The Xerox Movement
Communication and Change
Joe D. Phearse
Instructor: Dr. Gayle Pohl
Central Michigan University, Schofield Barracks, Hi 96857
The Xerox Movement
Xerox from its inception has always been regarded as an organization that thrives on innovation and diversification. The introduction of the their xerographic office copier in 1959 is seen as one the main technological advancements in the 20th Century. Even as late as the 1990’s Xerox has been boldly reinventing itself from a predominantly black and white, light lens copier company to a digital, color and document solutions company. Even the release of their third quarter results for 2001 in October, showed despite a 5% drop in revenue, the organization still looks forward to improving its overall strategy by revealing a new turnaround program “Our actions are centered on improved cash flow and profitability – and at the same time strengthening our strategic core”- Mark Bernstein- Interim CEO “This plan provides Xerox with a strong financial foundation, to build on the unique strength inherent in our brand, market position, technology, people and leadership team” – Anne Mulcahy-Chairman ; Chief Operating Office.
Xerox Mission Statement – “Our strategic intent is to help people find better ways to do great work – by constantly leading in a document technologies, products and services that improve our customers’ work processes and business results. Xerox operates under the guidance of six core values:
1.We succeed though satisfied customers
2.We value and empower employees
3.We deliver quality and excellence in all we do.
4.We provide superior return to our shareholders
5.We use technology to deliver market leadership
6.We behave responsibly as a corporate citizen.
Xerox, with 78,900 employees worldwide and revenues in excess of $17 billion, is the global leader in the document management business, offering the widest array of innovative document solutions, services and systems -including color and black and white printers, digital presses, multifunction devices and digital copiers – designed for offices and production printing environments. It also offers supplies, software, and support.
Xerox and their need to become innovative, Xerox had enjoyed what could be almost described as a monopoly when they introduced their xerographic office copier in 1959. The Company pinpointed markets where it would capture the high profit margins and concentrated its sales on these markets. Xerox removed itself from the low-end business focusing its attention on the middle-volume markets and high-volume markets, with development of a product to meet these markets. The Company grew at a prodigious rate but with a problem of becoming “internally oriented”, in the sense that with no competitors of any notable size, it depended on its own standards and its own internal competition as a means to quantify performance and achievement. But Xerox reliance on its own monopoly was to be its own debasement. With the eventual removal of its monopoly in 1973, there was a surge from other corporations to challenge them for the markets. Xerox was always a corporation who relied on producing innovative products, but this diversification was often to no effect. In 1969, Xerox diversified after acquiring the Scientific Data Systems Company, which manufactured mainframe computers. This particular venture backfired as the minicomputer was introduced and the requirement for the larger mainframe computers lessened. A newly formed office products divisions introduced a word processor and a workstation, each of which failed to take off for different reasons. In the interim Japanese competitors established a solid position within the low-volume markets and turned its attention to the more profitable medium & high volume markets. By the start of the 80’s, Xerox was losing significant market share to its Japanese competitors. Not only were the Japanese products excellent, they were sold cheaper than Xerox could manufacture them. Xerox market share dropped from nearly 100% in the 60s to below 50% in 1980. It was this threat that changed the way Xerox was to focus in the future. For a long time, Western Companies rationalized Japans success to low labor costs, the Japanese work ethic, lifetime employment and other factors. Japan had simply developed vastly superior products, practices and processes. Xerox had to look outside its particular functions to identify the best competitors and how they did certain things, be it cost, quality or product reliability. The work for the 1980’s