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Along the Shanghai Pudong Jinqiao Garden-Tech Park, across a small bridge, the recent resurrection of the former film Empire Kodak Company, its Chinese companies are located in the front of the building in this not tall 8th.
November 11, out of the 18-month bankruptcy protection period Kodak, returned to the NYSE listing, the stock trading code from the original Ekod to KODK, once fallen yellow giant comeback.
But now Kodak is no longer the people remember that the outer packaging of yellow color film Kodak, main to provide graphic printing technology and services of the new company. The company's annual operating income was also reduced to $2.6 billion from its peak of $16 billion trillion.
Many people sigh for the fate of Kodak, but some people disagree, that this is a natural evolution of the process, is the inevitable result of social progress. "Dinosaurs are very big, one day a comet fell down, the big dinosaurs are dead, only from the dinosaur evolved a flying to the blue Sky Bird survived." "In the broad open-air balcony of the three-storey Kodak China company, Wang Bing looked up to the sky in the distance and said to the economic observer," is it not a huge dinosaur that has to live to be successful? " I think Kodak evolved from dinosaurs to a bird, and became a Phoenix, but also a success. ”
Wang Bing is the president of the Greater China region, the 40-year-old, plate-inch hairstyle, appears to be able to neat. Interestingly, he was carrying a small black bag of the size of a book, in the bag is a book, the following stacked with more than 10 printing and packaging of various enterprises, when talking about the topic, he turned out from the bag of one of the printing paper to visualize, make him look like a marketing salesman. And he smiled and nodded, "I am a Kodak salesman." ”
changing body and text printing small giant
Strictly speaking, Wang Bing is not really a Kodak. The real Kodak people should be engaged in film imaging, experienced Kodak glorious glory. But in recent decades, with Kodak's decline, most of these people have left. Wang Bing on June 15, 2005 with the Canadian printing equipment manufacturers Creole Company was purchased by Kodak into Kodak, before the Creole company responsible for Asia-Pacific market sales director.
He did not feel the glorious glory of the Kodak people, on the contrary, from entering the Kodak family to the present 8 years, it is the Kodak 132 years in the history of the most difficult and most embarrassing period, but also the transformation of Kodak to revive the transition period. Wang Bing from the external mergers and acquisitions to the Kodak 8 years of various feelings and experience, it is Kodak transformation of a new business of an individual plane.
Two years earlier than Wang Bing into Kodak and Kodak incumbent CEO Antonio. Antonio was the head of HP's inkjet printer business before 2003. Commanded by the danger of Antonio, led Kodak transformation. The acquisition of Canadian Creole Company is only a case of Antonio led the Kodak transformation Digital graphics and text printing, the transaction Kodak investment up to more than 900 million U.S. dollars. In addition, Antonio has completed the Bobst company, UniPixel Company, Timsons company, as well as the world's largest printing plate manufacturers Kodak Polaroid five or six companies and printing inks, plates, software and other related companies to acquire and integrate, the construction of digital printing field complete industrial chain.
Wang Bing's position has changed a few. First Kodak Asia-Pacific market director, then promoted to China's regional president, general Manager, and later as the Kodak Asia-Pacific Digital Printing Department general manager, May 1 this year returned to the Chinese market, the Greater China Region President.
Kodak printing business in the Chinese market to expand land, outstanding performance. Wang Bing said that the current annual operating income of 1 billion yuan, accounting for the entire greater China market 15%, but accounted for high-end products more than 50% of the market share, of which flexo printing version of the sales of more than 30% per year increase in speed.
Because of their professionalism, it is difficult for ordinary consumers to understand what is the high-end product of digital printing business. Wang Bing takes a small briefcase from his hand and takes out a carton of a large pharmaceutical factory in China. To reporters, the printing plant needs to produce a year of 800 million drug packaging box paper, printed on paper barcode labels, pharmaceutical companies and users can anytime, anywhere through scanners or mobile phone scans, to obtain the true and false box of drugs, production and packing time and other information. If the low-speed printing, without any technical difficulties, it is difficult to print at high speed 800 million, while ensuring that each code is not wrong. "If the technology is not good, high-speed printing will cause the output speed is not fast enough, or printed out is not clear, up to the wrong rate of less than 0.01% of the requirements." Wang Bing said that the core technology of high-speed printing is inkjet head equipment, Chinese enterprises do not currently have the production of ink-jet head of the core technology, Kodak is for the printing industry to provide this high-speed printing needs of inkjet head and Jet code technology.
In addition, Kodak's high-speed printing technology is also widely used in demand for the rapid growth of the express list. Kodak China Company Marketing department manager said that the domestic express company 80% or 90% of the express single use of Kodak printing technology. A single Express 5, 5 sheets are printed with barcodes. The national daily has hundreds of millions of express single use, uses the printing production mode of the high speed printing, the bar code printing cannot be wrong, otherwise the logistics cannot carry on, the parcel cannot send out.
According to Wang Bing, Kodak next focus on the promotion of printing technology can do on-demand printing, the user needs to print how much. If so, it will cause a technological revolution in the printing industry. Traditional books and periodicals printing quantity has strict requirements, this is the printing manufacturer from the profit and loss cost and quantity of the relationship between the consideration, such as some printing plant requirements book printing at least 2500, the newspaper at least 10000 can went, resulting in a large number of inventory books and periodicals, resulting in waste of resources. "Kodak's new printing technology does not need a print version, like the sprinkler code, while the side of the automatic printing." He said the new technology will be widely used in China in the future, users will not be limited by the number of printing, such as at least 200 copies, in theory, the Chinese book newspaper can reduce the current 40% of the inventory to 10%.
Wang Bing said that Kodak's global sales revenue this year around 2.6 billion U.S. dollars, pre-tax profit of about 160 million U.S. dollars. It is estimated that 5 years later, sales revenue increased to 4.5 billion U.S. dollars, profits more than 400 million dollars. and open market data show that the global packaging market size to 2015 is expected to be 300 billion U.S. dollars, functional printing market size of 50 billion U.S. dollars. "This is the story we present to financial analysts, to investors, and to prove to them that the story is believable in a variety of ways," he said. Wang Bing added. New Kodak shareholders, including private equity investment company Blackstone Group, hedge fund Blue Mountain Capital, the SEC documents show that both shareholders in the new Kodak has more than 20% stake.
Looking for a jungle with enough food
It's hard to imagine what it would be like when Kodak was in the worst shape during the transition.
"I heard that the hardest thing was waking up one morning and that the Kodak headquarters had only 20,000 dollars on the account." The cash flow almost broke, and that was miserable. "Of course that's not the case," said Wang Bing, "probably because the day before was spent hundreds of millions of of dollars buying a company, and Kodak's own asset sale was not settled, or just in time for the pension, medical insurance before the night was taken away, such a specific lean period of a certain morning." ”
Kodak Avalanche Fall began in 2000, when the main revenue at 30% of the speed of the dramatic reduction, film suddenly sell not move, seriously unsalable, because consumers began to choose cooler not need film photography. In just 10 years, a Kodak kingdom built on film industry for more than a century has been rapidly destroyed by digital. Interestingly, Kodak's digital camera was first invented by Kodak, and an article in The Economist magazine said, "The legend is that Lenin once mocked the capitalist for selling you a rope to hang him," and "capitalists often invest in techniques that undermine their own business." Kodak is an excellent example. ”
One side is the main revenue to 30% of the rate of decline, bleeding, capital chain tight, the other side is the world's more than 100,000 employees and the original promised to pay the retired workers in the high welfare need to draw blood-Kodak has 56,000 retired workers, most of them have not received a college education, Kodak's promise of high welfare and health care for retired workers, including medicine, dentistry, life insurance, survival margin and other benefits, is close to $1.2 billion trillion.
Under the pressure of its own debt crisis and severe capital shortages, the tottering giant Kodak is on the road to filing for bankruptcy protection.
Wang Bing said that the advantage of Kodak's entry into bankruptcy protection period is that whether Kodak's shareholders or creditors, during the 18-month period of protection, the parties under the supervision of the law to reach an agreement to clean up the assets, but also to the parties to negotiate and restructure a deadline, to avoid falling into endless negotiations in the seesaw, to win the time for Kodak Rebirth.
such as the 1.2 billion-dollar high welfare commitment that the retired workers could not deliver, Kodak reached a package deal with the Corporate retiree Committee during the period under protection, terminating its previous commitment as compensation for the 635 million-dollar unsecured claim that Kodak provided to the corporate retirees Committee. As a result, Kodak has put a heavy burden on the high welfare capital paid to retired workers.
The bigger question is, how do you try to save Kodak's remaining value? How to bring Kodak back to the dead? Kodak took two steps. The first step is to lay off, sell assets, stop losses and return cash. While the assets of film images are shrinking, but Kodak has more than 30,000 patented technology and intellectual property assets, they constitute Kodak proud of the leading scientific and technological achievements, Kodak is the most valuable assets; the second step, to determine the direction of breakthrough, the film world near disappear, then the rebirth of Kodak to Where to go?
But the first problem with selling assets is what are the Kodak strategic adjustments that can be completely abandoned and sold? What assets should be retained as a basis for future breakout operations?
Public data show that Kodak will be the gallery to grant Shutterfly, OLED display technology transfer to Samsung, and the digital Image patent portfolio sold to Apple, Google and other technology giants. Kodak also sold its films and documentary image assets to a UK pension fund management company. "The British pension fund Management company had a business relationship with Kodak before, and we thought we owed it only more than 1 billion dollars, but it thought we were in debt more and ended up with an agreement under bankruptcy protection law to sell the imaging business and document scanning assets to the UK pension fund management company," Wang said. ”
The biggest asset Kodak sells is the medical Imaging department, which includes X-rays and ultrasound services. Wang Bing said that in Western countries in the medical industry, X-ray film by NMR, CT digital imaging technology impact, the current medical imaging field of new leaders are GE, Siemens, Toshiba. If it were a hassle to get Kodak to go back to medical for an MRI now, and if it was almost impossible to buy GE and Siemens, Kodak decided to sell the medical Imaging department's assets and business, eventually selling more than 2 billion of dollars.
Kodak's old rival, China film maker Lucky, a department manager who asked not to be named, analyzed the Kodak transformation missed the opportunity of emerging industries. Kodak although in 1975 invented the world's first digital camera, but Kodak hope consumers continue to use the traditional camera and then buy its gross profit margin of 80% of the film, and Kodak also misjudged the digital development situation, did not anticipate the growth rate of the digital camera is geometric level. History cannot be repeated, but looking back at history can always help us to summarize some useful lessons. Kodak if the original caught the wave of digital cameras, enough attention to the development of digital cameras, perhaps today's boss of digital cameras is not canon, but Kodak. ”
But Wang Bing shrugged off the comments, and he was even thankful that Kodak had not been transformed into a digital camera. "It's a Kodak-made digital camera. "He laughs," even if the Kodak transformation of all the funds into digital cameras, I am afraid the outcome or bankruptcy, make it worse. How much business revenue does the world's digital cameras add up to? How much profit? Kodak's digital camera was the second-most-North American market, with only 2% profit margins. Such a low profit margin, simply cannot support the survival needs of Kodak. ”
Wang Bing's concerns, or Kodak's concerns, include a shift in the wisdom of Western companies. The fact that it happened later proved that the digital camera was only a few years and was quickly replaced by a cooler photo-phone for electronic products. The industry recently came out of Canon decided not to produce card machine message, will gradually fade out of the digital camera industry. Wang Bing frequently asked reporters, "the future of digital cameras replaced by mobile phones, if the original Kodak transformation to choose digital cameras, now Kodak also to do mobile phone?" Can Kodak do more than Apple? Where does this battle line end up? ”
His conclusion is that the transformation of enterprises should be based on their own cost structure and intellectual property structure, and the transformation of chasing the trend of the times regardless of their structural characteristics will not succeed.
In his view, if the transformation of Kodak can be interpreted thoroughly, it will be found that many business principles and usually people's ideas are not the same.
Wang Bing said, "The transformation of Kodak must meet a number of conditions, the first to find a large enough industry to enter, followed by a sufficient number of intellectual property, not as some of the processing of Chinese enterprises can only earn 2% of processing costs, but also a large enough profit." All in all, Kodak is trying to grow up to be the boss of a new industry in a jungle with enough food. ”
Following the transformation of this way, the new CEO of Antonio in 2005 after combing Kodak patented technology and intellectual property composition, to determine the graphic printing field is the direction of Kodak transformation.
Wang Bing said that printing is the best combination of materials science and Imaging science, and is one of the world's first major industries. Kodak has more than 100 years of film, with color and fine chemical experience and technology. Transition to graphic printing field, if you need other product structure to enrich its printing jungle, Kodak will go to the outside to buy. In fact, Kodak is also in 2005 to 2007, a succession of buy four or five printing industry technology forefront of different products company, and Kodak original printing related companies, as well as more than 10,000 reserved patented technology, the reorganization of resources, jointly completed the Kodak Graphic Printing Department of the formation.
Perhaps many people do not know that Kodak was the apple of the era, consumers of Kodak film more than even the current Apple products. Kodak is one of the world's most valuable brands, with sales of more than 70% per cent of the world's market, which has been maintained until 2000 years ago in more than 100 years. But now reborn Kodak sales only a few 2.6 billion dollars, such a scale of companies in the United States or in China abound, not prominent, at best, is a potential small giant. Will the new Kodak become Wang Bing's eyes from the dinosaurs evolved from the Golden Phoenix? Will the public expect the Uranus to return again? At least not yet. Kodak resurrected, but the face of the market environment and consumers have undergone a fundamental change, whether it can reproduce the brilliance of a Kodak, the answer is worth waiting for people.
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