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Name of company: Fuji Xerox Co, Ltd
Headquarters: 9-7-3 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 107-0052
President and Representative Director: Tadahito Yamamoto
Name of company: Fuji Xerox
Address: FujiXeroxTowers, 80Anson Rd, 079907
Tel: 65- 67616646
Type of business: The document company
Wide format system
Fuji Xerox brings excellent document solutions to every office.
The company's vision is to enable people and businesses to share ideas, information, documents and knowledge effortlessly across any platforms, applications or devices.
Building on our past success, coupled with the commitment of our people, we are confident of remaining a vendor of choice, an enabler to businesses' needs on improving workflow and knowledge management.
QUESTION 1: BUSINESS OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGY
1. Business objectives
- Fuji Xerox wants to become a company with a good balance of all three attributes:
+ A "strong" company can offer great products and services to satisfy customers and can also reward their shareholders on an ongoing basis.
+ A "type" company that contribute to the local community and global environmental protection, ethics and corporate citizenship.
+ An "interesting" company, where people find their life and work interesting
- Help customers build an environment for creative use and effectiveness of knowledge expresses its domain business:
+ Office products: Fuji Xerox develops the digital color / monochrome multi-function devices for offices. It also offers other types of software support multi-function devices to help handle document easily on PC. In such a way, it offers a range of solutions and services for document management systems as well as mission critical systems.
+ Office printing systems: In 2007, Fuji Xerox consolidated its Printing Systems Co., Ltd to promote integrated production systems and improve the competitiveness of the business office printing systems on a global scale. Based on Xerography technology, Fuji Xerox is developing its color / monochrome laser printer business. Predominant color laser printer combines a compact, high performance and high image quality.
+ Production services: Fuji Xerox is developing production services globally, focusing on on-demand printing systems and support services the market of digital printing, as well as official continuous-feed and cut-sheet printers to output data from the mission - critical system.
+ Global service: Fuji Xerox provides comprehensive services in document management activities, beginning with consultation, thus ensuring customers always receive genuine benefits including reduced operating costs and higher productivity. In April 2007, Fuji Xerox reorganized the Office Services Business Group into the Fuji Xerox Global Services based in Singapore with the aim of further reinforcing our system of providing customers with services centered on outsourcing of document-related operations in Japan as well as in other countries.(Business objective, 2007)
2. Business strategy
To succeed, a company needs to adopt the business strategy to protect itself in against the competitive forces, including the bargaining power of supply, the potential threat of new entrants, the threat of substitute products, bargaining power of buyers and industry competitors.
Fuji Xerox has focused on the most important markets, such as China, Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. The company invested heavily in research and development / manufacture, the sales and services systems to achieve either a cost advantage or differentiation to suit each market segment.
2.1. Research and development / manufacture
Currently, the Fuji Xerox has 6 research and development centers / companies in Japan, and 2 research and development companies in US, each department has separate functions to ensure the highly specialized:
+ Shortening product development lead time, streamline costs, timely products to the market needs swiftly.
+ Strengthening relationships with customers and services with higher added value.
+ Editing products for specific customers and markets, manual creating and product testing / evaluation.
+ Developing image material and equipment functions are used of devices in photocopiers, multifunction devices, printers, etc.
+ Software development support of Fuji Xerox service documents relating to customer's business.
+ Technology manufacturing center of copiers, multifunctional devices and other related products.
Fuji Xerox has 5 procurement and manufacturing companies in Japan, with separate functions:
+ Production of finished products: office products, office printing systems, related products and consumer goods.
+ Production ink, supplying ingredients to support an important image quality and reliability of Fuji Xerox products.
+ Production of major components for copiers and multifunction devices, including electronic components and optical.
+ Recycling productive resources.
- Fuji Xerox established branch companies in Shanghai, Shenzhen in China to develop and produce mid to low copiers / multifunction devices, laser printers, ink and consumables. These companies support the Fuji Xerox's business by providing high quality products, low production costs, not only in China to meet the needs of a global supply chain.
- In addition, Fuji Xerox also placed integrated recycling sites in Suzhou, China and Thailand. Where used products such as copiers, multifunction devices and printers as well as cartridges from China, 9 Asian-Pacific countries and regions were collected, separated, sorted and re- processing.
2.2. System sales and service
- Fuji Xerox has 34 companies which are sales agent in Japan, 33 of these companies were received ISO 14001 certification, in 2002. It also has 3 business affiliates in Japan, they advise on human resource development, provide educational assistance, and conduct workshops, make wholesale of office laser printers, office machines room, office furniture, stationeryâ€¦, commitment and service document management on the basis of outsourcing.
- Fuji Xerox has 14 sales companies in 14 locations in 12 Pacific - Asian countries and regions, all of them also received ISO 14001 certification in 2003 ().
- In addition, Fuji Xerox has three companies in America, we provide OEM (provision through original equipment manufacturing) sales and support of laser printers and consumables, participation in supply chain management of Fuji Xerox products in Europe and North America.
Figure 1: The market of Fuji Xerox in Pacific - Asian countries
Source: Fuji Xerox
2.3. Strength is created
â€¢ The internal strength to be able to reduce costs:
- Access to capital, raw materials and labor costs necessary to make a significant investment in productive assets.
- Ability to design products for efficient production.
- The level of expertise in the technical process of production.
- Effective distribution channels.
â€¢ The strength to make a differentation:
- Access the world's leading scientific research.
- Skilled and creative team of product development.
- Having a sales force with the ability to communicate successfully and realize the strength of the product.
- The company's reputation for quality and innovation
QUESTION 2: FUJI XEROZ'S CURRENT KM STRATEGIES
The essence of knowledge management is to improve organizational performance by approaching to the processes such as acquiring knowledge, converting knowledge into useful form, applying or using knowledge, protecting knowledge by intentional and systematic method, and knowledge management can be understood by innovation process of organization with individual to search for creative problem solving method. The dynamic nature of the new marketplace today has created a competitive incentive among many companies to consolidate and reconcile their knowledge assets as a means of creating value that is sustainable over time. To achieve competitive sustainability, many companies are launching extensive knowledge management efforts.
1 .The company's current knowledge management situation
The aim of Fuji Xerox's Eco-manufacturing plant is the create a supply chain that is cyclical. Traditionally a supply chain has been a linear process of a value creation that leads to an end product being produced for the consumer. Supply chain management has been focused on improving efficiency within the chain by optimizing a range of processes from sourcing and logistics to marketing and distribution. This plays a vital part in the process, however Fuji Xerox are looking beyond traditional barriers to implement a supply chain solution that enhances knowledge learning, improves efficiency, ensures corporate sustainability and provides further cost benefits. Through the concept of remanufacturing and the creation of a cyclical supply chain, Fuji Xerox has heralded the arrival of a new business model for corporate sustainability.
Remanufacturing is a complimentary strategy to traditional supply chain solutions. It is another process by which a company can improve its operating efficiency. The key area is to provide a facility that can join the link between the end of the product life cycle and the manufacturing process. This has been achieved by Fuji Xerox in its innovative creation of an Eco-manufacturing plant. The Eco-manufacturing plant is divided into six areas of operation; fuser rollers, laser optical systems, electronics, magnetic rollers, mechanics, chemistry, signature analysis and print cartridge remanufacture (Fuji Xerox, 2005). They have identified these key areas as components that contribute in the greatest part to waste management issues and are the core attributes of their products. Once you have identified the key processes then a company can begin to look at how to remanufacture these consumables. It is here where a company can begin to create a strategy for a cyclical supply chain. A cyclical supply chain provides two main solutions to corporate sustainability; firstly, it improves supply chain efficiency which provides cost effectiveness; secondly, it facilitates environmental responsibility which aligns company strategy with long term sustainability.
2 KM implementation - Cyclical Supply Chain
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The implementation of such a supply chain solution requires the integration of information systems. This enables a company to track and monitor products within the supply chain to enable the recovery of components. Fuji Xerox has also initiated a free reclaimant scheme to ensure product recovery and to educate customers on the process.
Fuji Xerox has also implemented a technology system called System 21 (Dexter & Benn, 2004). It has raised successful recovery of products to 98 percent and increased the efficiency of stock replenishment for distributors and consumers. The integration of information systems is not only critical to recovery, as it also plays a key role in facilitating knowledge learning in the supply chain.
The recovery of products enables a company to assess the quality of its product and to enhance innovation through problem solving practices. A traditional supply chain is unable to derive the benefits of analysis as products end up in land fill. Through product recovery, analysis is undertaken to determine product flaws and to subsequently improve reliability and performance. Remanufactured products are often a higher quality product than when first engineered. The analysis is then inputted into the management information system and made available to all areas of remanufacturing. Collaboration can then occur between departments as redesign solutions can often require an integrated diagnosis. This holistic approach to knowledge management promotes innovation and enables a company to derive fiscal benefits from such solutions.
A cyclical supply chain also aligns corporate strategy with sustainability by focusing company initiatives on innovation and not compliance. The strategy of producing competitive advantage through sustainability is an emerging concept in corporate governance and can be illustrated not only by Fuji Xerox. The integration of sustainable practices can also be shown by BP America. Through implementation of sustainability initiatives, BP has increased their competitive advantage in both operating procedures and market reputation and branding (Percy, 2000). The benefits of such innovative strategies are becoming more apparent in corporate governance as future strategy encompasses this concept.
The benefits of incorporating this strategy into corporate governance of the supply chain can be seen at a broader level as well. By regionalizing remanufacturing facilities, Fuji Xerox enjoys reduced importing costs through domestic access to the market. They also benefit from value-added exports as products are often reintroduced into Fuji Xerox's major market, Japan. And finally they benefit from increased environmental responsibility, reducing costs of waste disposal and the advantages of brand reputation. This places Fuji Xerox in a market leading position with constant re-evaluation of innovation and competitive advantage. This dynamic corporate direction heralds a new era of supply chain management that combines core competencies to produce competitive advantage.
Fuji Xerox has created a transferable business model that can be highly applicable to multi-national corporations globally. Fuji Xerox currently has remanufacturing facilities in Australia, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Holland and Japan (Benn, 2004). Through the reation of partnerships and joint ventures, Fuji Xerox is demonstrating to global companies that corporate social responsibility is not a role of government and nongovernmental organizations. As environmental regulations continue to be legislated in the coming years, governments will transfer the responsible from society back onto the producer. This will force companies to assess the way that they focus their strategic sustainability.
Fuji Xerox is demonstrating that corporate social responsibility can be easily integrated into operations and can be used to derive competitive advantage for a company. It can provide profit and branding whilst also ensuring environmentally responsible manufacturing operating procedures. This model can be easily licensed to other companies, as not only is it a restructuring of company operations; it also licenses intellectual property and knowledge learning. This information on how to organize, obtain and analyze is a valuable resource to Fuji Xerox and a valuable resource for many companies in the future.
The management of knowledge is viewed as a strategic objective as companies seek to improve their knowledge related competencies, capabilities and competencies to gain a competitive advantage (Lunden 2002). Fuji Xerox seeks to transfer the knowledge it has developed to its manufacturing locations across the world by using both the explicit and tacit knowledge it has acquired (Polanyi 1962). Explicit knowledge is information that is easy to codify and can be easily dissipated across an organization while tacit knowledge is difficult to codify and the ability for an organization to develop an understanding of these can prove to be markedly different from procedures and systems that exist in a typical manufacturing facilities (Polanyi 1962, Grant 1997). The ability to refine and understand these processes intensely has given Fuji Xerox the ability to increase its waste recovery systems to an optimum level. These processes have been refined and reworked by the staff at the Eco manufacturing unit through a combination of trial and error and by extensively studying the damaged and worn out parts before they are remanufactured and shipped back to its facilities. The information is used to improve the usability and life of future parts.
QUESTION 3: BUSINESS AND KM CHALLENGE
1. Business challenge of Fuji Xerox
1.1 The competitor challenge
Nowadays, facing the fast pace of technology development, the threat from new rising competitor is increasing. There are various strong competitors such as Canon, Samsung and Brother are the popular brand in the world and in Singapore. The technology develop fast is also become the challenge because it require the company always update the new technology in manufacture.
1.2Market Evolution and Global Management
The company should to know what kind of value Fuji Xerox can provide in the global arena, and how it can build wisdom that is shared across national boundaries. Fuji Xerox is Japanese company but today it has many branches in the world including Singapore so the managements need the global knowledge. The company also provide global service, thus, the market expansion and global management become a challenge for company.
1.3 The New Governance Challenge for Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Market demand is changing rapidly, and customers are requiring disclosure of CSR efforts. Fuji Xerox needs to develop a new CSR governance scheme to respond in a timely manner. Today, the company must have social and environmental responsibility with. The Fuji Xerox is the manufacturing company so amount of CO2 and green house gas (GHG) is very huge. Nowadays, the world must undergo a major social transformation to build low carbon society in 10 or 20 years 'time in order to achieve the global long term target of at least halving GHG emission by 2050. Furthermore, protecting environment and social are Singapore and Japan priorities so all of policies about reduction of CO2 emission become a new challenge for Fuji Xerox.
2. The KM challenges
Knowledge as an important weapon for improving organizational performance and sustaining competitive advantage so the company must have strong KM strategy because if it have poor knowledge management, it lead to high cost, lose knowledge asset and impact to business. Now Fuji is also face some challenges in KM.
2.1 Culture and language barrier
The language seems to be a basic issue faced by the companies which operate overseas. Fuji Xerox has many employees all over the world and has companies in 14 difference countries. Although Fuji Xerox has been building a culture of sharing knowledge, different cultures and languages between employees may be barriers for KM strategy but the culture and language barrier may be a KM challenges. This gives rise to misunderstandings, which can occur if people don't speak a common language to the same level. This is often seen when the organization is having its regular meetings as people find it difficult to communicate and meetings conducted are often unproductive as topic discussed are half understood.
2.2 Manage knowledge asset
The company provides the Global Services but it has some issues. Firstly, the culture among countries is different so the company must have strategy to services suitable with their culture and demand. When communicate with customer, the company need the staff with skill and experience. The local employees play a key in KM strategy because they can share knowledge about the culture of customer and how to improve communicates with client. Secondly, nowadays, facing with "war talent", manage knowledge asset are more and more important.
Figure 3: the model of Fuji Xerox Global Services
Source: Fuji Xerox
QUESTION 4: RECOMMENDATION
Knowledge is one of the most important resources so if organizations apply knowledge management efficiency, they will create more competitive advantages to reach the high goals in the business (Penrose. E, 1980). On the other hand, information and knowledge are indispensable in every operation if companies want to exits and develope. In Fuji Xerox's situation, to face with future challenges such as globalization, they must increase information and knowledge management system. It will help Fuji Xerox to have more opportunities and prevent harmful influences of threats. In order to improve information and knowledge SPF should improve creating and sharing ability, networkking and human resource.
Recommendation for Human resource:
Knowledge in organization is based on human resource. People are the key factor that can bring out new ideas and innovation for organization (Kermally. S 2002). Improving knowledge and information means improve their human resource. The company want to globalization the company should create the strong human resource because the human resource help the company understand the culture and the market. The company should care recruiting people and look for employees who have skill and ability. The company must also take care of policies to control the turnover and help employees in their job. Human resource also help the company develop in the potential environment. In 2001, Fuji Xerox has policies support programs for employees at plants in China to help them actualize their full potential. It is impossible to transform all officers' tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge (Kermally. S 2002) but the company provide training opportunities and diversity environment, their staffs may reach the higher standard. At Fuji Xerox affiliates, many employees are exercising their initiatives in implementing CSR activities that address challenges specific to the respective regions. There are some proposals for Fuji Xerox case:
Team work and sharing information ability
Building a Fulfilling Work Environment for Every Employee
Fig. 1. Linking business, knowledge, and HRM strategy (Donald Hislop, 2005)
Recommend for CSR
In 2009, Fuji Xerox felt growing demands for CSR in many countries and regions where the company operates so the company. The company has given the commitment for reinforcing business management around CSR and contributing to the development of customers and society. Fuji Xerox should conducted some operation
Innovative Service Business Help Reduce Environmental Burden: the company is taking the initiative for reducing the environmental burden of their own business operations. There are various products of Fuji Xerox help to save energy and reduce CO2. One of goals for 2020 will be to reduce CO2 emissions by seven million tons in our customers' workplaces by changing the way of working in offices(Top commitment, 2010)
Market Evolution and Global Management
Learning from social issues: The Company can explore the possibility of applying Fuji Xerox's proprietary technologies and services to help and contribute for social.
Reduce CO2 emission during the company's overall lifecycle stage
Develop and proliferate products that minimize environment impact
Build a mechanism for low carbon manufacturing, including the entire supply chain.
Recommendation for improving creating and sharing ability
First of all, Fuji Xerox should improve capturing information system by gaining information for various sources such as media, experts, government data. Secondly, Fuji Xerox is manufactory with software so they can apply the technology to create environment to sharing idea for employees such as creating forum, face book or club. The company also have meeting in employees.