AdministratorJanuary 27, 2012Case Studies
Kodak’s last chance for survival ~ a recommendation on strategic direction
Author: Tony Lan
During 2011, Kodak was under intense pressure to survive in the digital imaging business. As professor Burley describes, ‘Kodak was caught in a perfect storm of not only technological, but also social and economic change’ (Neate, 2012). As of Thursday 19 January 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection (Neate, 2012) and has until 2013 to reshape its business and exit out of the bankruptcy plan (Business Spectator, 2012).
Eastman Kodak (Kodak) was once a leader (Finnerty, 2000) and legendary brand in the photographic film industry (Associated Press, 2011b). It used the catchy slogan “You press the button, we do the rest” (Kodak, 2011) to successfully market its digital camera products. It employed as many as 145,300 people and sales as high as $16 billion when it monopolized the US photography industry and became number one in the industry in 1988 (Dobbin, 2011). Recently, Kodak lost 90 percent of its market value (Weiss, 2011) and is facing the threat of extinction (Associated Press, 2011b).
In this case study, we propose and defend a recommended strategic direction for the company to implement in the next three to five years based on a balanced assessment of the company’s options. We first conduct a detailed analysis of Kodak’s internal and external environments to understand the opportunities and threats facing the company.
Kodak has tried to transform itself from an aged old film technology business into a fast and digital cultured business but has failed as a result of decline in sales in the United States (Deutsch, 2004). It is still trying to play catch-up with rivals (Associated Press, 2011b) such as Canon, Sony and HP for the past 15 years. Its current products and services span across digital cameras, inkjet printers, sensors, retail kiosks, workflow and