Posted: April 17th, 2021
Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group (GCG) “is a unit of Eastman Kodak Company, the world’s foremost imaging innovator. The Graphic Communications Group provides commercial printers, packaging printers, publishers, data printers, and enterprises with one of the broadest portfolios of technologies, products, and services in the graphic communications and document capture industries.”[i] GCG divides the array of goods and services that it markets into four major categories: products, application solutions, consulting, and services.
GCG’s various product groups include printers and printing presses, flexographic equipment, printing workflow software, computer-to-plate printing equipment, printing plates and consumables, enterprise marketing software, color and screening products, proofing equipment, security and authentication tools, and image capture devices.[ii] Although the product groups are numerous, three of them¾computer-to-plate printing equipment, enterprise marketing software, and image capture devices¾convey the breadth and depth of the cutting-edge graphics, printing, and imaging technologies that GCG provides to its customers.
Kodak’s computer-to-plate (CTP) devices, which use thermal imaging, are designed to meet commercial, newspaper, and packaging printers’ needs for making printing plates.[iii] Kodak’s Design2Launch Solutions¾an enterprise marketing product¾“deliver powerful efficiencies that organize [a customer’s] assets across brands, departments and suppliers, [thereby] creating a single streamlined, centralized marketing enterprise. ¼ [This] improves speed, visibility and collaboration, which are critical to ever-changing global business requirements.”[iv] The image capture product group offers a wide range of professional color and copydot scanners as well as a broad portfolio of document scanners, including a multipurpose network scanner.[v]
GCG’s application solutions include five groups of market offerings¾commercial printing, packaging, publishing, data-driven communications, and enterprise solutions¾for a wide range of customers.[vi] Some perspective regarding GCG’s application solutions can be gained by looking in more detail at commercial printing, publishing, and enterprise solutions.
Commercial printing solutions involve advertising and brochure printing, catalog printing, direct mail printing, and integrated marketing communications.[vii] Direct mail printing and integrated marketing communication illustrate this product group. “Direct mail has a life cycle with many touch points that demand targeting and personalization to communicate effectively and provide return on investment. ¼ [The] Kodak [direct mail solution] works with content creation, workflow and delivery options to create the best solution for each customer.”[viii] With the integrated marketing communications solution, GCG assists its customers in unifying and streamlining their production processes across organizational units and marketing media.[ix] GCG’s publishing solutions include newspaper printing, magazine publishing, book publishing, and directory printing.[x] The book printing solution, for example, supports customers using mixed environments of offset printing and digital printing technologies to meet a variety of run lengths and to help reduce waste as well to increase quality and productivity.[xi] Enterprise solutions include archive scanning for art galleries, museums, scientists, and others; document imaging; brand protection against counterfeiting; and marketing workflow from initial concept to final production of the printed matter.[xii]
GCG’s consulting services¾consisting of Kodak MarketMover Business Advantage Solutions and Kodak MarketMover Professional Services¾target automation and integration, marketing, and digital growth in four different market segments: commercial, packaging, publicity, and data-driven communications.[xiii] Kodak’s MarketMover’s consulting services provide customers with educational tools and training; business planning and assessment services; market information, planning, and plan implementation; and marketing and personal sales support for the customers’ product lines.[xiv] The MarketMover services focus on “driving the value of print [media], not just to the printing industry, but [to] the people who buy print media.”[xv]
The final component of GCG’s product line provides service and support to keep customers’ equipment and systems in good repair and operating effectively and efficiently.[xvi]
With this impressive array of goods and services, how does Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group keep abreast of customers’ needs and concerns? Kodak’s GCG regularly receives extensive market feedback through the Graphic Users Association (GUA) of Kodak Solutions. The annual GUA conference “provides an invaluable opportunity to receive data and comments directly from users,” according to Kodak executives.[xvii] GUA members point out the value of “unfiltered access to executives and product specialists from Kodak[,]” ¼ noting that the Kodak team “genuinely listens to our feedback and takes it into consideration when developing new products and features.”[xviii]
Source: This case was written for this textbook by Michael K. McCuddy, The Louis S. and Mary L. Morgal Chair of Christian Business Ethics and Professor of Management, College of Business Administration, Valparaiso University. © 2013 Cengage Learning.
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