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Kodak Company Case Study Analysis


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.

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