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Komatsu America Opens Expansive Training Facility in Cartersville, GA

Fri June 21, 2002 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

To further demonstrate its focus on customer success, Komatsu America Corporation (KAC) has announced the opening of its state-of-the-art training facility in Cartersville, GA.

Set on more than 520 acres (210 ha), the 63,000-sq.-ft. (5,853 sq m) building and service center is home to Komatsu’s sales and service training division, a team dedicated to producing training material, and its south region sales staff. Currently, the facility houses 30 full-time employees, including 11 instructors who teach an average of three 40-hour classes per week.

“This facility is an extension of our dedication to our North American customers,” said Ken Nakamura, KAC President and COO. “At ConExpo 2002 we introduced our customer support plan called ’Focused on Your Success.’ By opening this facility in North America, we hope to show just how intent we are on contributing to the success of each and every one of our customers.”

Good Reason

“One use of this facility is to train Komatsu personnel, distributors and customers on how to sell, how to operate and how to service Komatsu machinery,” said Cloyce Lamb, training and materials manager of KAC. “It is imperative that we share expertise across all levels to ensure the success of our customers.”

Cartersville instructors are trained in Japan at Komatsu’s Techno-Training Center in Tokyo as well as in the United States. There they attend classes on selling and servicing equipment, and learn how to teach those skills in a classroom setting.

“We have four instructors who concentrate solely on the sales aspect of training,” said Lamb. “The other seven are technical instructors who teach product information. They have in-depth knowledge of the products Komatsu produces and they know how to assemble this knowledge and pass it along to Komatsu’s employees, distributors and customers.”

High-Tech Meets Real World

The Cartersville facility is outfitted with some of the most technologically advanced communications equipment available.

“It is similar to our Techno-training center in Japan,” said Lamb. “Though smaller, it offers us the same ability to provide high-quality sales and technical training. In addition to our traditional classroom and field training, we are setting up a Distance Learning System to provide long-distance learning through the Web and direct TV, providing all levels — Komatsu personnel, distributors and customers — with the most advanced training available from a remote location.”

With five classrooms including a fully-operational computer lab on site, Komatsu training personnel can, through use of a multi-functional touch pad, teach all facets of selling and servicing Komatsu equipment.

“The classrooms are equipped with computers, DVDs, VCRs, document cameras, electronic white boards, network and web access. All of these functions are controlled by the instructor through the use of an easy-to-use touch pad. It helps greatly in expediting the training process and in making presentations run much more smoothly. In addition, students of the class are able to access the Internet and extranet from their seats,” Lamb noted.

“Having this capability allows the technician to see what makes up each part. We can teach them how to service that part first, so that when they are troubleshooting or repairing a machine, they are doing it right the first time. By doing that we are ensuring that they service machines correctly and accurately so the customer can experience increased levels of up-time,” he added.

Commitment to the Environment

Komatsu worked hard with the Cartersville community and with the state of Georgia to blend the training facility work with its surrounding landscape. “This site was chosen for its location,” Lamb explained. “It’s the ideal setting for our visitors to learn Komatsu equipment. In looking for the right site, we wanted to make sure we could keep the landscape as intact as possible. This site offered us the opportunity to work with the city and the state on an environmental front. For instance the only true emissions from the site are the exhaust of the emissionized equipment working on and in the testing grounds and shop.”

Komatsu’s environmental efforts at the site include creating a wildlife area on the grounds, planting fruiting trees, and designating other nature areas that are to be preserved. Komatsu also is protecting and enlarging wetland areas on the site.

According to Lamb, the Cartersville facility offers much room for future expansion of Komatsu sales and service training. Plans for expansion include mine equipment training, more competitive product testing capabilities and the development of a quarry for real world product testing. A permanent demonstration area also is in the planning stage for customer presentations and operator training.

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