Responding positively to a changing environment
An AGFA case study

Page 1: Introduction

When a new technology comes along that is capable of improving dramatically the products of a whole industry, every firm in that industry has vital strategic decisions to make. It must ask itself: How far and how quickly should we amend or abandon our present products? How far and how quickly should we embrace the new technology? Are we big enough and capable enough to accomplish all the...
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Page 2: Investment in new technologies

For Agfa to remain a market leader, its managers must concern themselves with the future and ask themselves: Where is the industry heading? What are our competitors likely to do next? Where do we go from here? With imaging, the answers currently are: The industry is heading towards greater use of digital imaging. Our competitors will invest in research and development aimed at enhancing quality...
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Page 3: Investment appraisal

Every proposed project undergoes investment appraisal. This procedure establishes whether a particular project is worth taking forward. Managers will ask key questions about a proposal, including: How expensive are the initial outlay and the final total outlay likely to be? For how long are we likely to be spending money without any financial return? How long is it likely to be before we recover...
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Page 4: The photographic marketplace

Digital technologies are changing the way in which people take, process and use images. New processes allow customers to work with images quickly and efficiently, without requiring extensive expertise and knowledge. Take, for example, the newspaper world. With newspapers, speed is vital and editors want the best pictures to go with the latest stories. Digital technology is transforming newspaper...
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Page 5: Analogue images

Technological advance does have a downside, in that demand for new products affects sales of older ones. As a market, analogue photography has almost reached maturity. It is still significant in size with almost 70% of the market. However, with plenty of scope for further product developments and for repeat business. The growth of digital technology has not deterred Agfa and its competitors from...
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Page 6: Serving customer needs within each market

The imaging industry now has two main product markets: analogue and digital. Each product has strengths and weaknesses, the importance of which varies according to customer needs and requirements. There remains a need for both analogue and digital imaging, depending upon the requirements of client groups. For example, during construction, gas and oil pipelines need their joints X-rayed with...
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Page 7: Conclusion

The best investment programmes are supported by painstaking research: market research into what consumers require and product research to establish what the new technology can and cannot do for them. Agfa is at the heart of changes in imaging brought about by new technology. It is leading. It is also listening and learning. In a highly competitive industry, Agfa’s thorough approach is...
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Related: Travis Perkins
Case studies in Business Case Studies