What is the Komatsu Way?
Komatsu began its business in 1921 in Komatsu City, Japan as a company providing repair work for European-made mining machinery for use in copper mines. Meitaro Takeuchi, the founder, was a man of foresight and defined the following guiding principles when he established Komatsu 86 years ago; “overseas expansion”, “quality first”, “technology innovation”, and “human resource development”.
Over the course of the years, Komatsu’s businesses have grown substantially and now employ some 34,500 employees from around the world with overseas sales coming close to 70% of total sales.
The Komatsu Way is made up of seven guiding principles based on Komatsu’s strengths built by our founder.
The Seven Guiding Principles Are:
Commitment to Quality and Reliability
Komatsu is well known for the quality of the equipment that we produce but in the Komatsu Way, it does not stop at the quality of our equipment that we focus on. We expect our employees to constantly think continuous improvement and not settle for status quo. We place top priority on quality over all matters in our everyday work activities and will make no compromise in quality as we move into the future.
By valuing the opinions of our customers, we continue to manufacture the products that customers are proud to own. However, in the Komatsu Way we recognize our customers not only as the end users of our products but also recognize every employee has a “customer”. That customer is defined as the end user of that person’s work output. We put great emphasis on meeting the needs of all our customers, whoever they may be.
Defining The Root Cause
By clearly defining processes from product planning to follow up on operating conditions, including the occurrence of problems, we always work to find and fix the root cause of problems early in the process in order to prevent the problem from reoccurring.
Workplace Philosophy (Gemba)
Workplaces (Gemba) offer information which should constitute the foundation of our policies, strategies, improvement plans, and other vital initiatives. Therefore, it is important to understand what is going on in the workplace by making information “visible”. This information is a tool for us to continuously improve as a company.
When top management lays out management policies or goals, they shall be clearly communicated. On each level, employees should understand their respective roles, make their activity plan, and follow up on the implementation of their own initiatives.
Collaborations With Business Partners
When it comes to solving problems, improving operations, or sharing “know-how”, we recognize regardless of what department, function, location, or subsidiary we belong to, we all have to work together. We will continue to work for mutual growth as “One Komatsu”.
Human Resource Development
Employees (human capital) are the most valuable asset at Komatsu. The more our employees continue to grow and learn the more the company will benefit from their knowledge.
The Komatsu Way incorporates “what we want to sustain on a global scale” and “our desire to continue these efforts through generation to generation” in order for us to continue to be successful in the heavy equipment industry. This philosophy is to be considered the Komatsu DNA ingrained in all employees as we move into the future.