Thursday, April 8, 2010

Winds of Change; Konica Minolta repositioning the troops for the next wave of the offensive...

The Morning with Michael:

I have been going to comment about this release since the day it came out but had a few other posts that were a priority. Now that the articles have served their purpose I will make my comments.

Konica Minolta positioning Jun Haraguchi Takes on Global Leadership Role for Konica Minolta Business Technologies in Japan; Nobuo (Ned) Umehara Takes Over as President and CEO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. on April 1

Ramsey, N.J. - March 25, 2010 - Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, today announced senior management changes.

Jun Haraguchi, President and Chief Executive Officer will return to Japan to become General Manager, Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. In his new position he will be responsible for global sales operations and marketing strategy. Mr. Haraguchi has spent the last 13 years in positions of increasing responsibility within Konica Minolta, the last five years as President and CEO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. During his tenure he led the successful integration of Konica and Minolta, the integration of several acquisitions, most recently Danka Office Imaging, while improving market share and the overall operating performance of the company. He will remain on the board of directors of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.

Nobuo (Ned) Umehara has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. effective April 1, 2010. Mr. Umehara, who until recently served as General Manager of OEM Sales for Konica Minolta Business Technologies, has been with Konica Minolta for 33 years. He has considerable experience in the U.S. market having worked here on two separate assignments in the past, once in the printer division and once within the MFP sales operation. Mr. Umehara will be leading an organization with strong brand awareness, award-winning product lines, and a solid infrastructure in place.

"It has been a privilege leading a dynamic organization such as Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.," said Haraguchi. "Despite the tough economy over the past two years, our corporation has been able to grow market share and improve operating performance. Ned will be assuming responsibility for a company that is led by a strong senior management team and is well positioned for future success. I want to thank the entire Konica Minolta family for their unwavering support and dedication during my time here, and I look forward to their future success - both individually and as a group."

"I am honored to take on this important role at this time in our company's history," said Umehara. "Leveraging the strength of the operation, I envision continuing our strategies to expand our presence in commercial print, managed print services, and the solutions business while gaining share in the core MFP business. One thing is certain, and that is our business partners and end users will not be affected during this transition. My number one goal is to ensure them they can continue to count on Konica Minolta for industry-leading technologies and superior service."

There are lots of changes going on inside of the office equipment sector and more to come as everyone reposition themselves for the 2010 fiscal year. New product introduction are being prepared, new compensation plans are being presented and explained to the troops.

Some organizations had the setup that if you were at 60% of plan you were still making money, the new trend is to set those gates so that anyone under 80% is unhappy and people that over achieve are very happy. Oddly enough in the midst of the storm there has come upon the industry a "calm peace."

Now that Ricoh/IKON have made their first moves to consolidating the new world reps from RiKON seem to be ok with the changes. Their compensation plan has adopted the above strategy which is the kind that you would expect in a sales organization. No one should be happy at 60-80% of their budget.

Konica Minolta was not in such a place of upevil but more in a transition that will be marked by the normal marching orders. Repositioning the troops, working on the distribution model, fine tuning supply chain and cheering on the troops. They have a lot to be proud of coming out of a markedly tough 2009 with the loss of one of their lead distributors of production products and the loss of a key strategic partnership with Oce.

They are poised to make a remarkable comeback as the introduction of their new FLAGSHIP product the 8000! This new tool of destruction will be of the likes of the Canon imagePRESS, Xerox 8002, Ricoh Pro C900 ETC. That paired with their own "heavy iron" black and white offereing the 1200. They are ready to do battle with the likes of Xerox, HP and Kodak!

Being prominently displayed at the 2010 On Demand show it almost makes you want to buy a plane ticket just to see it. As Konica Minolta repositions itself within the Print Production as an "End to End" provider not just of hardware but also in the lines of solutions we will see a Gartner "Challenger" move toward Jun's original battle cry "We are on the road to Tier 1." This battle cry was introduced in Jun's road tour of the branches in North America.

I have met Jun personally several times and was always enamored with his charisma and ability to reach down to everyone and pull them up. It is a sad day to see him leave but I am sure that they have great plans for a warrior of his caliber. All in all the seas are calming down only to meet the currents that are bringing the next wave of economic changes to us.

That's it for Pirate Mike's observations of the day, I hope that your day is full of prospects and that your afternoon is absent of any excessive service call reports! The winds have been strong the last few days so I am about to head off and "go catch the wind."

Good Sale'ing...

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