Table of Contents
1888. For the first time, the name "Kodak" has appeared, and the cameras under mark Kodak have arrived on the market with a slogan "You Press the Button, We do the rest". It is possible to consider this year as the birthday of an amateur photo. Today the army of photographers-fans totals millions.
1946. The creation of sheet slide film Kodak Ektachrome Transparency Sheet Film by experts of Kodak Company was declared (the first color film that the photographer could process independently in the new set of chemicals sold by the company). The total number of the employees of Kodak company exceeded 60 000 persons all over the world.
1972. The pocket variant of popular camera Instamatic was created. Five different models of pocket cameras Kodak Pocket Instamatic on the basis of a cartridge of a new design for a film of format Kodak 110 were produced. These cameras became so popular that more than 25 million cameras were made during three years.
1996. Kodak occupied 9 place by the quantity of the patents (772), which were issued in the USA in 1995 the Announcement of creation of new trade mark Advantix that would be put on films, cameras, devices for storage of cartridges, services in the photo press, and other materials concerning system Advanced Photo System. The new trade mark represented a multi-color triangle, logo Advantix, and a black strip.
1998. Creation of the cheapest digital camera of "megapixel" level (one million pixels on a shot) was declared.
1999. The professional digital camera Kodak Professional DCS520, the first digital mirror camera, was issued.
In February 1934, the beginning of work of Ashigara Factory; and the beginning of the manufacture of the film, the paper, and other photographic sensitive materials took place.
In June 1938, the creation of Odawara Factory; manufacture of strengthening in chemical area, in which photos sensitive materials as caustic silver were included, a paint, and other chemical processing, both the exact optical equipment and materials which included optical glass and photographic equipment took place.
1970. Factory Ecological Division of Safety Fujifilm was based to guarantee that its production was safe for buyers and environment.
1975. FujiFilm based the Center of Testing of Materials, which constantly observed the industrial safety of materials of all products.
1980. Fujifilm represented A-250 film - most fast color film of that time.
1982. Fujifilm won Oscar Academy Award for the Technical Merit in creation of the fast color negative film all over the world.
1990. Fujifilm received Technology & Engineering Emmy Award for merits in metal technology of particles of a film.
1994. Using "the green" image, Fujifilm represented Thermoautochrome System of the Color Press - technology of the press, which uses heating instead of chemicals.
In 1999, the negative film of new generation, New Fujicolor Superia (4-th Color Layer), was named “the Best Color Negative Film in Europe of the year 1999-2000" by well-known association Technical Image Press Association (TIPA).
The most prestigious royal award of Great Britain, The Queen’s Awars for Enterprise: Innovation 2002 that was presented for outstanding technological achievement - technology of multi beam record on an internal surface of the cylinder, - is one more acknowledgement of the highest level of the workings out embodied in the equipment and technologies of the Fujifilm.
Larry Matteson, the former top-manager of Kodak, and present teacher of Simon Graduate School of Business and the University of Rochester, recollects how he has prepared the analytical report on expected migration of various consumers from a film on a digital photo in 1979. In his opinion, transition process should come to the end by 2010. History has shown that he has mistaken only for some years.
Approximately then, in 1980, approaching business threat was noticed in Fujifilm. In response, there was developed the strategy of counteraction, consisting of three directions: receiving as much money as possible from manufacture of films and film cameras; preparing for transition to a digital photo, and developing new directions of business.
Kodak also started to vary but operated more slowly. Partly, the matter was that there was its organizational culture. Despite its strengths - impressive investments into researches, the strict approach to manufacture, and good relations with local community - it turned to a self-satisfied monopolist. According to the former adviser of the company, Rosabeth Moss Kanter from the Harvard Business School, top-managers suffered mentality of faultless products, without possessing, thus, the hi-tech thinking assuming the work in style «make it, start it, adjust it». Rochester (a city for which Kodak is the city-main enterprise) did not help also. Nobody dared to criticize the leaders.
Even when the company dared to make diversification, the first acquisitions needed years. The division of attraction of the venture capital was created; however, it was not used to the full of investments in advanced technology.
Kodak believed that the weight of the chemical substances created by researchers for manufacture of a film could be used for the release of medicines. However, not knowing what to do with it, the sale became unnecessary.
Diversification of the Fujifilm passed more successfully. The film partly reminded a skin as it also contained collagen. Cosmeticians like to repeat to consumers that photos lose brightness in due course because of oxidation, therefore, and antioxidants are necessary for the maintenance of appearance of a skin. Fujifilm heard these appeals in due time: in its arsenal from 200 thousand chemical compounds about 4 thousand of antioxidants. Therefore, the company started the cosmetics line under the name Astalift. It is on sale in Asia, and rather recently, has appeared in Europe too. Fujifilm also tries to search for new application to the experience in film manufacture, for example, to produce optical films for liquid crystal displays. Since 2000, the company invested in this business $4 billion. In a segment of the film, allowing to expand a corner of the review of flat displays, Fujifilm is a monopolist for today.
Attempts to Change the Business Model
George Fisher, supervising Kodak in 1993-1999, decided that competitive advantages of the company are not in the area of chemical substances but in processing of the images. They organized work on perfection of digital cameras and offered clients possibility to place and exchange photos on the Internet.
Certainly, from this idea, at a proper attention and investments something reminding could turn out, even surpassing Facebook. However, Fisher did not develop it further, as well as did not manage to transfer to outsourcing some productions, and after all, this step could make the company more flexible and creative.
Besides other, Fisher tried to adapt business model of Kodak. He traditionally sold cheap cameras and relied on the clients getting a considerable quantity of expensive film. The head counted on cheap digital cameras, and the companies on this decent enough business finally were possible to construct. However, the similar lasted just some years, while mobile phones and smart phones with the built-in chambers have not disappeared in this segment of the market.
It was not possible for Kodak to take an advantage of work prospects on emerging markets correctly. The hope that the new Chinese middle class would buy many films, was not justified. Sometimes, the idea, apparently, worked, however, Chinese soon understood: digital cameras are sharper.
Each new head of the company strove to change the strategy. Last time it was headed in 2005 by Antonio Peres. He concentrated on the transformation of firm into the giant of the digital press. Differently, he was engaged in a former place of work (Hewlett-Packard) and that, in his opinion, ostensibly would rescue Kodak.
Eastman Kodak Company cardinally changed marketing strategy in 2010. Its traditional advertising campaign, passing under the slogan "Kodak Moment" since 1961, became focused on the social networks and on their users. The known manufacturer of cameras, as the American experts in marketing said, made "a jump-flip".
It does not mean that Kodak is going to be advertised only in the social networks and will refuse TV advertising or street billboards in favor of the corporate pages on Facebook or Twitter. However, the company has somewhat gone further: is recognized that its target audience is concentrated on the Internet, and that is intends to communicate with this audience through every possible advertising channel. The favorite image "Kodak Moment" – family picture albums with signed by hand "the moments of Kodak" – is left in the past.
Inside Fujifilm, technological changes also stimulated a raise for power. At first, the advantage was on the party of the representatives of division of the consumer film, persistently refusing to see the approaching crisis. However, as a result, Shigetaka Komori won, which reproached the opponents in laziness, irresponsibility, and absence of the effective scenario for the reaction to an impact of digital technologies.
From 2000 to 2003, the company managed to make almost impossible: it went on reduction of expenses and workplaces to "repair" the financial reporting; cancelled over $3 billion expenses on amortization, and disposed of the superfluous distributors, managers, and researchers. The similar anticipatory action even softened the generous payments, which is hardly probable characteristic for corporate Japan. For Komori, it meant the negation of work of the predecessor - a taboo in this country. However, the long-term culture of the corporate Japan facilitated realization of vision of Komori in Fujifilm. The American shareholders, probably, would not be so patient.
As a matter of fact, Kodak behaved as the stereotypic Japanese firm resisting to changes, while Fujifilm showed the flexibility peculiar to the American companies. In 2000, Kodak tried to buy ready business instead of spending time and means for working out of own technologies. The miss of Kodak is not comparable to the case of Digital Equipment Corporation which was time among leading manufacturers of the "big" computers in due. However, top-managers of the company have not understood the value of personal computers in the lives of the consumers. According to C. Christensen, the author of the best seller The Innovator's Dilemma, the miss of Kodak looks like a situation when the person sees tsunami approach but cannot make anything.
Could the company evade the troubles from the present? Some experts consider that it could become equivalent to Intel inside of the cameras built in the smart phones that is to be the brand which the consumer trusts. Market positions of Canon and Sony and their excellent patents and workings out approached for the given role more, though even they have not succeeded in achievement of this purpose.
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The companies can live eternally, unlike people. Nevertheless, the majority dies young because in the corporate world, just like in society, there is a struggle to the death. Fujifilm has mastered new tactics and has survived, and Kodak, apparently, simply operated by inertia.