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1. How was komatsu able to evolve from a $169 million company with low-quality products to become a real challenge to Caterpillar by the early 1980’s? How would you evaluate Mr. Kawai’s performance? What started in the 1920’s as a mining- machinery company, Komatsu expanded to produce both agricultural machinery and military equipment. Even though the quality of product was low, Komatsu still managed to maintain 50% of the market. As soon as Mr. Kawai stepped into office in 1961 he focused on TQC strategies to prepare for the floodgates of global markets to pen, their biggest competitor being Caterpillar.

Kawai’s TQL system, “project A” implementation and “Plan, Do, Check, Act” cycle were extremely successful, boosting the company to 65% share. 2. Why did performance deteriorate so rapidly in the mid-1980’s? What grade would you give to Mr. Nogawa’s term as CEO? When Kawai appointed Nogawa as CEO, the odds were not in his favor; falling demand, price wars worldwide, appreciating yen and high trade frictions were all obstacles that Nogawa had to lead Komatsu through. Throughout the changing times he adopted new trategies different from the ones Kawai had implemented.

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He focused on raising prices abroad, expanding overseas parts procurement and cutting production costs. The company’s performance fell apart. Not to say that Nogawa was a bad leader, although his autocratic management was unliked, but he didn’t seem to be right for Komatsu. He was up against daunting factors so taking into consideration how he dealt with them, I’d rate his term with a C. 3. How appropriately did Mr. Tanaka deal with the problems he inherited? What is your evaluation of his brief tenure as CEO? Mr.

Tanaka had a lot of mess to clean up when he was brought on as president in 1987. He came up with a few strategic plans focused on recuperating the money lost on development and investment during Nogawa’s time. One of his main strategies was pursing internationalization which he seemed to excel at resulting in the U. S. Company Joining venture with Dresser worth $1. 4 billion. No figures were cited during Tanka’s tenure on overall revenue but it appears that he made positive hanges to turn the company around. 4. How effectively did Mr.

Katada take charge? How would you assess his new vision for the company? His new strategy? His new cultural and behavioral objectives? What grade would you give him for his performance? The early 1990’s marked a stagnant era for Komatsu. Mr. Katada’s goal was to change status quo in the company through a ‘bottom up’ approach to management style and implementing project G: “Growth, Global, Groupwide. ” The 3 G’s is encompassed in Katada’s goal to the construction equipment manufacturer into “total technology enterprise. Restructuring the company seems risky and his sales objectives ambitious but considering they haven’t seen sales growth in 7 years, the benefits seem to out way the risk. His management style seems like it would support his other strategies well: free discussion for all employees and encouraging them to see needs then operate on that in a creative, innovative way. Considering management style, changes made to the company and how well he implemented his vision, I’d give him an A grade. Harvard Business Pubishing By slc90pitt

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