Komatsu has appointed Todd Connolly to the newly created position of General Manager - Market Innovation, a role designed to ensure that the company remains at the forefront of technology and innovation for the benefit of its customers.
Todd comes to this new role following three years as Komatsu's Head of Information Communication Technology, where he oversaw the successful launch of the company's INSITE fleet management centre at its Fairfield headquarters.
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 Communications Technology) to derive maximum customer benefits.
In 2016, Todd was awarded Komatsu Ltd's global President's Award in recognition of his work on projects that represent best-of-breed innovation within Komatsu's global operations.
He is now approaching seven years with Komatsu joining the company as National Manager, Corporate Planning, before being appointed Head of Marketing & Corporate Planning two years later.
Before that, Todd had been in the Automotive industry for 11 years, working in a range of market planning and marketing functions.
His latest role focuses on building the company's successful implementation of ICT, with his brief being to take advantage of Komatsu's to take advantage of Komatsu's developing technologies and innovations to drive further real-world customer benefits.
"Over the nearly 100 years of our history, Komatsu globally has become established as a technical leader in our industries, something that has really accelerated in the past few years," said Todd.
"We are leaders across so many areas, such as KOMTRAX remote machine monitoring and telemetry, autonomous haulage, hybrid machines, intelligent Machine Control, and SmartConstruction. So technical innovation really is at the core of our DNA.
?"Globally, Komatsu invests heavily in R&D around $600Million 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," he 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 are areas that Todd 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 Condition Monitoring Services, the Market Innovation team are 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," Todd 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 its critical that we continue to look at opportunities to enhance our products, services and processes.
"We also need to change our models of digital delivery so we are more agile and responsive to our customers' and our staff needs."
Todd said a real-world example of this more agile digital delivery model, is Komatsu's"Fix It First Time" (FIFT) approach, 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.
"It's been a tremendous success both internally and for our customers since we introduced it mid last year.
"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."
Todd said that various Komatsu programs that are now successfully up and running are contributing to this vision of a digitally enabled organisation.
"For example, the original objective of our INSITE fleet management program was to help us provide improved machine health and productivity increases to our customers.
"But it also allowed us to use the data from our ICT systems to drive our forecasting processes, so we are more likely to have the right parts at the right times for our customers.
"INSITE has been in place since August 2014 and has certainly delivered all that we'd hoped from it," said Todd.
"It has since become the benchmark for other Komatsu distributors around the world to implement similar strategies."
"At Komatsu, we realise that it's no longer enough just to have the highest quality products in the market place we must provide innovative solutions that help our customers achieve their goals.
"And that's where we are going with our Market Innovation program," said Todd.
Pictured: Todd Connolly (General Manager - Market Innovation)