A Fresh Start for Kodak

Posted on by Dave Erlandson | No Comments »

Kodak’s new CEO, Jeff Clarke held a press conference in which he provided some of his thinking about Kodak going forward. In a way, he views Kodak as a start-up because it has a new CEO, a new board, and new investors. OK, they also have $2 billion in revenue and 8,800 employees so it’s not a typical start-up, but the point is that they are coming out of Chapter 11. With all that behind them, they can now focus on getting the company growing again. This is a fresh start for Kodak.

Clarke indicated they‘ve identified what they consider strategic businesses going forward, the areas where they will invest and grow revenues.  They plan to invest $90 million in R&D plus an additional $50 million in capital expenditures in 2014 in these businesses, which include: 

  •  Digital printing
  •  Printing for packaging
  •  Graphics and workflow software
  •  Functional printing
  •  Enterprise

In the digital printing arena, Kodak has big plans for Prosper. Clarke indicated they expect to double the number of Prosper installations in 2014. At the PODi AppForum I had the chance to meet Rick Mazur, VP & Business Manager  – Ink Jet, and I can confirm his optimism for the ink jet business. Rick took the time to explain to me some of the key advantages of the Prosper press for several key applications. His enthusiasm was clearly evident.

Clarke mentioned he expects to see substantial growth in the functional printing arena in 2014 as they have several major partners and the market is growing quickly.  He specifically mentioned that sales of Kodak’s Sonora plates are up 40% and continue to grow market share.

Clarke stressed that innovation has been at the heart of Kodak products and that he expects that to continue going forward.  From the customers I’ve talked to over the years they would nearly all agree that Kodak makes great products.  So it’s good to hear that focus will continue.  However, many of these loyal customers have told me that doing business with Kodak has been hard at times. Hopefully with their fresh start they can build not only great products, but an organization that is truly customer centric as buyers in these markets need a partner that they can count on.

Categories: Digital Printing
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