Key Forces in the competitive environment.
Task environment includes four main forces: Suppliers, Distributors, Customers and Competitors. Each of these four forces has an influence on the organization. In this section we will describe Canon suppliers and distributors, define Canon customers and analyze Canon competitors.
Suppliers are the individuals and companies that provide an organization with the input resources that it needs to produce goods and services (Jones & George, 2008, Contemporary management, pp. 213)
Almost all Canon suppliers are Canon owned Subsidiaries and affiliates. For example:
Canon Chemicals Inc.- Toner cartridges and advanced functional polymer components
Miyazaki Daishin Canon Inc- Digital cameras, electronics packaging
Oita Canon Inc.- Digital cameras, digital video camcorders, EF lenses, compact photo printers and others
Nagasaki Canon Inc.- Digital Cameras
Oita Canon Materials Inc.- Chemical products for copying machines and printers
Nagahama Canon Inc.- LBPs, toner cartridges, A-Si drums
Ueno Canon Materials Inc.- Chemical products for copying machines and printers
Etc (canon.com, corporate info, 18.10.09).
Because most of the Canon suppliers are Canon subsidiaries, it is easier for Canon to control the quality of the products.
Distributors are organizations that buy products from the particular company, stock them and retail them to the customers (business dictionary 2009).
There are two ways selling products for Canon. The first way is to sell products using corporation’s subsidiaries (Canon Company has subsidiaries and affiliates in Japan, Americas, Europe and Asia). The other way is to sell products via licensed dealers.
All subsidiaries and licensed dealers have the same visibility, what is very important for the company, because it leads to a large recognition and brand awareness all over the world.
Customers are people and companies that buy the products that the organization produces. They have the “ability” to select between the goods and products of different organizations (business dictionary, 18.10.2009)
Canon customers are:
1. Individuals who purchase personal electronics.
2. Small businesses
3. Large Corporations
4. Government agencies
5. Educational institutions
Competitors – organizations that produce goods and services that are similar to a particular organization’s goods and services. (Jones & George, 2008, Contemporary management, pp. 218)
Canon main Competitors are Konica Minolta, Xerox and Ricoh Company. These companies are well known in the world, are based in Japan and produce Electrical appliances.
Konica Minolta Holding was created from the merger of Konica and Minolta in October 2003. The company manufactures business and industrial imaging products.
* Business Technologies
* Color laser printers
* Facsimile machines
* Full-color copiers
* Microfilm systems
* Multi-function systems
* Plain-paper copiers
* Aspherical plastic lenses
* Micro camera units
* Optical pickup lens
* TAC film for polarizers of LCDs
* Zoom lens units
* Medical and Graphic Imaging
* Contrast media for diagnostic purposes
* Digital color proofing systems
* X-ray film
* X-ray image processing systems
* 3-D digitizers
* Light and heat measuring instruments
* Medical measuring instruments
* Industrial ink jet
* Ink jet heads
* Textile printers
(Schein A., Hoovers.com, 17.10.2009)
Since 2006 Konica Minolta is mainly focused on the production printing market.(Konica Minolta, annual report, 2008) That’s why primarily their customers are big and small corporations, copy service providers and print shops.
After exiting the camera, color film and paper supply business in 2006 Konica Minolta has focused its product strategy on dominating certain areas(business technologies) in which it has a large share of the market.
As you can see on the graph given above, currently 66% of their sales contains business technologies.
Ricoh as well as Canon produses electronic products, cameras and office equipment.
* Imaging & Solutions
* Imaging Solutions
* Diazo copiers
* Digital duplicators
* Digital monochrome and color copiers
* Fax machines
* Imaging supplies and consumables
* Wide-format copiers
* Printing systems (laser, multifunction)
* Network System Solutions
* Document management software
* Networking and applications software
* Network systems
* Personal computers
* Services and support
* Electronic components
* Measuring equipment
* Optical equipment
* Semiconductor devices
* Thermal media
* Digital cameras and other photographic equipment
* Financing and logistics services
* Optical disks
Customers: Ricoh customers are big and small corporations as well as individuals.
The main Ricoh market is Japan(45 % of all sales).
In Northern and Southern Americas Ricoh is represented by its Ricoh Americas subsidiary.
Also the company distributes and services office equipment through its IKON Office Solutions subsidiary.
On the graph given above you can see that the main product for Ricoh is Imaging & Solutions 76% of all sales.
Xerox is a global document management company, which manufactures and sells a wide range of colour and black-and-white printers, multifunctional systems etc.
* Multifunction devices (copy, fax, print, scan)
* Production (graphics communications industry and large corporations)
* Digital presses
* High-volume printers
* Wide-format printers
Customers: Xerox designs its products for businesses in the financial services, graphic arts, health care, government, and industrial sectors. (Xerox, Annual report, 2008) Xerox customers are big and small corporations, government and education sectors.
Xerox generated more than 70% of its revenues in 2008 from post-sale sources, which include maintenance and document management services, consumable supplies, and financing.