Ken Calvert says Komatsu’s new Business Solutions Group provides ‘tiny solutions’ with tangible benefits
QUESTION: What is the Business Solutions Group?
ANSWER: We are a team of individuals working in collaboration to provide service and support to customers, Komatsu distributors and Komatsu corporate personnel. Any one of those three can approach us with an idea, a concern, etc., and we’ll tackle it in an effort to bring about a positive outcome.
The Business Solutions Group can do that because our team brings several different perspectives and experiences to the table. Some of us have been with Komatsu for several years in assorted capacities. We also have customer perspectives on board, as one team member worked for a distributor before joining the group. Another was with a large construction company. This allows us to approach solutions from a variety of angles.
We’re not here to set the world on fire, only to provide what we call “tiny solutions” with tangible benefits.
QUESTION: Could you give examples of what you have provided so far?
ANSWER: We give customers “bottom line tactics” to improve their productivity and efficiency by providing individual machine or fleet recommendations; owning and operating estimates; operator and telematics-based insights; and more. We offer this service to all types of companies, no matter their size. Each company’s needs are unique, so our solutions are as well.
Machine recommendations are a prime example. A customer may be thinking that a 30-ton excavator is the best fit. However, our analysis of the business and the type of work it performs may show that the owner will only use a 30-ton machine 5 percent of the time. We would use this information to let the owner know that it would be more beneficial to purchase a 20-ton excavator and rent a 30-ton as needed.
One way we helped Komatsu – and, in turn, our customers – was through a campaign to bring greater awareness about regeneration. Tier 4 engines require it, but there are two different processes that need to be carried out depending on the type of alert an operator receives. The concern was that operators weren’t taking the appropriate action when they saw a regeneration icon pop up in their Komatsu machine. We designed posters and key tags that outline what to do based on the type of icon that appears.
To go along with that, we created a Tier 4 dashboard for our distributors through KOMTRAX, Komatsu’s remote monitoring system. It provides vital information such as how often a customer’s machine is regenerating and if it’s being done correctly. The distributor can then contact the customer and address the issue to avoid a potentially costly repair down the road.
QUESTION: Where did the idea for forming the new Business Solutions Group come from?
ANSWER: Komatsu believes strongly in listening to customers and visiting their jobsites to understand their specific needs. One common theme we heard was that companies would like to build stronger relationships with the people that design and manufacture their machinery. Our group facilitates that, but we wanted to be more than a liaison between the customers and the factory. We want our customers’ relationships with Komatsu to be strong bonds. Our aim is to be a resource for all three legs of the industry stool: customer, manufacturer and distributor. Feedback continues to be positive across the board, and we encourage everyone to continue bringing us their needs, ideas and suggestions for ways the Business Solutions Group can be of benefit. Customers can do that through their distributors.