lori Gioia, Director of Corporate Quality, KYOCERA AVX

Gioia’s team showed Minitab their current functionality, including different formulas that would automate certain functions within the workbook, but added they also wanted dashboards with summary metrics. The KYOCERA AVX team worked with Minitab to learn basic design functions for building forms, projects, and dashboards so they could create them in-house.

The different divisions within KYOCERA AVX were using a variety of Excel 8D templates to manage the strict automotive requirements for root cause analysis. The team evaluated all the different versions of these templates, extracted the best pieces of each and determined what the final template would look like. KYOCERA AVX then moved this information to Engage so it would be housed in one place, and more easily monitored. The company’s employees were trained on 8D already, so once the template was standardized in Engage it was an easy transition across the global facilities.

8D Worksheet

“The Engage interface looked and felt like the Excel workbooks we had been using. Our employees already knew how to complete the forms and knew what metrics were being monitored,” said Gioia. “The thing they had to learn was how to enter the data in Engage, but that was not hard to accomplish.”

The Results

The Minitab Engage solution more than delivered on KYOCERA AVX’s expectations:

  • Improved teamwork and collaboration: With Engage in place, teams around the globe can share information and insights. Now, teams can collaborate and save information to the same projects.
  • New learning opportunities: Teams can share learning and corrective actions that worked well with certain complaints so the global locations can discover new ways to improve service at their plant. This prevents issues from being repeated at different locations in which the issue has not yet been seen.
  • Better visibility at corporate level: Now it is possible to see how many complaints are coming in, by which location, division, and customer. This allows us to see how we are servicing our customers and what specifically we need to improve on to make our products and service better.
  • Flexible templates: If a plant requests a change or edit, it’s easy to update the template.
  • Cost avoidance: With visibility at all levels, KYOCERA AVX can react faster to customer needs and issues. With the standardization of methodologies the closure time and reoccurring issues have substantially reduced since implementation. 

Once Engage was up and running, Gioia and her team wanted to monitor and improve the quality of the 8Ds. Using an 8D scoring system, individual plants score each 8D against standards that have been identified. Corporate will then randomly score the 8Ds and an analysis is performed by the system to identify the Gaps. Based on the information in the audits, it was clear where improvements could be made, whether it was in the form or the process. The 8D scores also allowed corporate to see what types of failure modes were occurring and where, the 14 Qs identified the major areas to work on by plant, division, or as a company. KYOCERA AVX also uses this information during strategic planning and training that is needed.


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The Organization

  • Headquartered in South Carolina
  • Has served the automotive, industrial, medical, military, consumer electronics, communications, and transportation markets for nearly 50 years
  • Fosters a “zero defect” mindset throughout the organization


The Challenge

Each location maintained their own quality management systems and continuous improvement programs. The company’s management had no real time visibility into the different plants to know what was happening with their initiatives. 


Products Used

Minitab Engage®


The Results

  • Improved visibility and collaboration across the organization
  • New learning opportunities resulting from sharing information and results
  • Cost avoidance by reacting faster and more efficiently to customers’ needs