Konica Minolta Reveals Growth Strategy, New Color PressAugust 2014 By Bob Neubauer
As Rick Taylor sees it, Konica Minolta Business Solutions’ competitors aren’t simply other manufacturers, like Ricoh and Canon. They’re companies like Starbucks, Apple and Nordstrom that offer unbelievable customer service. Providing this level of stellar service, said the president and chief operating officer, is Konica Minolta’s most important focus going forward.
“What the customer experience is long term will define our company,” said Taylor at a press conference last month in New York City. “You have to make customers feel valued.”
This means resolving problems quickly, he said, and using plain language when talking to customers, not industry jargon.
Konica Minolta organized the press conference, held in its 19th-floor Customer Engagement Center on Lexington Avenue, to announce its new 100-page-per-minute color printer, the bizhub PRESS C1100, along with a new cloud-based document management solution, FileAssist for Graphic Communications. But executives took the opportunity to lay out Konica Minolta’s blueprint for the future, the key to which is understanding customers’ business requirements.
“We need to be experts on the customer,” remarked Sam Errigo, senior vice president, Business Intelligence Services. “This is how world-class companies provide value—real value—to those customers. We understand your business and we’re going to build an architecture and a platform to support that end result.”
The company’s solutions blueprint, Errigo said, will focus not just on toner, inkjet and 3D technology but on information management and IT services, where the company sees big growth. Konica Minolta has established Business Innovation Centers around the globe, including one in Silicon Valley, to incubate new ideas and explore innovative opportunities.
Taylor noted that Konica Minolta is changing the DNA of the company from a provider of equipment to a provider of linked services and solutions. Still, he said, the company’s technology has generated some impressive revenue growth. Last year, the production print sector saw global revenue growth of 39 percent, while MFP revenue grew by 25 percent.
To push those figures even higher, Konica Minolta unveiled the bizhub PRESS C1100 and bizhub PRESS C1085 at the New York event. They can print 100 and 85 ppm respectively on substrates up to 360 gsm. Dino Pagliarello, director of product marketing, noted that the printers use the new enhanced Simitri HDE toner.