Eastman Kodak Company is a public organization that deals with the production of digital imaging products and photographical materials. The company was founded by George Eastman in 1888. During its early years, Kodak has been a monopolist in the market for quite some time becoming number one in the industry. The company had the advantage of recognition and brand loyalty from its customers which was enhanced by the catchy slogan it used “You press the button, we do the rest”. Due to the vast market share it had, the company offered many jobs to people. During the 21st century, Kodak has gone through a lot of challenges. (Utterback, 1995). These hardships were the worsening of performance and revenue drop. The company has created and implemented a lot of methods to battle the issues. One of the approaches was to file for reorganization under chapter 11 bankruptcy (Utterback, 1995). I have conducted a detailed analysis on the firm’s internal and environmental factors of production to enable the understanding of the threats and opportunities using the SWOT and PEST analysis methods. From this analysis, I have drawn some recommendations and a strategic plan that the company should implement in order to improve its performance.
Kodak’s hardships started when the customers started using digital cameras instead of film and the need of photofinishing negatively affecting the sales of Kodak’s offerings. The company decided to change the strategy by laying off some employees, changing the CEOs, creating DC-40 digital camera, spinning off chemical operations, and transforming the company into a consumer and commercial inkjet printing business. Kodak’s operations cover such domains digital cameras, professional photographic film, retail kiosk, sensors, chemicals for paper processing, industrial materials as well as business process optimization.
Kodak is a trusted brand in the photography industry. This gives it some advantages over its competitors. During the 19th century, Kodak was the most prosperous company in the photography and film business being a monopolist on the market. Additionally, its brand was among the best known labels in the world. This brand recognition is the competitive advantage that the company has over its rival’s brand Agfa. Kodak is the leading producer of high quality cameras. In the past, Kodak had a secured flow of revenues which led to the expansion of the business in terms of the products and services it sold. Additionally it was known for photofinishing services and paper supply, ink, and chemical technology.
Kodak weaknesses are attributed to the culture of the industry. Kodak is known for taking a long time to implement new ideas being the first company to create a digital camera in 1975 and holding many patents on technology used to create most of the digital cameras (Scifo, 2009). Kodak managers were resistant to change and had concerns regarding new technologies; thus, they ignored all the recommendations that they were given by the business analysts. These senior executives have been the greatest problem to the company because they lack vision and strategy to run the company.
Since Kodak was the first company to create a digital camera, it shows that the company has great ideas. The company should exploit the creativity that its employees have and use it to develop new technologies. Additionally, Kodak should manipulate its brand recognition and customers trust it has in film industry to sell the digital cameras. The managers should take action and implement the strategies that are given to them by the analysts.
Kodak Company is facing a huge threat that can lead to its closure if no immediate action is taken to curb it. Kodak should start producing digital camera. The technologies change rapidly so should do the company. Kodak camera has been replaced by the new improved technology. Majority of people do not value printed photographs anymore but prefer a soft copy photography that they can manipulate according to their needs.
Kodak operations are affected by the laws and government that exist in various the company operates around the globe. For example, in the U.S., Kodak operations are affected by the toxic substance control. The current drop in prices of digital cameras is making it possible for people to purchase the Products. Furthermore, Kodak is greatly affected by the technological and social changes in the industry where majority of the people prefer digital cameras because they can manipulate the photo and can share them on social media. Such a progress makes Kodak to abandon its old cameras production.
Kodak needs to transform its business model to be able to be able to keep uo with its competitors by establishing new opportunities in the market. There are several ways that will ensure the achievements of this strategic plan. According to my analysis, I discovered that the company needs a fast change in its structural and resource organization. The company should use the business processing re-engineering strategy (BPR) to restructure the organization (Schiederjans & Kim, 2003). BPR will enable the company achieve a low level flat organizational structure by redesigning it from the traditional vertical to horizontal structure. This change in the company will increase performance efficiency since the managers will be closer to the employees. Additionally, the current processes of the company will be simplified because the decision making time will be reduced. Thus, Kodak will be able to compete effectively with the rivals.
Kodak should rebrand its name or create a new technological label. This new brand will create recognition, loyalty, and premium image of the company among its customers. Kodak is faced by very powerful competitors in the market. Thus, it should rebrand so that it can be more appealing to customers standing out among competitors. Additionally, this process will ensure that Kodak regains the lost market share it had before. My advice to Kodak is that it should ensure that it avoids poor rebranding because it will be a high risks for the organization since core values will not integrate well with the new brand weakening its position on the market.
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Kodak’s senior management needs to be trained according to gap analysis of their expertise and knowledge, especially on vision and strategy to be able to take the company to the next level and satisfy market demands. They should be provided with programs that educate them on organizational management, identification of new markets, transformational and situational leadership (Smith 1999). This will give the managers skills needed to identify new opportunities in the market and make wise decisions. Additionally, Kodak needs to discontinue some of the products that have low profit margin, because the market is saturated and the product faces stiff competition.
Furthermore, Kodak should have joint ventures with other organization in order to create new emerging industries which will compliment and add the capabilities and resources of Kodak improving its efficiency. Kodak should exploit the already established patent rights it has to ensure that it grows its presence.
To sum up, for Kodak to be able to sustain the competition it is currently facing in the market, it needs to change its business model to be able to capture the opportunities in the new markets that are available. The company should implement the BPR strategy to be able to organize the firm’s objectives and goals. The company should rebrand or create a new technological brand that will make a difference with the competitor goods and ensure that the brand stands out. Kodak leaders should undergo training on their weak areas. This will be beneficial to the market since the managers’ vision and strategic planning will be improved. Lastly, the company should engage in the joint venture with other companies and use the outsourcing option which will help reduce production costs significantly.