I. Background of the Study
Komatsu had its origin 1894 when the Takeuchi Mining Company was founded. A major expansion occurred in 1917 when the Komatsu Iron Works was established to manufacture mining equipment and machine tools. The name Komatsu came into existence in 1921 when iron works separated from the mining company to become KOMATSU ltd.
Despite a name that means “little pine tree”, Komatsu produces line up of big equipment. The company is the world’s second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, after Caterpillar Inc.
Komatsu is a diversified company engaged in manufacturing and selling of construction equipment, industrial machinery and vehicles. In addition, the company has interest in other business such as housing, transportation, and logistic equipment.
The company has global operations spanning four continents; Asia, America, Europe, and Africa and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
In the 1920’s and 1930’s, the firm grew as a major manufacturer of machine tools and pumps, and their firm’s first farm tractor in Japan was produced in 1931.
During the Second World War, Komatsu became a key provider of bulldozers, tanks, howitzers.
| Komatsu was established
| -Entered licensing agreement with US International Harvester & Bucyrus-Erie.-launched “Total Quality Control” concept.
| Caterpillar entered Komatsu’s backyard with Mitsubishi
| -began Project A-received Deming Prize
| Launched Project B
| -Initiated V-10 campaign-Komatsu America was established
| Komatsu Europe was established
| -celebrated 60th anniversary-launched “EPOCHS”-achieved Japan quality Control Prize
| 1. Wide range of products for every Construction & Mining equipment need2. Geographic diversification, Presence in many developing countries3. Also diversified into industrial machinery and vehicles, logistics, electronics and other solutions-based operation4. It has a workforce of nearly 40,0005. It has manufacturing operations in Japan, Asia, Europe and America
| 1. Presence of many competitors means limited scope for market share growth 2. Nationalization of mining activities in many countries
| 1. Growing residential sector in Asia
2.Rise in the mining activities in developing countries where it has a significant presence3. Tie-ups with mining and construction companies across the world
| 1. Intense competitive pressure
2. Sluggish growth of the Japanese economy3. Fluctuating foreign markets affects performance
II. Objectives of the Study
The primary goal of the case study is to provide a more thorough analysis of the problems being encountered and the different strategies made by Komatsu ltd. The study is designed to give key information on problem solving within a firm.
The study also aims provide users the background on the various solutions to problems, specifically business firms.
III. Areas of Consideration
* Internal Environment
i) Caterpillar Inc.
Caterpillars may crawl, but this company isn't fuzzy about earthmoving machinery and agricultural equipment. Considered #1 in the world, Caterpillar (Cat) makes construction and mining machinery; diesel and natural gas engines; underground mining equipment; industrial gas turbines; and electrical power generation systems. It operates plants worldwide and sells equipment through some 3,500 offices in more than 180 countries. It also provides rental services through 1,300-plus outlets and offers financing and insurance for dealers and customers. Caterpillar Power Ventures invests in power projects that use Caterpillar power generation equipment. Cat Logistics offers supply chain services. ii) Doosan Infracore Co., Ltd.
Doosan Infracore is carving its own niche as one of the world's largest construction equipment makers. Part...
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