In order to keep a competitive advantage in the market, Eastman Kodak will have to do several key things. Eastman Kodak’s brand name speaks for its self. It is one of the most recognizable brand names in the country. Use this to the advantage of the company. In a market that has changed so quickly, a company has to be able to come up with a strategic plan in order to make sure they will continue as a profitable business. Hiring has been a key strength for Kodak. Being able to bring in executives with experience and expertise has helped Kodak maintain their advantage.
The role of the company now is to utilize those executives to continue to grow Kodak as a business. Some of the products that Kodak has introduced have their competitors wondering how they can get that same advantage. The 2003 introduction of the EasyShare camera docks hit the market and Kodak gained immediate advantage. Due to it being the only product on the market at the time, Kodak found a product that no one else was producing creating scarcity. This R&D investment had paid off. Being the innovator of new products and services is important for Kodak to stay in business.
With so many competitors out there, scarcity and differentiation is important. Kodak’s was forced into a changing market. Being almost a monopoly for years in the film business, digital imaging was a huge step that Kodak had to figure out. In the early 1970’s, Kodak was facing challenges from the Japanese camera industry and Polaroid pioneered instant photography. Kodak invested millions of dollars into R&D. Kodak needed to produce products that would separate them from their competitors. They will need to continue this but also find a way to turn a profit from the innovative changes.
Technology and product development was a struggle for Kodak in the early 1980’s. The digital industry was taking off and most of Kodak’s plants still serviced film production. Kodak invested heavily into changing plants and equipment. Kodak realized that they were now struggling to make products from an industry that the world’s technology was moving into. Inventing new technologies thru R&D and creating a new wave of products is what will lead to the continued success of Kodak. Being able to make the leap from the old Kodak to the new Kodak has emerged Kodak as a company with competitive advantage.
Management has had to cut over 15,000 jobs since the introduction of the digital industry. Plants were being reevaluated and stores were closed. Management had to figure out the exact approach they were going to take to become a leader again in the market. Adding new products was a step they took but most of those markets were already lead by companies that had secured their competitive advantage already. Trying to become a leader is those industries was hard with many failures. The most important role is to figure out what strength can be exploited to offset the failing issues.
Due to heavily investing in the digital industry, Kodak has not seen a profit on those investments. Kodak’s brand name and profits made from the silver halide roll film has been able to keep them going. Kodak will need to continue to work toward making those investments into profits. As long as they continue with the strategic plan eventually they will see a profit from their efforts. Eastman Kodak realized that they had over extended themselves. Without having a commitment to those new ventures hurt the company.
Eastman Kodak will need to take a hard look at the direction the company wants to go. Selling or merging some of the acquired business is the first step in making sure you are moving in a particular direction and not just acquiring companies that do not fit into the plan. Eastman Kodak has found success is a challenging market. I do believe continuing with their strategic plan of out with the old Kodak and in with the new Kodak is important. Making it easy for consumers to use the products and affordable will also keep Kodak on the path of striving competitive advantage.