What does an amoeba have in common with ceramic knives and laser printers? The answer can be found in the tale of Kyocera Document Solutions, the Japanese company that’s now celebrating 25 years in the UK. Read on to find out how single-celled organisms and the world’s second hardest substance combine in a recession-proof success story.
Ceramic – not just for pots
Kyocera was founded in 1959 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori and seven friends, who recognised the potential of ceramic, a substance second only in hardness to diamond. This highly versatile material can be used in numerous applications where metal simply isn’t strong enough. Today, Kyocera is one of the world’s leading ceramic manufacturers and produces goods as diverse as telecommunications components, medical implants and ceramic blades.
Single-celled organisms and social responsibility
Inamori’s innovative use of technology and unique “amoeba management” style enabled Kyocera to become a world-beater. By dividing the company into small, semi-autonomous units, called amoeba, each employee actively contributes knowledge, skills and effort to achieve shared goals. As a result, every employee participates in the management of the company, fostering a culture of individual responsibility and cooperation.
Kyocera’s philosophy of social responsibility and original thinking, coupled with world leading ceramic technology, combine to create its unique ECOSYS printers. In a conventional laser printer, most of the imaging system is replaced when the toner runs out. ECOSYS printers, however, use drums with hard-wearing ceramic components that can last for up to 500,000 pages. This results in up to 85% less waste than traditional laser printers and much lower running costs.
How to be recession-proof, part one
The twin benefits of sustainability and low running costs have helped Kyocera to go from strength to strength since it arrived in the UK in 1988. The country has entered recession several times since then and, as a result of the latest one, the colour printer market declined by 22% from 2011 to 2012. Despite this, Kyocera managed to increase its market share to 5% and move up to 5th place in the list of top printer manufacturers.
In a stagnant A3 MFP (multifunction printer) market, Kyocera managed to increase sales by an incredible 18%, with its market share growing to 7%. It also saw A4 MFP sales grow by 7%, with increased sales of both mono and colour devices. So, how has a company whose motto is “Respect the Divine and Love People” managed to beat the recession and increase its revenue by a massive 77% in just three years?
How to be recession-proof, part two
We’ve already touched on the low running costs and environmental credentials of the ECOSYS printers; it goes without saying that managing costs is important during a recession and sustainability is now an integral part of many companies’ business plans. ECOSYS printers are also incredibly reliable, which reduces down time and keeps productivity high.
Recently, the Printware Blog has focused a great deal on the benefits of a managed print service, particularly during a recession. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that this is another area in which Kyocera is growing. With the widest office print portfolio in the industry and a rock solid service network, Kyocera is well placed to help you take control of your print infrastructure and save time, money and resources.
Look to the future now, it’s only just begun
As part of its 25 year celebrations, Kyocera is opening new offices in Reading and a state-of-the-art technology suite in Manchester. These new projects underline Kyocera’s commitment to its UK customers and its huge success in the UK market. To ensure that this incredible success story continues, Kyocera is aiming to double the sales of its A4 multifunction printers.
A tall order even in a healthy economy but, given what Kyocera has achieved so far, who’d bet against it? With a combination of targeted marketing and the development of innovative new products, it’s almost bound to happen. Printware is proud be a part of the Kyocera success story and wishes it all the best for the next 25 years.
If you want to find out more about Kyocera printers, including the ECOSYS and Print Ecology ranges, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 02392 623300.
by Anthony Morgan