To stay alive, embrace change, says Fujifilm
Change, continuing investment in R &D and consistency.
These are three key words that best describe the history of Japanese company Fujifilm Group, according to Fujifilm Philippines, Inc. (FFPH) president Tomoyuki Fukura.
By far the most important word is change, as Fujifilm, which started as a photographic film manufacturer, has been able to adapt despite film going out of style with the advent of digital technology.
“I think our company is one who embraces change well, because of past experiences,” says Fukura, while presenting a chart displaying the steep decline of the company’s traditional film business from 2000 to 2009. In 2000, Fukura says film was responsible for 60 percent of total company revenue; by 2009, that number dwindled to 10 percent.
The company’s survival was ensured by the next “C,” says Fukura: continual investment in research and development of new products.
From 2005 to 2015, the company spent $1.4 billion annually on this, and as a result, successfully diversified their business portfolio to include categories such as document solutions (office printers and other related products), and information solutions (health care, industrial products, graphic systems).
Health care, says Fukura, is the company’s fastest growing area.
Here in the Philippines, FPPH supplies endoscopy equipment to medical institutions such as Philippine General Hospital, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, and Manila Doctors Hospital.
Around 300 digital radiography equipment—capable of processing X-ray images in just a couple of seconds—have also been deployed to different medical centers nationwide, adds Fukura.
Still, despite their vast product lineup, Fujifilm’s cameras remain top of mind for Filipinos, says Fukura. The company’s current focus is mirrorless technology; their Instax models are also popular among consumers. More than manufacturing high-quality products, Fukura says the company also puts premium on the consistency of their products’ performance, “otherwise our customers wouldn’t be happy.”
He credits their compounded annual growth rate of 146 percent over the last five years to such consistency, not just among Fujifilm’s products, but the after-sales service they provide clients.
“We have more service personnel than salespeople,” Fukura says. “We also prioritize touch points with customers. We have around 70 brand promoters deployed in shops in malls who communicate our products and services to customers. We also hold workshops in shopping malls, mostly on weekends, about how to maximize our camera products.”
All these initiatives contribute to Fujifilm’s ultimate goal, which remains unchanged amid all the technological advancements: “That’s to enhance the quality of life worldwide,” says Fukura.
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