Posted at 08.10.2018
The Kodak Eastman company was started by George Eastman. The founder was an American. He was fascinated by still photography and cameras. George Eastman always believed that still cameras and photography are an incredible invention but it needs to boost. Kodak 3 was an initiative towards this improvement. Eastman pointed out that cameras were too large and difficult to handle and weren't user-friendly. He thought of something smart and simple to use. He left for London in 1879 to start out a company to be able to bring this innovation into practice. He started the business with aim to bring revolution on the market of photography (Collins, 1990). He selected London due to its popularity for being center of photography and business community. In 1879, it was the best destination to start the business enterprise. He received first patent of plate-coating machine. This plate was an efficient way to get pictures on film in cameras. It had been only a step stone in creation of cameras for people.
Expanding the business successfully and equipped with innovation, Eastman Kodak, manufacture products in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, U. K, Germany, France, Australia and U. S. A. Company is operating with the primary notion of mass production with low cost and focus on customer.
Eastman Kodak Company is a printing and picture company. Currently Kodak Company is operating in three major segments. CDG (consumer digital imaging group), GCG (Graphics communication group) and FPEG (film, photofinishing and entertainment group). Digital capture and devices consumer inkjet system, retail system solutions and consumer imaging services are contained in CDG. Digital printing solutions, prepress solutions and business solutions and services are included in GCG. Film capture, Entertainment imaging, commercial materials and traditional photofinishing are included in FPEG. The company acquired relief plates business of Tokyo Ohka Kogyo, on March 1, 2001. It sold its Image sensor solutions business to platinum equity on November 2011.
Not only gaining a higher position in market is important but retaining this position. There are numerous ways to increase market share just to be cost effective, offering products and services at lower prices and with high quality, offering unique and ground breaking products. Each one of these factors play very critical part in gaining market share but here's something more important to be considered seriously. Companies having larger market share, must have the ability to adopt new opportunities and must be flexible enough to incorporate required technological changes according to requirements of industry environment in which it is operating. If a business will not take these factors directly into account, it will probably lose its market share, no matter what size the forex market share is it. For example Eastman Kodak Company will not show flexibility for adopting and incorporating technological changes. It has to face the threat from alternative technologies introduced on the market. Video tape recorders and video cameras proved to be great threat for Kodak as their introduction destroyed the position of Kodak in market of film based home move business where it has monopoly. VCRs and then introduction of DVDs and other latest video technologies proved to be disruptive for Kodak. Management must see this technological transformation as sign of quick change. Rather company went for diversification and acquisitions realizing that Kodak does not have time for you to venture new activities internally.
Kodak had great opportunities to offer ground breaking and advanced products to its customers and retain its larger market share. But it didn't realize the value of changing world to film and related technologies that advanced the merchandise proposed by the imaging industry. The problem was demanding in change of technology of products on offer to customers, but managers at Kodak did not take initiative to incorporate this change. The managers presented a conservative approach and went for diversification and acquisition in relatively new technologies (Reilly & McCabe, 1986). As Kodak's imaging business was at decline, it can get the opposite situation to the in form of increased market share and profitability, if new digital technologies be adopted and incorporated in the process by Kodak. Eastman Kodak company out their investments at wrong put in place acquisition and joint ventures rather than buying emerging technologies and face the leads to form to decreased market share and profitability. Investing in digital technologies and competing in market while incorporating necessary changes quickly could prove to be ideal for increasing market share and profitability for Kodak.
Kodak faced intensive and uncertain competition against all its products. The essential threat was the transformation in technology. The emerging technology, digital technology and video films brought about a completely new trend on the market that Kodak failed to follow and incorporate. The other powerful competition came from Japan who defeated Kodak in its main market of color film and paper market where it was making 75% of its profits. Quite competitor from Japan was Fuji who used cost cutting manufacturing plants and latest technology in mass production films. As Fuji and other Japanese companies was presenting the same greater quality with more vivid colors at cheaper prices so customers were more attracted towards Japanese products? This resulted in a drastic shift in market share of Kodak.
The increased competition and changes in industry were compelling signs for Kodak to consider the way it is undertaking market and production operations. The first important liability for Kodak was to become more cost effective as its new competition i. e. Fuji who are employing efficient low priced production system and providing good deal products with high quality. Kodak, although having operation in several county but it proved slow to introduce innovations (Festa, 1992) and improvements in productivity and quality. Its production operations that are expanded in several country also gave Kodak an expense disadvantage. Moreover, specific conservative management style also proved harmful for it. Situation required Kodak to internally improve its operations to become more cost effective and improve its productivity to counteract its rising costs. But Rather Kodak assert influence on other side of business businesses and excited for acquisitions and joint ventures in diversified portfolio of business and start entering in the markets that it has little if any experience. These practices proved as disastrous one for Kodak.
The most disastrous action for Kodak has been its decision to visit for mergers and acquisitions. While perusing this plan, Kodak wasted a huge part of its retained earnings. Kodak was not going only for joint ventures and acquisitions but it was also trying to diversify its functions instead of investing in new emerging digital technologies. Kodak had experience in still photography and imaging, but it invested in range of businesses where it includes little if any experience. Kodak entered in the industries where it didn't find out about intensity of competition, competitive forces. It also committed to the industries where already an strong competition existed. Due to these irrational investments, Kodak was forced to retreat from many of these markets. Kodak was compelled to withdraw its investments from these industries simply by selling its assets and by closing its functions (Lederberg, 1971). Besides each one of these factors, a fast decline in information systems group which attributed Kodak to increased competition and bringing new products in market and reduced earnings from operations. All these factors collectivity proved to be accountable for demise of Kodak.
Leadership's role is very critical in for success or failure of organizations. Kodak's leadership and its decisions also have great effect on its performance. Colby Chandler for example, played a critical role in directing Kodak in very irrelevant way. He centered on four main things as action strategy, to raise the control over existing market of Kodak for chemical based imaging business, make Kodak leader in electronic imaging, diversify business practices of Kodak and keep your charges down and improve productivity. No doubt these objectives by Chandler aimed to bring improvement, but he failed to understand the ultimate need of change brought by transformation of technology into digital type. The decisions of joint ventures and acquisitions reduced the profitability of company to great extent.
George fisher came with some new strategy and play a wise role in order to brought positive change in performance of Kodak in market place. He realized the necessity to change the conservative approach of management and hired people from beyond your Kodak for restructuring. Fisher's role have been very critical for Kodak as he realized the complete situation very quickly and take immediate actions to extract valuable sources of company from useless operations and acquisitions and invest them at right place. He played his role very actively and led just how of success by taking daring initiatives. Carp and Perez also was included with new aim and enthusiasm to bring about positive change for the business. They tried to restructure the main positions, spend less and increase profitability of the company.
Kodak suffered a lot due to poor decision making and planning by its leadership and management's conservative style. Although George Fisher did amazing job to bring Kodak back again to its position of 80%market share, but nonetheless it was too late to consider all things to their place. George Fisher became CEO in 1989 and it was 2004, when company announced what it will do very earlier. By 2004, it is realized and announced by company to sweep out all unnecessary functions and practices to cut down the costs. This brought share price 20% up, but it is too late for Kodak to retain its position in market. Kodak must increase income in every its digital divisions if it is to survive. Things that began to change in positive way to restructuring efforts, again began to get in negative way till 2007 and became worst since 2011. Keeping in view the detailed history of Eastman Kodak Company, it could be predicted that it requires more ground breaking approach by management in order to survive till 2013.