Emerging details of Kodak's plan for restructuring

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by vedmak, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. vedmak

    vedmak Subscriber

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    Emerging details of Kodak's plan for restructuring leave little doubt that its film division will get an axe.

    From today's WSJ
    "Kodak's move, which came early Thursday morning, sets up a highly uncertain process that, if successful, will allow it to emerge in a year or two as a smaller company with fewer employees and perhaps very little to do with the photography business, on which it built its name.
    But there are doubts, even on Kodak's board, about whether its strategy of becoming a printer company and competing with giant rivals such as HP Co. makes sense."
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Seems to me that much rests on the success or failure of Kodak's current lawsuits against Apple and HTC (and RIM too, if I remember correctly). If they are able to stake a claim to certain sensor IP then their imaging IP will define some very nice possibilities. It's a slim chance, but....

    As far as printers, well, Perez et al should be banished to a remote island with their printers. C'mon guys, that idea is so ten years ago. They seem to be totally missing the fact that printers too are not the future of imaging... even if they do succeed in gaining some market share there. Social networking, cloud sharing, more broad interest in spontaneous low-res smartphone snapshots etc are trends for which paper printing strategies have no clear response. Polaroid actually is better suited to these trends, believe it or not. If somebody at Kodak would simply speak to a teenager...

    I am thinking that for Kodak to make any serious inroads in printing, they need a big customer / contract - Federal govt or such. The consumer market isn't going to come to the rescue. Well, maybe if Apple bought out their printer biz and attached some of their own cool to it...
     
  3. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    I guess we'll all see. I think it'll be hard to compete in the printer market. What'd be nice is a small and profitable company that supplies the photographic arts. Film, digital sensors, scanners, high quality film scanners, and printers too if they like. Kodak is photography, just like Aston Martin is cars." Just dreaming.
     
  4. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    In my work I deal with quite a few small businesses and, for many years, they have all used small copiers and printers from the existing big makers. Similarly, those friends and relatives who actually make paper copies of their digital and phone snapshots all have existing printers. Most are happy with these, even if tied in by proprietory cartridges and refills.

    I use a 12-year-old Sharp copier (which admittedly will have to retire soon, due to cartridges no longer being produced), a modern Samsung laser copier/printer (could last up to 10 years on present usage) and a top-end Epson color printer for my photography (should last me out on present usage!).

    I'd imagine that I'm fairly typical, so I can only wonder how Kodak could hope penetrate this kind of consumer market to any meaningful degree? If their intention is top-end specialist industrial and commercial users, this would not seen a good time, with cuts in investment, price pressures and the need to minimise risk by keeping with existing and known suppliers of equipment?

    IDK, just wondering aloud.
     
  5. vedmak

    vedmak Subscriber

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    My sentiment exactly, how can Agfa be rebuilt and Kodak cut loose its film division?
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    kodak has stopped advertising most of its traditional film products. with all the distribution and processing channels ( photofinishing ) gone
    it is hard for a business that relied on distribution and photofinishing to remain in business.

    i don't really see this whole bankruptcy-restructuring being anything more than kodak concentrating on what that had planned to concentrate to begin with ..
    the next generation of amateur imagemaking. ( that's not the same as analog photography )

    luckily there are a handful of other companies that can easily pick up the slack!

    i just find it sad that when given the opportunity to sell master rolls of film to a company that is experienced in cutting, notching, and packaging
    specialty sizes for the sheet film crowd who use hard to find sizes like 20x24, 14x17, 7x11 &c, they refuse ...
    even thought the film probably would have all be sold to the last scrap... in a few months...


    john
     
  7. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    The problem is that Kodak is behind the times on this as well. Today, millions of pictures are taken, and very few are printed. Those people that don't have an inkjet photo printer already still think it's "too difficult" to print at home, and they'll go to Walmart anyway and have their pictures printed on Fuji RA-4 paper. There was an article many years ago that explained how printing photographs in general was dying, but all I was able to find was this article from 2005(!) that says that printing at home is on the way out: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/08/technology/08photo.ready.htmlhttp://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/08/technology/08photo.ready.html

    If Kodak thinks that this dying business is going to save them from whatever ills they have, I would prepare the funeral ASAP.
     
  8. AlbertZeroK

    AlbertZeroK Member

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    The one big thing that Kodak has going for it as a Printer Company though, is that Kodak is the picture company. HP and Epson don't come to mind when we talk about classic prints. With a huge advertising campaign with new, easy to use products based on the classic style of Kodak commercials, I think you could have a chance. But if they don't caplitalize on the Kodak legacy for imaging, as a printer company, they will be useless. Heck, even their claims of printing cheaper, which has been their printer tactic lately, is just horrible - nobody trusts that.
     
  9. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    Heck, I didn't even know they had any presence in consumer printers until now ...
     
  10. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    I agree about the printing side. Kodak has it all wrong there. Unfortunately, printing is just not en vogue anymore. Personally, the only time I get non-darkroom stuff printed is with Apple's services of books with iPhoto. They look great and the printing is of good quality. The web and computers/iPads/phones is how most pictures are viewed and shared these days so Kodak is way off there.
     
  11. MDR

    MDR Member

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  12. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow Member

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    Hey, Apple was once in the printer business....but they were smart enought to get OUT of the printer business.

    A long time ago.

    And to turn to the government to buy their stupid Kodak printers is not a deal that will SUSTAIN Kodak....Kodak needs ONLY sustainable solutions....not government band-aids.
     
  13. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    This sort of "say it isn't so" article doesn't help much. If anything, it's a somewhat balmy denial of the nose dive in demand for film over the last 5-8 years, especially in the huge N. American market. Can anyone here deny it? Steady collapse of pro labs and cheap c-41 processing/printing aren't indicative of steady demand. Rising prices for film and processing aren't making a case for film, either. It's going to require one helluva load of film nostalgia to tip the balance back in Kodak's favor--something this article ducks.
     
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  15. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    A friend of mine who's a career marketing guy feels strongly that it's a law of nature that any large, non-commodity market has room for exactly two large players; everyone else merges into "other". E.g., Fender/Gibson/Other, Canon/Nikon/Other (consumer SLRs, I'm thinking of here), Intel/AMD/Other. It's possible to quibble with specific examples (are American cars one market structured as Ford/GM/Other, and Japanese cars a different one with Honda/Toyota/Other, or what?), but as a general analysis it seems to hold together.

    Well, the printer market settled down some time ago to Epson/Canon/Other. I suppose Kodak could wedge themselves into the "Other" category alongside HP, Brother, Lexmark, and so on, but if they want to sustain a large company on the printer business, they need to knock off either Epson or Canon (much as Canon, not that long ago, knocked off HP). That would be a seriously tall order for a company *without* Kodak's burdens; for them to choose it as their best path for restructuring looks, from out here, absolutely bonkers.

    I don't suppose it bears one way or another on the fate of their film operations---it was always pretty clear, IMHO, that they weren't going to go into Chapter 11 and say "we will reemerge as a dedicated film company", so the question of what they mean to do with film---keep it, sell it, or kill it---remains open. The quotes in the BJP article suggest that "kill it" would be unlikely, at least.

    -NT
     
  16. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    This is from today's AP. Kodak has until 2013 to reorganize:

    "Rochester, N.Y.— Eastman Kodak Co. has obtained a bankruptcy judge's approval to borrow an initial $650 million from Citigroup Inc. to keep operations running while it peddles a trove of digital-imaging patents.

    The ailing photography pioneer filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday, and is required under the financing terms to produce a reorganization plan by Feb. 15, 2013.

    U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper in New York also set a June 30 deadline for Kodak to seek his approval of bidding procedures for the sale of 1,100 patents that analysts estimate could fetch at least $2 billion.

    After years of struggles to transform itself into a printing powerhouse, Kodak ran short of cash and sought protection from its creditors. It has been trying to sell its patents since July."
     
  17. usuthu65

    usuthu65 Member

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    Any Kodak legacy that remains has little to no impact in the minds of anyone under 30 years old, who hardly know what Kodak is and almost assuredly have no direct experience with it (save things like EasyShare or their waterproof solid state video cameras, which one could treat as disposables). This argument aged out a while ago, as I don't really think you are going to make enough funds this way. The boat has sailed.

    They took a shot at "economy printing" but again they were a small cannonball dashed against the fortress wall of huge established players (Epson, etc). Frankly, I think some of the reason is that most consumers can't manage a household budget very well anyhow and really aren't going to be intellectual enough about it to be a frugal person and realize value when they see it. When a so-so digital print costs $0.14 at Walgreen's and someone else makes it for them, guess where they will go for printing - not at home. It's quick and "good enough" (sic).

    As so many have said here before, the consumer wants convenience, convenience, convenience, and is willing to trade a huge amount of quality for that convenience in order to satisfy the Pavlovian "ring bell; want food NOW" urge, a decidely subconscious trigger and a damn compelling one at that. I just can't see at this stage that Kodak has any way to make themselves unique in this new model given all the debt and legacy infrastructure weight they are dragging around. Better to fracture into pieces and hope someone can downshift the FPEG group to a more supportable model. Maybe.

    Now all of you reading this should be rushing right over to Ron Mowrey and lining up for his Emulsion Making DVD! No promotional money was paid for this ad :smile:
     
  18. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I'm ready for the next big Kodak screwup. Note the adjustable plywood partition I built for our freezer.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Agree was at the pharmacy picking up my wife's prints (she's no Apeg'r) and saw a stack of prints for another order sitting on the counter. I was stunned at the lack of quality of the camera that the person that used. However the photographs were outstanding and it kind of made me proud to see that people are still taking lots of photos but for some people image quality and the type of camera used is irrelevant to the fact that they captured the moment, got it printed and put it in their book. Kodak has missed this bus unfortunately.
     
  20. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I agree, I was merely brainstorming about how to raise funds immediately and come out of chp 11. They need to raise a bil or two, minimum. That is doable if they show how to stem losses and if they land some revenue. What they do next is up to the next CEO.
     
  21. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Perez came from HP, and apparently the only thing he knows is inkjet printing, and apparently doesn't know that very well either (or Kodak would have better inkjet products). He seems to think they will somehow compete in a market they have failed at before. I sure hope they spin off the film divisions, and don't let this latest folly drag that into the ground as well.
     
  22. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Kodak was established on vernacular convenience, not some sort of ephemeral quality. Kodak spawned digital and it's young ate its market.
     
  23. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I don't know if this has been posted yet. If so, here it is again: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-j...ilm+division+is+still+profitable,"+says+Kodak



    Steve.
     
  24. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The chemical side reportedly makes good profits and is growing. Just hope that T-Max and Tri-X survive. Surely some enterprizing Kodakers will purchase and save the most popular products.
     
  25. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    The current Agfa isn't a water drop in the ocean that was Kodak film...
     
  26. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Sooo...

    Do you think Simon and Ilford might be talked into picking up Kodak's 220 roll film packaging machine at the soon-to-be-held restructuring garage sale?

    Just thinkin' out loud here...

    :wink:

    Ken