case studies

Komatsu — Australia

The Company

Komatsu has been in Australia for more than 40 years servicing the mining, construction and government industries. This means Komatsu know and appreciate the demands of the Australian market and understand the competitive environment in which Komatsu operate. Komatsu Australia’s factory ownership and Australia-wide coverage ensures the shortest possible lines of communication between factories and our distribution outlets, allowing it to respond to customer needs and special requests in a timely and efficient manner — and to offer a user-friendly consistency of services and commercial arrangements. We offer the country’s largest company-owned and operated branch network, with over 70% of our workforce involved in customer service. In addition, we offer state-of-the-art component remanufacturing and comprehensive condition monitoring services, as well as easier, faster and secure on-line parts ordering – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Issues

The main driver for Komatsu seeking ISO 9000 registration was the marketplace. Australian industry as a whole is trying to be as good as Japan, and had recognized the benefits and successes that the Japanese were obtaining as a result of having quality systems in place. Komatsu therefore took the decision to introduce and implement a quality system on its site.

Compliance Australia’s Role

Compliance Australia was involved in the pre-assessment site audits, giving feedback an d support. This has greatly improved over the years, and it now focuses more on helping Komatsu getting benefits from the audits and making suggestions to help the business. There is a good working relationship between Komatsu and Compliance Australia, which has developed into more of a partnership, with Compliance Australia proactively supporting the company. Compliance Australia have suggested ways for the company to improve its quality management system, and supported it through the difficulties Komatsu has had keeping up with the constant change on the site.

About the System

Komatsu operates a virtually fully integrated management system, integrating ISO 9000 and Safety where possible. The top-level quality manual covers operation of the site; it also contains information on how Komatsu satisfy external bodies etc. and common elements such as auditing, training, procurement and document control. Each unit then has its own self contained system, of which there are five, one for each of the functional areas, and one for services (stores, logistics, etc.) with different procedures as necessary. The company is moving to an electronic version of the quality management system where feasible - the site manual and plant manuals being in read-only format on the internal web site, and there are only hard copies of work instructions and a limited number of plant manuals. The emphasis is on simple procedures with flow charts where possible. Having a mostly electronic format has also helped in keeping up with all the changes that have occurred on the site in recent years, and continue to do so.

The Benefits

• Customer complaints decreased by 25%.
• Everything critical is documented, when new people join an area, they can refer to these documents.
• Procedure Monitoring results in less than 2 Compliance Australia non-conformances/ plant/year.

As a result of obtaining ISO 9000 registration, formal training is built into roles, better procedures were introduced into the site, and processes are more efficient. There has been a reduction in customer complaints with respect to our product. Complaints with regard to product quality are very low and on investigation many of these are not justified. In addition, the company has not lost a single customer due to dissatisfaction with the product since it obtained ISO 9000 registration. In the early days, staff considered ISO 9000 to be bureaucratic, but they now realise the benefits – everything is documented, and when new people join an area, they can refer to these documents rather than having to be supervised constantly.

CACS Komatsu Case Study
CACS Case Study

Supply maintenance of heavy mining equipment.

Scope —

Supply and maintenance of heavy machinery to the mining industry.

Sites

• Sherwood

Employees — 89

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