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Theme 1 : Enhancing Quality of Life

Quality and Reliability - Responsible Commitment to Customers -

Quality and Reliability - Responsible Commitment to Customers -

Quality and Reliability - Responsible Commitment to Customers -

Komatsu's commitment to quality and reliability is encapsulated within the fundamental principle of “Monozukuri” (manufacturing competitiveness). With this in mind, we are dedicated to maintaining a portfolio of first-class products-both hardware and software−that builds on customer satisfaction. Our basic managerial policies have a strong focus on customer-centricity, creating a manufacturing ecosystem that places customer satisfaction at the forefront of its priorities. We maintain the standards of quality that have become an integral part of our organizational culture through a continuous process of assessment and refinement that takes place across all areas of our production process.

Our quality management systems touch on a number of specific fields, such as the global environment, quality assurance, and the education and training of our personnel. We also evaluate our performance in these areas using a number of key performance indicators.

Our Principles (Komatsu's Principles that govern Quality Assurance)

Komatsu has established the following principles on quality in its products and services, which all subsidiaries and employees are responsible for putting into practice.

General Approach to Quality and Reliability

We provide customers with products, services, and systems that are considered to be environment friendly, safe, and innovative.

Definition of Quality Assurance

The company has a responsibility to take actions that will ensure it is able to provide products and services that the customer can purchase and use with a sense of assurance and satisfaction and use for many years to come.

Principles Governing Quality Assurance

  1. Putting customers first, being receptive to the views of the customer, and responding appropriately to the customer, thereby earning the customer's satisfaction, are fundamental to the job of every employee and constitute the responsibility of every employee.
  2. Complying with international standards and the legal requirements particular to individual countries as a matter of course, and providing products and services that, from the perspective of the customer, have incorporated proper regard for safety and a sense of assurance and that do not easily malfunction, are fundamental to the job of every employee and constitute the responsibility of every employee.
  3. Providing products and services that incorporate proper regard for global environmental conservation is fundamental to the job of every employee and constitute the responsibility of every employee.
  4. Providing products and services that are creative and provide benefits to the customer is fundamental to the job of every employee and constitute the responsibility of every employee.
  5. Giving the customer a sense of safety, assurance, satisfaction, and the ability to use the product for many years to come is a source of happiness for every employee.

Mechanisms for Quality Assurance

Komatsu employees across all areas of our operations, from product planning to development, manufacturing, sales, and after-sales service, work together as a single cohesive unit to ensure that the products we develop are safe, innovative, and of high quality. Our unique “monozukuri” system enables the creation and subsequent introduction of highly competitive DANTOTSU products into the market, whilst maintaining our significant competitive advantage through goods and services with a wide array of substantial features.

Keeping in line with our commitment to product quality and innovation, a variety of meetings are held at each stage of the development and manufacturing process in order to ensure that our offerings are of the highest possible quality. Through this meticulous step-by-step process, the product's features are enhanced and refined until it meets the high standards that we adhere to.

Through such approaches, the company is able to strengthen safety assurance and satisfaction for customers while simultaneously providing products and services that take the global environment into account and comply with both international specifications and the regulatory requirements of individual countries.

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Structure for Quality Assurance

The majority of Komatsu's product portfolio is made up of manufacturing equipment (construction and mining equipment, presses, and forklifts) that lend value to customer enterprises through enhanced rates of operation and productivity. In order to ensure optimal user experience, Komatsu sales agents engage with customers on both a pre-sale and post-sale basis to provide advice, conduct maintenance, and collect feedback. This collated information is then related back to the relevant Komatsu divisions for evaluation and, if it should be needed, subsequent follow-ups or remedial actions.

Komatsu also maintains comprehensive databases on market information regarding product quality. Company sales staff are able to utilize this wealth of information to ensure the rapid resolution of quality-related issues, should they be raised.

Increasing the Degree of Customer Satisfaction

In accordance with our Principles that Governing Quality Assurance, Komatsu has introduced a range of initiatives that deal explicitly with increasing customer satisfaction.

We take customer response seriously, and have implemented rigorous feedback mechanisms in order to give due consideration to the views of our consumers. Utilizing regular customer satisfaction and post-launch field surveys, we acquire and collate copious amounts of data. The results from these assessments are used by our analysts to improve upon not only our product quality, but our quality assurance frameworks as well. The surveys help furnish new value to customers as the company develops DANTOTSU products that anticipate customer needs in advance and delivers services with distinct features.

Komatsu is able to raise the level of customer satisfaction through the following approaches.

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Post-launch Field Surveys and Feedback of Results

Komatsu's post-launch field surveys are a core component of our customer satisfaction assurance framework, conducted by our employees who visit purchasers of our newly developed products in order to acquire important data regarding product evaluation.

These personnel listen to customer feedback, taking input on all aspects of the product in order to report back to the relevant Komatsu divisions. After careful assessment of operational feedback and customer requests pertaining to service and replacement parts, we process the data into quantified objectives for improvement. The data is also disseminated to all levels of the company in order to ensure an effective understanding of customer needs and potential areas for advancement. With these systems in place, we are able to consistently deliver products and services that generate optimal levels of customer satisfaction.

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Tracking Vehicles with Extended Hours of Operation*

Keeping in accordance with our commitment for pursuing product durability and reliability, we track our product vehicles that have seen lengthy periods of operational service. By storing this information, Komatsu is able to predict potential issues with product usability and respond promptly to requests for servicing and other maintenance concerns. In addition to this, we utilize a remote management system named “KOMTRAX PLUS” to monitor equipment operating conditions, allowing us to ensure continued product stability in terms of durability, efficiency, and functionality. Through these assessment systems, we are able to analyze customer expectations and satisfaction in relation to our product quality objectives. Should there be a failure to meet these objectives, Komatsu designs carefully evaluated proposals to rectify problematic areas, later integrating any effective measures into product revisions or development. This process increases product durability and reliability and thus extends product lifecycles, leading to greater customer satisfaction and an overall decrease in resource consumption and waste production.

  • Defined as vehicles with an operating history of 5,000 hours or more

Using ICT to Support Customers throughout the Product Life Cycle

Komatsu uses ICT-based remote vehicle management systems in order to track the current status of a vehicle's “health”, its operating status, and other relevant information metrics. The Komatsu Tracking System (KOMTRAX) is used for conventional construction equipment, while the Komatsu Tracking System Plus (KOMTRAX Plus) is used in relation with larger mining equipment.

Quality Assurance Activities at the Global Level

By fully implementing our quality assurance systems on a global level, Komatsu is able to ensure that its products meet a standardized level of high quality across all countries of operation. Regardless of geographical location, our products are subject to strict, uniform standards in relation to technical drawings, manufacturing systems, inspection methods, information collection, and quality management.

Komatsu has a number of manufacturing facilities that it refers to as “mother plants”. These plants have product development capabilities and serve as the central hub for global product development initiatives using cutting-edge technologies and techniques. Any form of progress or advancement that is conceived at a “mother plant” is immediately disseminated to other Komatsu manufacturing locations around the world, creating a uniform ecosystem that promotes technological development and enhances product quality.

Standards for Product Safety

Safety and customer trust are at the forefront of all our quality assurance activities. In line with this dedication, Komatsu has formulated a number of Product Safety Standards and associated principles that all employees are expected to comply with in the execution of their duties. This enables us to live up to our established reputation by delivering products that exceed customer expectations in terms of safety, quality, and longevity.

Information System for Product Safety and Services

While we have utmost confidence in the safety of our products, Komatsu is nonetheless aware of the fact that potential issues could arise in the course of their usage. In order to facilitate a rapid response to any problems that occur, we have established an information system that deals exclusively with product safety concerns.

The system executes a consistent process of education and refinement, making constant improvements and allowing employees at all levels to respond quickly to problems without delay. Using the system, personnel are able to (1) assess the cause of the accident and subsequent procedures to be taken, (2) contact the relevant governing authorities, and (3) decide the best course of action in terms of remedial measures, such as product recalls.

Standards for Product Safety

  1. Compliance
    The provision of products and services that comply with international standards and the legal requirements particular to individual countries is fundamental to the job of every employee and constitutes the responsibility of every employee.
  2. Safety via prevention
    The provision of products and services that are safe and provide a sense of assurance, and do no harm to the customer is fundamental to the job of every employee and constitutes the responsibility of every employee.
  3. Security regarding accidents
    The provision of products and services that minimize any injury that might occur to a customer who has an accident is fundamental to the job of every employee and constitutes the responsibility of every employee.
  4. Transparency
    The ongoing provision of advance safety warnings after receiving information from the customer and, in the case of a defect arising in a product or service, prompt response measures and the provision of information, are fundamental to the job of every employee and constitute the responsibility of every employee.
  5. Improvement of organizational culture
    In order to create a corporate culture in which product safety is emphasized, the standardization of the safety management system and safety techniques as well as ongoing efforts to improve them are at all times fundamental to the job of every employee and constitute the responsibility of every employee.
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Providing Product Safety Information to Customers

Komatsu meets legal requirements for the provision of safety information through (1) direct indication of information on products or in user manuals, (2) direct explanations by pre-sale and post-sale service personnel, and (3) telephone consultations with pre-sale and post-sale service divisions. In addition to this, we provide further engagement on a case-by-case basis, with engineers or upper-management visiting customers when necessary.

System for Dealing with Recalls

We have noticed a paradigm shift in customer concerns in recent years, with a greater focus on product safety and recalls. To meet these new expectations and ensure product safety in our markets, Komatsu is reinforcing its recall-related organizational strength, comprehensive response capabilities, procedures for prompt corrective measures, and proactive information disclosure whilst conducting increasingly rigorous monitoring activities.

Procedure regarding recalls

  1. Proposal for rectification of the situation based on information regarding the defect; decision regarding what measures the company will take toward the market
  2. File a notice with relevant authorities as provided under the law
  3. Inform customers through appropriate channels
  4. Take appropriate corrective measures including, for example, repairs, replacements, or refunds

System to deal with recalls appropriately

  1. Strengthening of information collecting systems on product quality in the market
  2. Promotion of technical verification of the problem involved in the recall and timely decision making
  3. Regular auditing of recall-related operations

Komatsu strictly oversees compliance with legal requirements. Should a defect be found in its products or services, the company initiates prompt correction measures and moves forward with proactive information disclosure. The graph below indicates the number of incidents in which recall notices were filed. The company will continue to pursue safety to the greatest extent possible in the years to come.

Number of Incidents with Recall Notices Filed (including utility equipment products sold in Japan)

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