Based on the "Customer First Principle", Kubota aims to offer products, technologies, and services that exceed customers’ needs at a speed beyond their expectations. We seek what we have to do to maximize customer satisfaction based on the "Onsite" approach policy perspective, which includes going to the actual site, seeing the product, and confirming actual facts, and put into immediate action whatever we can.
Kubota will continue to promote initiatives in all aspects of its operations, including development, production, sales and services, aiming not only to improve sales and profits, but also to establish itself as "Global Major Brand" trusted by a maximum number of customers and capable of making a maximum contribution to society.
Because of the globalization of business, it is becoming increasingly important to offering impressive products that satisfy the needs of customers throughout the world, along with the regional circumstances. For this reason, Kubota is strengthening its global R&D system with Japan as its hub- by clarifying the roles of its development sites in Japan and overseas, thereby responding to the local needs of each area of the world.
Kubota also promotes collaborations with external partners instead of adhering to the in-house development policy, with the aim of expediting development processes.
When Kubota began developing its business overseas, products were developed and manufactured in Japan first, and then launched in local markets, and local production was introduced later on. However, in order to grow into a genuine global company, it is crucial to understand the needs of foreign customers overseas and rapidly develop new products. For this reason, Kubota is strengthening local-oriented product development.
In Japan, Kubota opened two research creators at the Sakai Plant in FY2016. The Sakai Plant also has a facility capable of reproducing environments such as the climates of various regions around the world, and has introduced the testing devices for farming and construction machinery. With these facilities, Kubota will refine fundamental technologies and concentrate on the development of new products for farming and construction machinery.
Overseas, in FY2016 Kubota opened a large-scale development site in Thailand focusing mainly on agricultural machinery, in order to accelerate the development of farm machinery and implements with specifications appropriate for the climates and crop varieties unique to each Southeast Asian country. In North America, Kubota opened a research site for water and environment-related fields in FY2016 to enhance research and development on the design and operation management of membrane systems that are suitable for the local climates and water quality as well as strengthening its tractor and UV development sites.
As a result of its commitment to continuously pursuing social needs over the years, the Kubota Group has created technologies spanning a variety of fields.
To solve social issues in the food, water and environment fields on a global scale, it is important for us to conduct development beyond company department boundaries. Thus, every year, the Kubota Group holds "The Kubota Group R&D Conference," where the outcome of the research and development of each division is presented. Over 1,000 engineers join the conference and share information.
Moreover, in an effort to encourage discussion in terms of discovering new themes, Kubota promotes informal and open discussions focusing on the young members of each division. A part of the achievements of these discussions are presented at the Kubota Group R&D Conference.
With the growing popularity of information communications technologies (ICT) such as the Internet and mobile telephones, there are an increasing number of services aimed and everyday life that utilize these forms of ICT.
In fields such as agriculture and water infrastructure, Kubota is integrating its core products with a geographic information system (GIS) that utilizes the ICT of Internet and mobile terminals together with map data obtained from satellite images. This technology achieves the consolidated management and visualization of data, thereby providing a high-value service.
In Japan, the agricultural sector is characterized by an aging population of farmers and an increasing amount of idle farmland. The presence of agricultural business operators* and leading farmers is becoming more and more significant as a solution to utilizing the abandoned farming land. From the outset, there were relatively small farms scattered throughout Japan, and increasing the scale of a farm was considered to increase the burden involved in managing scattered crops. Therefore, it is difficult to increase earnings. Consequently, farmers are looking for a way to increase the quality of their crops as a means of increasing their cost competitiveness.
As a solution to this problem, Kubota began offering the Kubota Smart Agri System (KSAS), a data-based agricultural system which integrates agricultural machinery and ICT to achieve the visualization of various data such as information on fields, farm work and harvest performance. This service also helps to effectively utilize data gathered through this system on the operational status of the harvesting machinery for diagnosis or other services. At present, over 3,000 customers are using this service.
* Farm operators and agricultural production corporations that have formulated a management improvement plan pursuant to the Act on Promotion of Improvement of Agricultural Management Foundation, and obtained approval from the relevant municipalities. Often owners of large-scale farmlands hiring employees (workers), actively engaged in farm management
In Japan, because of governmental financial difficulties and reductions in staff, the efficient and economic management of important infrastructure is becoming a major issue. To address this issue, Kubota, with many products in the water, environment, farming and forestry fields, has introduced its remote monitoring system to approx. 5,000 infrastructure facilities, such as water supply and sewage equipment, and agricultural water facilities.
Meanwhile, local governments are facing increasing demand for products that help systematize the operation of machinery and plants. To meet this demand, Kubota launched the Kubota Smart Infrastructure System (KSIS) in 2017, which conducts remote monitoring and diagnosis for machinery and plants in a common platform using IoT. Moreover, a partnership agreement with the NTT Group enables use of the operational information gathered from machinery and plants as big data. Kubota engages in R&D to create new value and solve customers' problems, such as failure prediction using artificial intelligence (AI) to extend the life of machinery, and optimal control to save energy in operation.