―How do you implement awareness of solutions and customer needs in your work?
Nobuyoshi Hirowatari (NH): While Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. provides a wide variety of mining solutions, the Automated Haulage System (AHS) is one of our most pioneering projects. There is always a gap between the customer’s ideal and the specifications and functions of any product. That’s why, even after delivery, we continue our conversation with customers to propose solutions to solve any issues they are facing. Putting this into practice epitomizes the concept of being a solutions provider that contributes to the success of society and mining customers, which is part of the aims of our Medium-term Management Plan, and I feel that in the work I do every day.
Naoto Sannomiya (NS): The practice of engaging in dialogue with customers to identify their wants and needs, then making proposals starts from the sales stage. This has long been the case, and will continue to be true in the future. Moreover, early visualization of the requirements determined through the voice of customers and inputs from dealers, identifying the types of machines required at what timing, and share such information with the manufacturing to meet the customer’s timeline will be the critical requirement moving forward.
Takashi Yamashita (TY): In product support, “To increase customers’ equipment uptime” is always top of mind. When a problem occurs, we investigate the cause, obtain technical countermeasures from related departments depending on the situation, and respond to customers. Therefore, it is a major premise to be close to the customer's complaints and concerns and respond sincerely. In the future, I believe that we are a solution provider that customers want to respond to more quickly by utilizing digital technologies such as machine monitoring and communication system between customers to collect their feedback.
Hideaki Ito (HI): Development and design teams are responsible for providing the technology and tools that make a solution-based business possible. Innovation means finding solutions that resolve issues for customers with well-defined needs, but also supporting those whose situation is less clear. In that sense, I can foresee an approach to technology development based on using new technologies to test hypotheses.
Yusuke Itoga (YI): Manufacturing products that will make our customers happy is central to the work of our manufacturing sites. Manufacturing mining machinery takes long time, and shortening manufacturing lead times is one way we could more closely align with our customers’ needs.
Atsushi Ito (AI): My division's role is to increase the number of options available to customers. When selling new machinery, for example, by offering buckets from Bradken Pty Ltd, which supplies consumable parts at group companies, in addition to genuine Hitachi Construction Machinery buckets, we can present options centered on the customer’s perspective. In addition to our products, our mining customers also use mining machinery from various companies at their jobsites, and we can offer the option of repairing other companies' machinery through our partnership with H-E Parts International LLC. This type of work leads to a Customer Interest First (CIF) approach. In other words, delivering solutions for customer needs.