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DIGITAL digest 905

September 2005
Kodak Continues Integration, Debuts New Products

ROCHESTER, NY—With the PRINT 05 show falling in early September, Eastman Kodak had little time to enjoy the honeymoon period with its acquisitions. The exhibition would serve as the major coming-out party for its newly integrated operations that wed the former Creo Inc., Kodak Polychrome Graphics, NexPress Solutions, Kodak Versamark and Encad entities to form Kodak's Graphic Communications Group (GCG).

GCG officials provided an update on their integration efforts and announced several new products shown at PRINT 05 during a recent press and analyst summit.

"Kodak (today) is a combination of the 11 or 12 best companies that were in this business," stated Jeff Jacobson, president of Graphic Solutions & Services and COO of GCG, referring to Kodak's metamorphosis from a primarily film supplier to a digital solutions provider. "We weren't arrogant to think we could do this ourselves. We brought in best-of-breed partners to accomplish this."

With the new industry paradigms, Jacobson added that printers will increasingly become diversified service providers. "We want to develop all-encompassing relationships with our customers. We are the only company in the industry that can bring CIJ (continuous ink-jet), electrophotography, DI (direct imaging) technology and traditional offset."

In his presentation, Antonio Perez, president and CEO of Eastman Kodak, agreed that the company's digital transformation is on track. He revealed that June was the first month in Kodak's 135-year history that digital sales outpaced revenues from traditional, largely film-based products.

This effort to pursue a digital transformation started two years ago, added GCG President Jim Langley, who believes Kodak's current portfolio of offerings are well-positioned, given the industry trend toward shorter runs. His reasoning: Shorter runs, with more color, result in higher plate consumption. This trend also creates market demand for digital printing equipment and the need for more automated workflows. And it requires proofing solutions designed to quicken the approval part of the job.

One major launch at PRINT 05 is specialized MIS software originally developed by Creo. Kodak's Enterprise Management Solution (EMS) is designed to allow printers to seamlessly integrate their printing and business workflows. At its core is manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools tailored for the graphic arts.

Core modules address sales force automation, quoting and estimating, job management, purchasing, production planning and scheduling, as well as financial capabilities. Expanded components include integrated customer and supplier relationship management, quality assurance, lean manufacturing processes, customer and supplier Web portals, and business intelligence capabilities.
 

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