Gerbershagen The new Head of Kodak Alaris says he wants input.

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by cmacd123, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    I was going through You tube today and found this video which is to introduce the new dude heading up Kodak Alaris, A Mr. Ralf Gerbershagen. Seems he is also from the Tech sector having ween with Motorola Mobility before it was bought up (and later resold) by Google.

    At 2:26 in the video he is asking for questions and comments from customers to be sent to ceo@kodakalaris.com

    I suspect tahta many of us may have some questions about the marketing of Kodak Silver products.

    Watch the video and try to think up some serious questions, I doubt he would be swayed by "Bring back Kodachrome" but may be open to concerns about the remoteness that may here have felt from their dealings with Kodak and it's sales chain in the past few years.
     
  2. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Here's a link for anyone who wants to watch it:

    OK, I just sent the following message to him:

    Dear Mr. Gerbershagen,

    You asked for questions -- here are mine.
    • What contractual commitment do you have from Eastman Kodak Company to continue producing the current range of Kodak still camera films?
    • Is it connected to sales volume?
    • Does it relate to the manufacturing of motion picture film, which Eastman Kodak can reasonably expect to plummet when existing contracts end next year?
    • Is there some date after which or sales volume floor below which Eastman Kodak is no longer obligated to coat films for Kodak Alaris?
    • In the event that Eastman Kodak Company, for one or more of the reasons listed above, ceases to be a Kodak Alaris supplier of still camera films, does your agreement with it include any provision for transitioning production of existing Kodak-branded still films from Building 38 in Rochester, New York to your facility at Harrow?
    • Would associated engineering/manufacturing personnel and intellectual property be transferred to Kodak Alaris?
    • Can your coating line at Harrow be switched back and forth between RA-4 paper and the film products without undue disruption?
    • If neither Eastman Kodak supply nor relocated production in Harrow are available, does your agreement permit Kodak Alaris to source still camera films elsewhere and use the Kodak brand on them?
    Thank you in advance for your answers. Photography forums around the world are abuzz with rumor and speculation, none of which is based on facts or knowledge. This situation cannot be positive for Kodak Alaris. In my opinion, sharing factual information is the only way you can prevent customers from fleeing to other film sources in the face of uncertainty.

    Best regards,

    Sal Santamaura​

    I'm expecting a "thank you for your questions" response, but not much after that. :smile: Will let everyone know what, if anything, happens.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    That question would guarantee the Gerbershagen would stop listening to anything said after that.
     
  4. Paul Cunningham

    Paul Cunningham Subscriber

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    Very well done messaging. I would buy anything from him.
    I'm curious, who is buying a billion dollars of Alaris products? That's not roll film, boys and girls.
     
  5. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Moments ago I received a reply from Mr. Gabershagen thanking me for reaching out to him. He wrote that he'd forwarded my message to Kodak Alaris' Director of Operations / VP in the UK and Film Capture Business Manager in Rochester so they can "assist with my questions."

    I'll post again if/when substantive answers are received.
     
  6. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    Also received a response referring my questions to the "Film Capture" manager, which is reassuring in a way as for many years it did not seem like Eastman Kodak had anything resembling that sort of Position.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2014
  7. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    <br />
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    That question would guarantee the Gerbershagen would stop listening to anything said after that.

    --------

    That is why I always put it at the bottom of my emails. :smirk:

    Hopefully he will refine what kind of input he is searching for...

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  8. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    I'm tempted to send him a question that only HE can answer...

    Ken
     
  9. omaha

    omaha Member

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    That has me curious as well.

    The overwhelming sense I have is that the KA guys haven't figured out that the future of film will be all about micro-manufacturers selling into a tiny niche market, or that they have figured that out and figure they have a year or two or three to milk what they can out of the current product line before moving on to new markets.

    I have a hard time thinking any of the talk about "innovation" has anything to do with film for people like us.
     
  10. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Maybe they have a plan to sell 70mm film with free/subsidised lenses, cameras, developing, and 4K scanning, coz that'll beat the digital boys at their own game and make everyone move back to film, yeah.
     
  11. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    My sense is that KA's primary goal is to keep its retirees from having to eat dog food. An undeniably noble cause, that. And one I unreservedly and wholeheartedly support.

    But not one, I fear, that they will risk hitching up to the future success of Kodak-branded films. Or any films for that matter.

    The lure, the siren call, the fantasy, of instant digital billions runs extraordinarily deep in the tech industry. Believe me, I've seen it, I know. I could name you all the ugly horror stories that I've seen or been involved with myself.

    That's why my heart sank when I read the new KA CEO's professional background. That same nonsense sank Perez. And took EK down with him.

    What these guys often fail to realize, or just don't care about because it doesn't affect them personally, is that high tech is a winner-take-all game. Either you're the single best, or your out. Musical chairs, but with devastating consequences to the losers.

    I really, really want to see KA succeed. Preferably with a long-term film component. But even without, if necessary. No dog food. But when I read "...from Motorola Mobility, currently part of Google" I just went cold.

    I hope I'm terribly wrong...

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2014
  12. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    The "Meat" of the alaris Portfolio is the business that allows for the production of photo prints from both digital and film originals and secondly the division that makes document scanners which have more or less supplanted microfilm. (although the Microfilm division was spun off before the bankrupcy so their is not as much business continuity there as you might like to see.)

    not sure who got the business making films for producing Electronic circuit boards, and other products for the electronics industry, perhaps that business fell by the wayside. I know X-ray seems to have been sold out.
     
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Kodak sold the medical X-Ray busines (including manufacture) long ago. At the printed circuit business Agfa is world market
    leader.
     
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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Yes indeed Ken, yet another professional manager in a grey suit who doesn't know an f stop from a bus stop takes the helm of a photographic company, it can only end up one way.
     
  16. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    I truly believe that when someone asks Simon Galley what his favorite personal darkroom photographic tools and supplies are, and he can immediately answer that question from his own personal experience and also tell you why, it tells the rest of us in an overarching sense a HUGE part about why Harman/Ilford are in the successful position they are right now.

    And my guess is that he's not a management outlier within Harman in that respect.

    One of the most fundamental aspects of succeeding at anything in this world is that you have to really, really want to do it in the first place. And want it for the right reasons. And those reasons do not always boil down solely to "cuz I wanna' get rich real fast..."

    Last evening I almost sent Mr. Gerbershagen a question asking what is his current favorite b&w photo paper in his own darkroom. An intentionally loaded question on two levels. But I didn't.

    I do, however, wonder which other department he would have forwarded that inquiry to...

    Ken
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    When it went into bankruptcy, Eastman Kodak still had a whole bunch of people on the payroll who had great amounts of experience in and passion for film photography - far more than anybody who might have the necessary skill set for being a successful CEO for a public company in transition.

    If Mr. Gerbershagen is truly a visionary executive and manager, he will be able to take advantage of that.
     
  18. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Yes, they did. But none of them were ever allowed to be in a position to leverage that experience or passion.

    Instead, EK chose an outsider with absolutely no knowledge of, or passion for, the technology that EK had spent over a century perfecting. They got a high tech inkjet printer guy. Whose turn-around strategy bankrupted the entire company. Which threw all of the stakeholders under the bus. And now EK is just another small me-too commercial printing company.

    No surprises there, given the inkjet guy's background.

    But successful? Wasn't the whole point of that public company transition precisely to keep from trashing everyone's investments and then becoming just another small me-too company?

    I hear he's truly visionary in "...Motorola Mobility, currently part of Google..."

    Ken
     
  19. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    "...the google EMPIRE" if I recall correctly....
     
  20. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I truly wonder if these companies (and governments also) don't just walk into the room with the infinite number of monkeys with typewriters, and pick their next executive at random. And if not, perhaps they'd do better if they did.
     
  21. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    The guy has had the job for 7 days. People seem to be prematurely labeling him a failure. His bio lists photography as an interest. Maybe (OK- probably not, but so what?) it's film photography. Maybe he collects photography. Maybe he cares about Kodak's history and legacy. Maybe we should wait and see how his leadership pans out, before announcing it a disaster.
     
  22. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Not saying he's a failure. Or going to be one. Just saying I've been in high tech for over a quarter century. I know the thought patterns. I know the stimulus. I know the response. I know the difference between wishful thinking and not making payroll.

    My point was that he may indeed be successful. And for the sake of dog food, I sincerely hope he is. But I just don't think a high tech executive is going to bet on anything other than more high tech. I recognize the patterns. They are recognizable for a reason.

    And it's not that film isn't high tech. It is. It's just a completely different ballgame in a completely different ballpark. One he's likely unfamiliar with, according to his published mini-bio. Just like the inkjet printer guy was. And all of us here being the excellent students of observation that we are, we know where that more often than not leads.

    To repeat, I really, really hope I'm terribly wrong this time...

    Ken
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    The patient is already terminally ill, let's get a plumber to treat him.l
     
  24. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    Sent a note requesting Ektachrome be brought back. Got this response.

    Dear Mr. xxxx,

    The decision to discontinue the manufacture and sale of our Kodak Professional EKTACHROME films was a very difficult one. It was based on a steady decrease in demand and customer usage, coupled with a highly complex product formulation and manufacturing process. That conclusion was reached more that two (2) years ago. At this point in time, it would not be practical to try to bring these products back to market.

    Although I know this is not the answer you were looking for, I appreciate your input.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas J. Mooney | Product Line Business Mgr - Film Capture |
    Personalized Imaging | 2400 Mount Read Blvd | Rochester, NY 14615 |
     
  25. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    He was brutally honest, but is anybody really surprised?
     
  26. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Nicola Baldini?
    Marco Pagni?

    :wink:

    Ken