Thu, 29/03/2018 - 05:10
Current Issue 71
The Hitachi Proposition
Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa is harnessing the status, reputation and quality that has become so synonymous with the wider brand over the years, before applying it to local needs
As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese heavyweight conglomerate, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd, Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa (HCAF) carries a lot of responsibility in replicating the level of standards and social responsibility synonymous with the former. The latter has certainly met expectations since its inception on the continent in 2010 though, diversifying its remit and service approach in order to meet client expectations and sustain the wider Hitachi legacy.
Over the past eight years HCAF has been responsible for the marketing and support of Hitachi construction and mining equipment, building its own expertise and local knowledge along the way to ingratiate itself as a local, market-leading entity.
“All Hitachi products are known for reliability, performance and cost efficiency in their specific applications and carry quality assurance to international standards,” the Company says. “Sales and product support is available through the Company’s strategically placed network of branches and dealers.”
And HCAF’s mission to this end “is to be the leading supplier of excavators, mining shovels, rigid dump trucks and wheel loaders in key mining, construction and plant hire markets in Southern Africa”.
The Company has adopted a series of objectives in order to reach this ambitious target, driven primarily by ensuring it remains a market leader across all served markets.
Complementing this ultimate goal though are a series of targets including to improve financial performance; develop young, local artisans; to build shareholder value through sustained growth, a strong balance sheet, a commitment to customer service and a strong internal business structure; and to stay true to the overall group motto of providing “reliable solutions”.
President, Toshiaki Takase sums up in his ‘President’s Message’: “Hitachi Construction Machinery and HCAF is a leading distributor of earthmoving equipment in the Southern African region and we will continue to strive to improve our position in all our markets we support.”
Diverse range of expertise
“Hitachi Construction Machinery is one of the major companies in the global Hitachi Group, we are thus in a position to share the knowledge, technologies and information from the other Hitachi group companies which enables HCAF… to create innovative solutions for all our stakeholders,” the President continues.
This Group continuation and subsequent expansion of services has been pivotal to HCAF’s successful transition into Africa over the past decade, and the business can now boast a customer demographic that covers areas of mining, construction, quarrying and forestry via its highly reliable machinery and aftersales support.
Available products include a range of excavators, loaders, trucks, cranes and heavy-duty equipment, consite and industrial solutions. Additional parts including hydraulic oils, hydraulic filters, high pressure hoses, ground engaging tools and remanufacturing components then help to bring HCAF in line with the wider Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM) remit.
“HCM is a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, headquartered in Japan with over 20,000 staff globally,” the website affirms. “HCM market their products worldwide through a global network of company owned and independent dealers” and “supply an extensive range of Hitachi products, associated parts and innovative services throughout the world.
“Today, Hitachi leverages its diverse range of expertise to drive its Social Innovation Business on a global scale. Through its Social Innovation Business, Hitachi aims to refine technologies and develop new ones to meet tomorrow’s challenges, creating value that will last for future generations. Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business is already helping customers reach business goals.”
Built on a foundation of superb technological capabilities, it is this ability – across both HCM and HCAF – to then add a personalised, reliable service to its proposition that continues to ensure “reliable solutions” at all times, and in all regions.
HCAF’s willingness to adapt despite its traditional market-leading status stems from the knowledge that customer needs are varying and ever-changing.
The business elaborates: “Therefore, we work closely with dealers in each country to supply an extensive range of Hitachi products, associated parts and services to individual customers. We also provide customised training and help to coordinate the financial and administration of portfolios to provide competitive and customisable solutions for customers.
“We are [also a] big believer in continuous improvement in solving problems. In order to improve safety, efficiency and reduce environmental loads, we are always developing new technologies for Hitachi Construction Machinery.”
Hitachi takes pride in maintaining exceptionally high standards of design, manufacturing and quality control, making sure that every machine is built to perform at the highest level and cope with the toughest working conditions.
This manifests across many core facets, but especially for HCAF in the realms of parts, lubricants, value-added services, technical support and training.
While the former two are perhaps expected given the Company’s industrial pedigree, it is through the latter three, more customer-oriented, attributes that Hitachi separates itself from the crowd.
“The professional and highly trained Hitachi service team combines the global expertise and knowledge of Hitachi Construction Machinery with the local language and culture of each customer,” the Company affirms. “The manufacturer takes a proactive approach towards customer service - and with technical training in particular - so that the available global knowledge is passed on to each individual technician in the dealer-network machine.”
President, Takase adds and concludes: “We will actively develop machinery to improve the relationship between people and the machines they operate. This relationship creates rich living environments [that are] more comfortable, advanced and efficient.
“We will consistently develop and provide our customers with technologies, products, and services that generate additional value.
“While maintaining profitable operations, we will act as a responsible corporate citizen maintaining harmony with the environment, contributing to society and participating in cultural activities, thriving for a symbiotic relationship with all stakeholders.”