Canon has an aggressive and diversified management strategy. A diversification strategy may be regarded as unconventional because of its timing. Canon provides us with a good example. Canon diversified into desk calculators, copiers, electronic type writers, and 8 mm VCR cameras. These attempts as diversification have one feature in common. Canon entered into these businesses just when the basic technology of the business began to change. For instants, when Canon entered into desk calculators, the basic technology of calculating machines started to change from mechanical or electric to electronic.
In 1962, Canon established the first separate non-camera R&D department. In succession, Canon start to research into copiers in 1959 and as early as 1962 it also formed a research group dedicated to developing a new plain paper copier (PPC) technology. Actually, PPC process was protected by hundreds of Xerox patents so Canon began making machines using the inferior coated paper copying (CPC) technology which was licensed from RCA. However, Canon sold these machines under a new brand name subsequently. In 1968, Canons continued endurance paid of in what they called the New Process (NP), a technical alternative to Xerox patented PPC technology. This system was a marked improvement as it got rid of the complex fusion technology, simplified developing and cleaning and made toner supply easier through liquid toners.
For the management strategy, there is an important point which is informal agreements. Actually, informal agreements can be stepping-stones to longer-term relationships between companies. Canon supplied the printer engine and Hewlett-Packard provided the software, control technology branding, marketing, and sales. The relationship between Canon and Hewlett-Packard was built on trust rather than on a long-term contract. With informal purchasing agreements, Canon can form and dissolve partnerships quickly in response to changing market conditions.
Canon also has a different management model that is a hybrid mode. On the technical side of things, such as finance, investment strategy, marketing and research and development, Canon is international in the management style. But in respect of personnel policy, Canon’s management style is quite local.
Moreover, Canon realized to the need to boost sales of its copy machines, computers and peripherals, cameras, and many other technology products in order to match the rapid technology change. This realization required Canon to establish a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy across the entire group to put high-quality, timely, comprehensive customer data at the fingertips of its salespeople and management. Canon Sales deployed Siebel Call Center to its sales, customer engineer, and call center departments, as well as to the sales departments of its business partners. The CRM solution consolidates and enables access to more than 15 years of customer data that had previously been stored in multiple back-office systems. The solution has enabled Canon Sales to better utilize customer data and completely repurpose its sales approach to drive greater revenue, enhance customer service and loyalty, and create lasting competitive advantage in the marketplace.
At Canon Information Technology Services Inc. in Chesapeake, executives said a key strategy in maintaining a positive spirit is to solicit employees' opinions, even if all are not acted upon. Canon conducts an annual satisfaction survey, which has inspired significant changes in policy. After some people asked to work at home, Canon increased opportunities for telecommuting and four-day work weeks. That gave them more flexibility and reduced their gas costs while saving Canon from having to find more office space. The company also operates a Web-based suggestion box. Managers meet every Friday at 2 p.m. to review the recommendations. They respond to every suggestion, even to explain why it will not be put in place. They are very tra