Fujifilm was a Kodaks main competitor for decades. It is a Japanese multinational photography and imaging company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Fujifilm is still a profitable and productive company while Kodak might have been overlooked since they went bankrupt.
Basically, Fujifilm and Kodak were in the same situation for the most part in the photography and imaging industry. They heavily trusted on the major profit from camera films. They both capitalized into digital technologies and diversified, but in the end of time only Fujifilm accomplished to transform digitally.
The moment Kodak is declined and gone; Fujifilm make strides after a tremendous reorganization. Fujifilm was the biggest aware of the unstable market trend in photography from film to digital. They decided to retain its existing business model, with the additional investments going into new technology and expansion into new businesses.
Basically the sales of color film declined from 156 billion yen to 33 billion between 2005 and 2010. At the meanwhile, the photo finishing segment decreased from ?89 billion to ?33 billion. The film market dropped to less than 10% in 2010 compared to 2000. However, Fujifilm which once made 60% of its sales with film, diversified successfully and succeeded to grow its revenue by 57% over this ten years period. At the same times, Kodak sales felt by 48%.
The crucial component in Fujifilms success is diversification. Fujifilm acted quickly in response to the invasion and changed its business through innovation and external growth after faced with a sharp decline in sales. They quickly carried out large restructurings under the decisive grip of Shigetaka Komori who was appointed in 2000. Komori came out with a six years plan VISION 75 in 2004 in reference to the 75th anniversary of the group. The goal was simple and comprised of saving Fujifilm from disaster and ensuring its viability as a leading company with sales of 2 or 3 trillion yen a year.
Here is a detailed breakdown how the destiny of Fujifilm company went in opposite directions from Kodak. First, in order to restructure their business, the management had downscaled the production lines and also close some redundant facilities. At the same time, the research and development departments promote better communication and innovation culture in the group of engineer and moved to a recently built facility to unify the research efforts. Moreover, Fujifilm performed a massive diversification based on capabilities and innovation after realizing that the digital camera business would not replace the silver halide strategy due to the low profitability.
Instead of that, the president ordered the head of R&D to take inventory of Fujifilm technologies before launching the VISION 75 plan. They compared them with the demand of the global market. Finally, after done with a year and a half of technology auditing, the R&D team came up with a chart citation the all current in-house technologies that could match future markets.
For the consequences, the President came out with a new idea that Fujifilm technologies could be improved for emerging markets such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and highly functional materials. For example, the company was capable to involve in LCD screens industry and invested in huge amount in this market. The engineer created FUJITAC to leverage the photo film technologies. FUJITAC is a variety of high performance films essential for making LCD panels for TV, computers and smartphones. Today, FUJITAC possesses 70% of the market for protective LCD polarizer film.
The company also targeted unexpected markets like cosmetics which comes from gelatin. Since Fujifilm also possessed deep knowhow in oxidation, consequently Fujifilm launched a makeup line called Astalift in 2007. Furthermore, Fujifilm also developed Toyoma Chemical in 2008 to enter the drug business based on technological synergies. Besides, Fujifilm exploring into the healthcare segment which is brought a radiopharmaceutical company called Fujifilm RI Pharma.
It also strengthened its position in existing joint ventures between Xerox company after Fujifilm purchased an additional 25% share in this partnership to became Fuji-Xerox which a consolidated subsidiary in 2001.
In 2010, nine years after the peak of film sales, Fujifilm was a new company. Whereas in 2000, 60% of its sales and two-thirds of the profit came from the film ecosystem, in 2010 the Imaging division accounted for less than 16% of the revenue. Fujifilm succeeded to ride out of the storm through a huge restructuration and diversification strategy and plan.
Diversification is the reason Kodak failed that Fujifilm succeeded. Kodak was lack of diversification. Fujifilm recognized early on that photography was a hopeless business and attempted new markets with a completely different portfolio. Kodak made a wrong analysis and keep on in the decaying photo industry.