Eastman Kodak was started in 1880 by a high school dropout when George Eastman invented a dry-plate process in a company at Rochester, New York, which was then used in production of dry photographic plates. Since 1892 when Eastman decided to name the Eastman Dry Plate Company as Eastman Kodak, the company has emerged to become a worldwide renowned company ranked as a premier multinational company. In addition, Eastman Kodak has been ranked amongst the 25 largest companies not only in the USA but throughout the world. With invention of Brownie and introduction of a paper rolling film in 1884, Eastman Kodak spurred to higher heights in the photographic industry (Charlene, 2008). Despite the death of George Eastman in 1932, George Fisher followed the footsteps of his predecessor thus making the firm what it is today.
The following is a case analysis of Eastman Kodak with emphasis on its industry, Photographic and Optical Equipment/Supplies. This analysis is on the prevailing competition, strategic characteristics, and various alternatives the corporation can take in order to continue being a leader in the industry. From the various alternatives presented in this case analysis, some recommendations are made, which are likely to spur the corporation into even higher levels that it is experiencing in the current 21st century.
Analysis of Industry and Competitors
Eastman Kodak (EK) is a firm operating under Photographic and Optical Equipment/Supplies Industry commonly referred to as Consumer Durables and Apparels. The following is an analysis of Photographic and Optical Equipment/Supplies Industry under which EK operates and its level of competition.
Industry and Market Segment
Photographic and Optical Equipment/Supplies Industry’s products are broadly categorized into five including equipments for taking still picture; motion picture equipment; chemicals for preparing photos; films, paper, plates, and cloths for sensitized photos; and equipment for photocopying and microfilming. Innovative technology has played a great role in enhancing the success of photographic equipments’ markets. For instance, with the new development of digital cameras and the One Time Use (OTU) cameras that are disposable, the market has significantly increased commanding huge number of sales as well as new entrants of firms to meet the growing demand (Congressional Budget Office). Amazingly, digital cameras outsold the traditional cameras in 2003 indicating the role of innovative technology in the industry as well as the markets. Exhibit 1 indicates a growth of 1.5% of the market as compared to previous years (Bureau of Economic Analysis n.d.). In addition, this exhibit indicates total revenue of approximately $ 20,726.90 million with a total of $ 11,057.80 million industry’s gross product coming from about 1,931 establishments and 2,124 enterprises. This indicates that the market is rapidly growing having approximately 86 firms.
Within this growing industry and its market there are about 86 companies that have contributed to such positive result. Consequently with the 86 firms in the industry competition has immensely grown leading to quality products through innovative technology that has seen development of digital cameras (Eastman Kodak, 2009). However, the main competitors to Eastman Kodak Company include Canon, Fujifilm, Hewlett-Packard, Ricoh, Sony, Xerox, Nikon, Olympus, Lexmark, and Seiko Epson Corporations amongst others. Exhibit 2 provides a brief overview of these corporations and how they are offering significant competition to Eastman Kodak within the industry. Exhibit 3 provides financial performance of five companies in Photographic and Optical Equipment/Supplies Industry, Kodak and four other main competitors. In Exhibit 3, ROA (Return on Assets) and RIC (Return on Invested Capital) are provided that give indication of a bad performance by Kodak in the latest years where the corporation has had negative values. In addition, Exhibit 4 shows the performance of Eastman Kodak by segments.
Innovative technology is the most emerging driver of this sector. The majority of goods developed by Eastman Kodak and other companies in this field are essentially influenced by innovative technologies (Consumers Union of U.S, 2009). This is why it was necessary to rock the industry with the advent of digital cameras, thereby commanding a larger share than that of conventional cameras. Therefore, most firms in this industry have been able to reach out the market through advancements of technology. Imaging and photographic has taken a different direction especially in the 21st century hence the need for creativity and innovativeness.
SWOT Analysis for Eastman Kodak
Exhibit 14 (a) shows the opportunities that Eastman Kodak enjoys against its competitors. Amongst the opportunities enjoyed include financial markets where it is possible for the corporation to raise money through debts owing to its large assets, emerging markets especially with regards to different age groups being so much involved in taking photographs, innovation especially with developing technology, online selling and buying of products, and also product services expansions. From Exhibit 4 the main segment that provides a good opportunity for Eastman Kodak is the consumer imaging. Compared to other segments, Consumer Imaging Segment attracted a lot of revenue in terms of sale during the fiscal year 2010 (Dobbin, 2009). Within Consumer Imaging Segment the main areas that portray good trading grounds for Eastman Kodak are interchangeable lens camera and lenses for ILC. This is because over the last fiscal year they recorded the highest level of growth with interchangeable lens camera recording up to 30.0% and approximately 34% respectively as shown in Exhibit 5 (FactSet Research Systems, 2009). Another opportunity is with regards to the power of supplies.
According to Exhibit 14 (b), Eastman Kodak suffers significantly from high levels of competition, cheap technology, economic recession, lower cost for competitors or imports, maturing categories, products and services, as well as price wars and product distribution. These have posed great threats to the firm leading to bad performances it has achieved within the last few years. Competition has been due to the high power of entrants as well as intensity of rivalry and substitutes. This poses a great threat to Kodak as there will be more firms entering the industry. As a result the poor record seen within the previous years is likely to be repeated. It is therefore obvious that with such increase in new firms and substitutes there is likely to be split within the market share hence affecting Eastman Kodak significantly. There is therefore serious need to have proper, efficient, and effective measures that should be put in place in order to retain the already existing customers (Dobbin, 2009).
Strengths and Weaknesses
Other than opportunities and threats discussed above, Eastman Kodak enjoys many strengths coupled with some weaknesses. Some of the strengths include meaningful brand recognition especially given that it has been in the market for over a century, diversified geographic base after establishment of various subsidiaries and enterprises, and cross licensing agreement. Its weaknesses include lack of product and weak financial performance. Lack of product arises when Eastman Kodak produces products hurriedly after its competitors have produced. This makes the company’s products similar to those of the competitors hence there is no striking feature differentiating it from other products hence creating that uniqueness that is required by most consumers. In addition, quality is compromised in the process of hurriedly manufacturing and developing products on the basis of other products.
Part 2: Strategic Characteristics of Eastman Kodak
Analysis of Company
Market Positioning: Kodak has targeted consumers who are adult and post baccalaureate of about 25 to 40 years of age, actively involved in various activities, having so much passion about relationships and friendships, and with a lot of interest in capturing images both still and motional. This market segment is very rich as majority of people between the ages of 25 and 40 are far much active in taking images and sharing the same through various digital devices. In addition, its market position has focused on the marketing philosophy that states “Kodak is preferred by adults who are active, busy and care about meaningful relationships and want to encapsulate and share important moments in their lives, because Kodak’s products enable them to capture, share, display, and store pictures and create keepsakes, with more ease than competitors like Canon, Nikon, and Fujifilm”.
Products: Eastman Kodak’s main products are within the four segments as portrayed in Exhibit 4. Nevertheless, Kodak as a firm has failed to provide products that distinguish benefits to consumers. Most of its products are produced in haste as a result of pressure from competitors and this leads to poor quality products. Consequently the firm suffers reduction in the market share hence profitability as indicated in the financial statements from Exhibits 7 to 10; income statements, balance sheet, cash flow statement, and ratio analysis respectively. A lot of risks thereby face products manufactured in this kind of manner. For instance, there is a possibility that such products may have some defects in them and this discourages consumers from purchasing the same.
Pricing: Applying the economic value pricing indicated in Exhibit 11, Kodak has been able to price most of its products. In this case, Kodak struggles to deliver products while that provides a demand for price premium over its competitors. For instance, most of the cameras offered by Kodak range between $ 80 and $ 160 while its competitors sell the same models of cameras for a record price of between $ 110 and $ 500 (Kavajecz, 2009). Kodak enjoys the benefit of four of its products being ranked amongst the top nine cameras that are doing very well in the market. Exhibit 12 provides comparison of pricing by Eastman Kodak Corporation.
Placement: Kodak placement is almost similar to that of its competitors. There are products that are sold through the website while others are distributed to consumers through various distributional channels available in the industry. Most of the products sold directly by Eastman Kodak through its websites are digital cameras, inkjet printers, and digital picture frames owing to the fact that they are very sensitive.
The key strategic issue with regards to Eastman Kodak Company is the fact that they manufacture products hurriedly after their competitors. This is due to lack of proper innovative and inventive strategies. Consequently Eastman Kodak Company should have more people brought on board to work on innovative and inventive technology, which will help in creating unique products of high quality.
Marketing and Promotional Strategies
Eastman Kodak firm employs various strategies to ensure that they retain existing consumers while attracting others (Kodak, 2009). The following are some of the strategies employed by Eastman Kodak firm;
- Understanding of the consumers through market research that helps in creating variety of products to fit various needs and classes.
- Developing attainable and specific marketing objectives such as increasing sales, which is the ultimate objective for the firm.
- Reselling analysis through ensuring that consumers are always directly linked to their preferred retailers so as to acquire products of their choices.
- Kodak has efficient and effective marketing communications that is focused at triggering emotions hence providing arguments that favor some of the products they manufacture in a bid to have a better brand name.
Part 3: Alternatives and Recommendations
There are various alternatives that Eastman Kodak can employ in order to attract more customers and retain existing ones thereby achieving higher profits. Some of those strategies include;
- Reducing middlemen along their distribution channels to make the end product cheaper
- Increase research and development for enhancing innovative technology, which will assist in coming up with new products
- Setting up more subsidiaries in countries that they have not ventured.
- Increasing the time taken to produce a product so as to minimize various defects associated with hurriedly made products
- There is need to employ more people within product development as well as quality assurance department.
In conclusion, looking at all the above alternatives they are all viable even though some are costly in terms of expenses hence are likely to cause an increase in costs of sales. The best alternative amongst the aforementioned ones therefore is for Eastman Kodak Company to engage in research and development that will improve their inventive and innovative technology for the purposes of developing products that are unique and of high quality.
Exhibit 1: Photographic and Optical Equipment/Supplies Industry Market
|Industry Revenue||$ 20,726.90 million|
|Industry Gross Product||$ 11,057.80 million|
|Number of Establishments||2,124|
|Number of Enterprises||1,931|
|Total wages||$ 4,435.5 million|
|Market Capitalization||54 billion|
|Net Profit Margin||3.6%|
|Return on Equity||6.2%|
Exhibit 2: Eastman Kodak Competitors’ Brief Profile
|Canon Inc.||v Manufactures business machines, cameras, and optical products.v Acquired 24% stake in Hitachi Displays on March 31, 2008.v 9 months up to September 30, 2009 Canon’s revenue decreased by 27%.v Net Income decreased by approximately 76%v Revenues reflect low sales volume from business machinesv High costs of sales and SGA (selling, general and administrative) expenses|
|Fujifilm Holdings Corporation||v Japan-based company providing imaging, information, and document solutions operating 3 business segments; Imaging Solution Segment, Information Solution Segment, and Document Solution Segmentv Imaging Segment offers color films, digital cameras, color papers, and chemicals for instant printing amongst othersv Information Segment offers medical systems, graphic system, life-science machinery, electronic components, and optical devices amongst others.v Document Segment offers paper, copy machines, office printers, and other consumable goods within the office.v For 6 months running up to September 30, 2009 corporations revenues decreased by 22% reflecting decreased sales from all business segmentsv Higher percentage of costs of sales and SGA expenses|
|Hewlett-Packard Co.||v Provider of products, technologies, software, solutions and services to individual consumers, SMEs, and large corporationsv Operations organized into 7 segments in 2008 fiscal year; Enterprise Storage and Servers; Imaging and Printing; Personal Systems; HP Software; HP Services; HP Financial Services; and Corporate Investmentsv Revenues decreased by 3 in 2008 fiscal year reflecting low sales from all products and services|
|Sony Corporation||v Develops, designs, and manufactures various kinds of electronic equipment, devices, and instruments.v Operates in 5 segments; Electronics; Games; Pictures; Financial; and All Other segmentv Bertelsmann acquired 50% interest on Sony BMG Music Entertainment on October 1, 2008.v For financial year ending 2009 revenues decreased by 20%|
|Nixon||v Japan-based company manufacturing optical productsv Operates in 4 business segments; Precision Apparatus; Image Segment; Instruments Segment; Others Segmentv Has 65 subsidiaries and 10 associated companiesv August 19, 2009|
Exhibit 3: Performance of Eastman Kodak in Comparison to Competitors
|5 yr Av||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005||2004||2003||2002||2001|
Exhibit 4: Kodak Performance by Segments
Exhibit 5: Forecasting for 2011 for Eastman Kodak
|Actual for 2010||Year on Year Change||Forecast for 2011||Year on Year Change|
|Digital Cameras (total)||121.5||14.7%||131||7.8%|
|Interchangeable Lens Camera||12.9||30.0%||15.5||20.2%|
|Built-In Lens Camera||108.6||13.2%||115.5||6.4%|
|Lenses for ILC||21.7||34.8%||26.4||21.7%|
Exhibit 6: Porter Analysis of Eastman Kodak
Exhibit 8: Income Statement
Figures in $ ‘000.
|Period Ending||Dec 31, 2010||Dec 31, 2009||Dec 31, 2008|
|Cost of Revenue||5,236,000||5,838,000||7,247,000|
|Selling General and Administrative||1,896,000||1,214,000||1,583,000|
|Total Operating Expenses||–||–||–|
|Operating Income or Loss||(336,000)||(28,000)||(821,000)|
|Income from Continuing Operations|
|Total Other Income/Expenses Net||26,000||36,000||55,000|
|Earnings Before Interest And Taxes||(412,000)||2,000||(766,000)|
|Income Before Tax||(561,000)||(117,000)||(874,000)|
|Income Tax Expense||114,000||115,000||(147,000)|
|Net Income From Continuing Ops||(675,000)||(227,000)||(727,000)|
|Effect Of Accounting Changes||–||–||–|
|Preferred Stock And Other Adjustments||–||–||–|
|Net Income Applicable To Common Shares||(687,000)||(210,000)||(442,000)|
Exhibit 9: Balance Sheet
Figures in $ ‘000.
Exhibit 10: Cash Flow Statement
Figures in $ ‘000.
Exhibit 11: Ratio Analysis
|5 Yr AVG||‘10||‘09||‘08||‘07||‘06||‘05||‘04||‘03||‘02||‘01|
|Total Debt/Enterprise Value||1.5x||1.2x||4.1x||1.4x||0.3x||0.3x||0.4x||0.2x||0.3x||0.2x||0.3x|
|SG&A to Sales||22.4%||22.2%||21.8%||22.1%||22.3%||23.3%||24.4%||24.6%||25.1%||25.4%||25.2%|
|Return on Assets||-4.9%||-9.7%||-2.8%||-6.4%||-1.5%||-4.1%||-9.0%||0.5%||1.7%||5.2%||0.6%|
|Return on Equity||—||-50.3%||-36.4%||-9.3%||-32.7%||-44.4%||2.3%||7.9%||24.5%||2.4%|
|Return on Total Capital||-30.7%||-102.0%||-13.6%||-21.1%||-4.7%||-12.0%||-22.6%||1.3%||4.0%||12.1%||1.2%|
|Return on Invested Capital||-33.1%||-111.4%||-14.1%||-22.3%||-4.9%||-13.1%||-25.3%||1.4%||5.0%||16.3%||1.7%|
|Basic DuPont ROE (3 Step)||-1.5%||121.4%||-50.3%||-36.4%||-9.3%||-32.7%||-44.4%||2.3%||7.9%||24.5%||2.4%|
|Extended DuPont ROE (5 Step)||-1.5%||121.4%||-50.3%||-36.4%||-9.3%||-32.7%||-44.4%||2.3%||7.9%||24.5%||2.4%|
|Days of Sales Outstanding||73.8||67.4||74.6||70.8||81.6||74.6||67.8||66.6||63.4||65.0||68.8|
|Days of Inventory on Hand||49.4||47.9||50.9||47.6||50.3||50.5||46.7||43.5||43.5||48.9||60.1|
|Days of Payables Outstanding||82.3||65.2||72.3||123.1||111.7||39.0||32.3||32.8||31.6||31.3||33.6|
|Cash Conversion Cycle (Days)||41.0||50.1||53.2||-4.6||20.3||86.1||82.2||77.2||75.3||82.6||95.3|
|Total Asset Turnover||1.0x||1.2x||1.0x||1.0x||0.8x||0.9x||0.9x||0.9x||0.9x||1.0x||1.0x|
|Working Capital Turnover||9.6x||7.4x||5.4x||6.1x||6.4x||22.7x||23.5x||20.5x||90.0x||-15.2x||-19.7x|
|EBIT/Interest Expense (Int. Coverage)||1.6x||2.4x||0.9x||0.8x||1.7x||2.2x||2.6x||4.8x||6.8x||7.8x||5.0x|
|LT Debt/Total Capital||191.5%||711.3%||97.7%||55.3%||27.9%||65.1%||47.1%||30.2%||35.4%||21.6%||27.3%|
|LT Debt/Total Assets||15.2%||19.2%||14.7%||13.6%||9.4%||19.0%||18.5%||12.6%||15.5%||8.7%||12.5%|
|Total Debt/Total Equity||—||—||135.6%||52.7%||200.1%||157.0%||60.8%||99.5%||93.8%||110.6%|
|Total Debt/Total Assets||16.1%||20.0%||15.5%||14.2%||11.7%||19.4%||23.5%||15.7%||21.9%||19.5%||23.9%|
|Net Debt/Total Capital||-66.8%||-225.6%||-73.1%||-37.2%||-29.2%||31.0%||32.4%||17.3%||30.5%||37.7%||45.1%|
|Total Debt/Total Capital||200.6%||741.1%||103.0%||57.6%||34.5%||66.7%||61.1%||37.8%||49.9%||48.4%||52.5%|
Exhibit 12: Pricing Strategy
Exhibit 13: Comparison of Pricing
|Overall Rank||Brand||Line||Model||Family||Price||Score||Price Relative to Kodak|
|1||Canon||PowerShot||SX10 IS||Super zoom||390||78||56.00%|
|2||Canon||PowerShot||SX1 IS||Super zoom||550||75||120.00%|
|6||Fujifilm||Finepix||F70 EXR||Super zoom||240||72||-4.00%|
Exhibit 14: SWOT Analysis
Exhibit 14 (a): Analysis of Opportunities and Threats
Exhibit 14 (b): Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses
Exhibit 14 (c): Combined SWOT
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