“Expert support guarantees safety and productivity”
Takahiro Ogasahara is a member of the East Japan Service Team, which supervises crane construction, provides after-sale service to customers such as regular inspection of products and repairs as needed. He is on the front line of customer support, helping customers use the products as safely and for as long as possible.
"Whenever we use a crane, the law requires regular checks and inspections. On a crane with rated capacity over three tonnes, for instance, we have to have inspectors go over it after completion of construction, and every two years we have to put it through performance testing by a party authorized by the inspection office. All our cranes rated at a half tonne or more go through regular checkups, monthly and annual inspections. Those are generally done by the customers themselves or a third party providing maintenance and repair services. Where products of custom specifications or complex structures are concerned, we on the East Japan Service Team go into customer workplaces to take charge of repairs and maintenance."
"In the field I most value good communication with the users. I listen to them carefully to understand how they use our products, and for what purposes. I check the condition of the crane and help them understand the correct ways to operate it and the necessary inspection checkpoints. This is because correct use, regular checkups and appropriate maintenance lead directly to customer safety and longer product life."
"My job gives me the fun of meeting lots of different people at work. I'm sometimes surprised to see Kito products in use in places I never considered before. This always brings home to me that cranes and hoists play important roles despite their humble profiles. Their support in the supply of materials and die exchanges are cases in point. Any trouble there can hold up procedures across an entire plant and significantly impair production. To handle customer emergencies well, we need service people who can get to the job right away, and this requires extra effort in clearly communicating correct product knowledge to local service personnel. We have a program to help third-party service people build product knowledge through classroom talks and hands-on shop operations. In this process we share inspection checkpoints like wear, noise, rust, cuts on key parts, and specific troubleshooting examples."
"I meet people inside and outside companies who have special knowledge in various fields. Working with them, I've been able to broaden my horizon. Outside service providers have a unique wealth of knowledge based on their experience in handling a wide range of cranes, including those of our competitors. Each designer has a unique visual perspective and commitment to manufacturing. People in the Quality Assurance Division have a strong sense of responsibility for production. When I have a position or opinion on quality or safety in conflict with theirs, I go back to the basics and my own experience as a service person. That taught me to stand by my customers with compassion and work to minimize their labor, financial and opportunity costs as much as I can. Along with experts of their fields, I endeavor to make the customer's daily work smooth and safe.