PRESS RELEASE: Taking on the newly created position of Komatsu Australia's general manager - market innovation is Todd Connolly.
Connolly said his role had been designed to ensure that the company remains at the forefront of technology and innovation for the benefit of its customers.
He comes to this new role following three years as the Komatsu's head of information communication technology, where Connolly oversaw the successful launch of its INSITE fleet management centre at its Fairfield headquarters.
He said that by monitoring key machine, production and industry parameters across all Komatsu machines operating in the region through INSITE, the company has been able to harness the latest ICT (information and communications technology) to derive maximum customer benefits.
"Through our market innovation initiative, we are now looking to take this to the next level," he said.
"We are leaders across so many areas, such as KOMTRAX remote machine monitoring and telemetry, autonomous haulage, hybrid machines, intelligent Machine Control, and our recently launched SMARTCONSTRUCTION concept.
"Globally, Komatsu invests heavily in R&D - around A$600 million [US$475 million] annually. And of course, the ultimate reason why we do this is to help our customers get the most from their investment in Komatsu products and services," Connolly said.
"Innovation, by its nature, means we always have to be looking forward, to see what trends and disruptive technologies are coming down the line, so we can best serve our customers."
Included in Komatsu's Market Innovation group are areas that Connolly already held responsibility for, including ICT, CMS (condition monitoring service) and INSITE fleet management, along with some significant additional transformational processes.
In addition to the existing ICT platforms like KOMTRAX and CMS, the Market Innovation team will be responsible for the creation of a ‘digital blueprint' for the business, which will align Komatsu's business objectives with its technical innovations.
"Our goal is to be a customer-centric, data-driven organisation. The objective is to make it easier for our customers to do business with us," Connolly said.
"This includes enhancing our systems and processes, so our people can be more efficient in their day-to-day operations.
"Innovation is also closely related to business transformation; it's not just about technology - although technology is certainly a key enabler.
"As we've seen in many other industries, existing business models can be easily disrupted, so it's critical that we continue to look at opportunities to enhance our products, services and processes," he said.
"We also need to change our models of digital delivery so we are more agile and responsive to our customers' and our staff needs."
Connolly said a real-world example of the company's more agile digital delivery model is Komatsu's ‘Fix It First Time' (FIFT) approach, which it introduced in the middle of 2016.
"Under FIFT, our staff have all the data they need about a machine before they even leave for a site, so we can pre-diagnose machine condition, and take the appropriate skills and parts to the job, and fix the machine on the first visit.
"In turn, that means we are reducing customers' downtime, machines are back to work faster, we have lower costs of repair, and we can eliminate multiple travel trips.
"And it's just a first stage in our transition towards becoming a digitally enabled workforce, so that when a Komatsu technician arrives at a worksite, they can access all the information they need using tablets and other advanced technologies for instant diagnostics and better service delivery."
Connolly said that various Komatsu programmes that are now successfully up and running are contributing to this vision of a digitally enabled organisation.