Kodak's Digital Journey

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR190
Case Length : 16 Pages
Pages Period : 1995-2005
Organization : Kodak
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Themes: Adaptation to Market Changes | Transformation
Countries : US
Industry : Consumer Electronics

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

Meanwhile, Kodak struggled to manage its transition from a traditional photographic films manufacturer to a digital heavyweight by 2007, a strategy which the company had been pursuing since late 2003. Acknowledging the problems at the company, Antonio Perez (Perez), CEO of Kodak, said, "Our disappointing start in the first half of this year (2005) makes it clear that I need to make some changes, and make them now."9

Background Note

The Eastman Kodak Company (Kodak) was founded in Waterville, New York, by George Eastman (Eastman) in 1881. His father's sudden death forced Eastman to discontinue his education at the age of 13. He was interested in photography and learned to take pictures. In those days, the wet plate process was used in photography. The photographic images were made on heavy, fragile glass plates that were inserted into the back of the camera. These plates were coated with a wet emulsion just before each picture was taken. Developing could be done only in complete darkness and it took more than twenty minutes to take one photograph.

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By 1879, Eastman had developed the dry plate process and filed his first patent related to a gadget that prepared dry gelatin plates. With the money raised from selling patents and some financial support from his close associate, Henry Strong (Strong), Eastman formally entered the photography business by starting Eastman Dry Plate Company in 1881.

By the end of 1882, the company had generated enough revenue to set up a new factory in Tennessee to produce a steady supply of materials for making films. In 1884, Eastman came up with another innovation -- a roll of photographic film to replace the fragile glass photographic plates. During the same time, Strong and Eastman established the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company in Rochester, New York. Eastman extensively advertised in leading photography magazines to promote his new company and the photographic film. By the late 1880s, Eastman was focusing on manufacturing compact cameras. He again promoted his new camera through aggressive advertising, using slogans like "You press the button and we do the rest"...

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9] Volkart Brothers was established in India in 1851. The firm was established by the two brothers - Salomon Volkart and Johann Georg Volkart. The firm traded in cotton, coffee, engineering products, etc.


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