Management Team Voices



KAC President says finding better ways to meet customers’ needs is Komatsu’s goal

Max Moriyama

QUESTION: Komatsu has been very innovative through the years in integrating technology such as KOMTRAX and intelligent Machine Control into equipment. What’s next?

ANSWER: Regarding intelligent Machine Control (iMC), we started with the D61i dozer, then expanded it to smaller finish-grade dozers, the D51i, D39i and D37i. We intend to launch our first iMC excavator in the United States in the near future.

Building good, high-tech machines, such as our iMC products with industry-leading specs and features, is just the first step. That’s the minimum any top manufacturer must do. At Komatsu, our goal is to also provide great service and, ultimately, offer “total solutions” to help customers overcome the challenges they face.

QUESTION: Can you give examples of such Komatsu “total solutions”?

ANSWER: Let’s stay with iMC dozers. The product itself, with factory-integrated blade-control technology, is significant, and to my knowledge, it’s unique in the industry. But in and of itself, it’s not a total solution. However, when you factor in KOMTRAX, Komatsu CARE (complimentary maintenance for the first three years or 2,000 hours), and the fact that nearly all of our dealers have a Technology Solutions Expert on staff – those are service solutions that I believe are a step ahead of other manufacturers. Finally, to encompass the full iMC solution to the customer, three-dimensional modeling, as well as daily productivity, will become part of the portfolio.

Our Autonomous mining truck is another example. It’s not just that we make a driverless truck that’s already operational in mines. The total solution is everything that goes along with it, such as a dispatch system and fleet-management services.

Those are the types of total solutions we’re working toward. Are we all the way there yet? No. But we’re working with our distributors and customers, so they understand the direction and can see how we intend to differentiate ourselves from the competition.

Max Moriyama

QUESTION: You mention customers, where do they fit in?

ANSWER: At the very top. They are why we do what we do. My background is in design engineering, and I’m hands-on when it comes to equipment. I like to see it at work on the job. That’s why it’s my intention to visit every state and talk to our distributors and also to their customers. I want to know what they like and what they need. Most of all, I want to get facts and see for myself what’s happening on construction sites so I’ll know firsthand what we need to do to improve our customers’ experiences.

QUESTION: What’s the equipment market like right now and what are you anticipating for the rest of this year and beyond?

ANSWER: It’s a mix. A few years ago, mining was very strong. This year, it isn’t. That’s especially true for new-equipment sales. We still have good parts and service sales at mines that are still operating, but we would like to see the mining side of our business improve. It’s especially important to Komatsu America because we have the Komatsu “mother plant” for large, electric dump trucks right here in Peoria, Ill.

Demand for construction equipment, on the other hand, is good, and we’re projecting a strong market for the remainder of the year and into the future. The total number of units sold continues to increase, and at Komatsu, we’re improving market share. We believe that’s a result of innovations such as iMC machines, Komatsu CARE, KOMTRAX and hybrid excavators. As long as we keep innovating and giving customers tools to do their jobs better, Komatsu will continue to be a major force in the heavy-equipment industry and can become indispensable to customers.