Newsletter – March, 2016


On My Mind
Komatsu is a global leader in the manufacture of heavy construction and mining equipment along with Caterpillar. I’ve studied Komatsu for over two decades because of the company’s continuous stream of innovative ideas – what follows are three. Corporate Value – Komatsu has a company-wide initiative to improve corporate value defined as “the total sum of trust given to us by society and all stakeholders.” The stakeholders include distributors, suppliers, employees, stockholders, customers, institutional investors and analysts, and the mass media. DANTOTSU – Komatsu strives to create DANTOTSU products, services, solutions, and management. DANTOTSU means “unique and unrivaled” with special emphases on the environment, safety, and information and communication technologies. KOMTRAX – Komatsu started to develop big data capabilities in the late 1990s with its KOMTRAX telematics system. The system helps Komatsu customers achieve their goals related to productivity and safety through remote monitoring, reporting, and focused interventions. There were more than 350,000 machines working with KOMTRAX as of August of 2014. Komatsu has also developed KOMTRAX Plus and KOMTRAX Parts. You can learn more about Komatsu at In particular, follow this path on the company website: Investor Relations >>> Management Policy >>> Mid-range Management Plan. You can learn more about “Quality, Analytics, and Big Data” by visiting the RESEARCH page on the Strategic Improvement Systems website:

Interesting Stories
Close your eyes and imagine a society living in space . . . that is actually happening now at the International Space Station (ISS). NASA astronaut Scott Kelly recently returned to earth after spending nearly a year aboard the ISS. Scott Kelly has a twin brother named Mark Kelly. One of the more interesting aspects of Scott Kelly’s recent space mission was the parallel twin study that was occurring involving Scott and Mark. NASA was especially interested in the effects on the human body (vision, bones, muscles, etc.) of spending an extended period of time in space. You can learn more about the study and NASA at On another topic, Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine is currently defending her Women’s World Chess Champion title against Hou Yifan of China. On the men’s side, eight elite grand masters compete in Moscow starting March 10 for the opportunity to challenge Magnus Carlsen of Norway for the Men’s World Chess Champion title. Learn more about elite grandmaster chess at

Company News
The public seminar on “Quality, Analytics, and Big Data” will be held April 28, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN. A brochure is available on this website on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page. The eight-day public “Continuous Improvement Green Belt” course will start in April of 2016. Details are being finalized and will be announced by March 9.

Intriguing Reads
What happens when you combine lean with data analysis and entrepreneurialism? Lean analytics! An excellent discussion of this integrative topic can be found in the book “Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster” by Croll and Yoskovitz. I especially enjoyed Chapter 5 on Analytics Frameworks.