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Models for Change Part One

Printers are faced with unprecedented change in the industry. Each company is examining their own strategy for meeting these challenges. Industry suppliers are facing the same issues. This article looks at how an industry supplier is changing to meet the challenge. These strategies can provide models for change in your company.

By John G. Braceland
Published: August 1, 2011

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John G. Braceland is Managing Director for Graphic Arts Alliance a member run purchasing cooperative. He is also President of JB Solutions, a company that creates and manages purchasing cooperatives in various industries. Previously, he was President and owner of Braceland Brothers, a multi-plant printing company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.

Please offer your feedback to John. He can be reached at john@jbsolutionsllc.com.

 

Discussion

By Chuck Gehman on Aug 01, 2011

Before you go on to provide other companies as examples, it would help me if you could clarify what lessons we should be learning from this story.

I think your point about opportunity and fear is well taken here, Kodak's leadership had the guts to make some really radical moves. And they saw opportunities and moved to exploit them.

But isn't the jury is still out on Kodak's transformation? Looking at the stock price from 2009 to the present, it doesn't look like they've quite succeeded.

You mention the patent portfolio, but in the last couple of weeks, there have been media reports that the company is looking to sell off part of its digital imaging patent portfolio. I think you make the point yourself that intellectual property like that would be critically important in their transition.

Overall, it looks like very complicated business and a mixed bag of results. I don't know that most printers have the assets, brand equity, and access to capital that Kodak has had to be able to power through a multi-year transformation.


 

By Paul Schiller on Aug 01, 2011

There are many patents Kodak has in its digital portfolio. I believe that they're primarily looking at the patents as they relate to cameras and othe consumer products, which are not at all related to their commercial patents as they pertain to electrophotographic or inkjet (presses).*

As for change, print service companies can accelerate their transformation with help from KODAK Digital Growth solutions as demonstrated here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhG9HvFiyBE

* My views are my own, not the views of Eastman Kodak Company

 

By John Braceland on Aug 01, 2011

A few points I think printers can take from this article:

1) Almost all industries are experiencing rapid change. It is part of the times we live in.

2)Where will my revenues be coming from in the future and what changes do I need to do now to support it.

3)Look at your core strengths and build around them. This goes beyond current products and services.

4)Brand is a way to differentiate yourself. Some printers use this concept better than others.

 

By Jim Rosenthal on Aug 01, 2011

You make one very important statement - "Look at your core strengths and build your strategy around them. These core strengths often go beyond products and services, but relate to what you really do best" In other words if you are an offset printer, focus finding a unique niche way to sell what you do. If you are digital or wide format - do the same. But to try to be all things to all of your customers is a mistake. Focus on your core strenght.

 

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