JFE Mechanical Co., Ltd. Case Study

JFE Mechanical Co., Ltd. Case Study

Embracing Change as a Platform for Operational Excellence


After the consolidation of Kawatetsu Machinery and Mentech Kiko, the newly formed JFE Mechanical became a leading integrated engineering company, primarily servicing the steel industry in Japan. With 3,000 employees and 7,000 contractors, the leadership team had a shared vision for the operating culture of the new company, and knew that moving to the next level of safety performance was critical to business success.

We wanted to lead the safest engineering company in Japan, where employees feel proud to come to work,” have shared President Tatsuo Kobatake and ex-Executive Vice President Takemi Yamamoto. “Ensuring the smooth integration of the two companies into a single culture as quickly as possible was essential.”

A safety culture assessment by DuPont highlighted the following key opportunities:

  • Senior Management were aligned on the need for change and the fact that the current safety performance was not acceptable.
  • Moving the organisational mindset from ‘safety is a No. 1 priority’ to ‘safety is a core operating value,’ where words are backed up by consistent and genuine actions.
  • Communication across the organisation needed to become more interactive and two-way, instead of a top-down approach.
The leadership group had intensive discussions about change management from the viewpoint of safety, gaining input and consensus across the business groups. At the end, JFE Mechanical decided to define safety as one of its core values and a world-class vision, safety policy and safety principles were developed to collectively guide people to change their mindset and behaviour.

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