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  • Being the leader means pushing the envelope

    , Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies

    No 10

    Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with a few of our dealers and direct customers at the six-hour Tudor sports car championship race at the historic Watkins Glen Track in upstate New York.

    The No. 10 Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype led a race-high 55 of 160 laps in the Six Hours of the Glen. The driving of Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli was brilliant, despite a variety of challenging weather.

    The racing team itself is quite similar to our business in that culture, teamwork and strategy are the key elements of their success. Meticulous planning, practice and preparation are required for every race. Engineers, drivers and mechanics all work to create the best strategy based on their knowledge of the track, classes of cars running and competitive drivers. Very similar to how we look at markets, customers and competitors as we build our business plans.

    As preparation and planning are critical to success in any venture, so is the understanding that there is a need to adapt to changing conditions. The car was not quite the fastest at the Glen, so we had to leverage our drivers’ skills, our extremely fast pit crew and fuel management. As the rain returned, Jordan Taylor stayed on the track on slick tires when all other teams pitted to change to rain tires. His ability to turn good lap times allowed us to build a substantial lead. Ricky Taylor then took over when we pitted to change to rain tires, maintaining a 25-second lead. Just as we expand our business domain into areas like IT services and ECM to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.

    Track conditions continued to deteriorate and a full course yellow was called. This means that a pace car is in front of the leaders to control the speed. No one is allowed to pass under a yellow, but they can move up to the car in front, so we lost our advantage. This was followed by a full course red, sending everyone to the pits.

    After a restart, Ricky was brilliant in keeping the lead and was extending it. But then, on Turn 10, the car broke loose and hit the tire wall, effectively ending our day.

    You may ask how this relates to our business. Why didn’t the team just sit on the lead? To me, it’s simple. The team would not be in the lead if they were complacent. They had to continue to work and be aggressive to stay ahead.

    The same is true for us. We have been very successful over the past several years. But we cannot be complacent. We are transforming our business plus our industry is transforming. Both competitor actions and external market conditions present risk to us every day. We must continue to evolve and come up with new ways to improve and grow our business. We can never take our success for granted.

    In the case of the Watkins Glen race, we didn’t get the result we wanted. But we would not have been in a position to succeed if we were complacent. More often than not, our speed and ability to adapt to change will bring a successful result.

    We win as a team. If we do not, we learn and grow as a team. Our curiosity, passion and willingness to embrace new ideas are the key to our future success. We may not win all of the time, but our passion and motivation ensure that we will most of the time.

    Leadership, Strategy, Thought Leaders

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    Sports marketing builds relationships

    , Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies

    History was made over the weekend at the 2015 Masters as Jordan Spieth became the second-youngest player to wear the green jacket, behind only Tiger Woods’ effort in 1997. The 21-year-old set several records during his command of the PGA tournament. He became only the fifth person to lead the Masters from start to finish. His 28th birdie on the 15th hole made him the first player to reach 19-under-par at Augusta. His halfway total of 14-under-par broke a 39-year-old record and his 16-under for 54 holes was also a course record. This kid’s extraordinary accomplishments caught the eye of the country and the world.

    Leadership, Marketing, Thought Leaders

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    Inventing greener ways to help the planet

    , Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies

    solar 72

    As Daylight Savings Time comes to an end this weekend, you’re probably lamenting the shorter days and the requisite clock-changing ritual. And you’re probably wondering why we still have to deal with it.

    Daylight Savings Time first appeared in the US in the mid 1900s and was standardized in the 1960s as a way to help reduce energy usage during the early evening hours, when everyone was home and the most energy was consumed.

    A lot has changed since the 1960s. Today, with growing concerns about climate change, extreme weather and depleted natural resources, the world is always looking for new ways to reduce the impact we have on the planet.


    Corporate Citizenship, Leadership, Thought Leaders

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    We Have Seen the Future and It Is Interns

    , Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies

    internsThis summer, 52 bright and energetic young adults got a taste of corporate America interning at Konica Minolta offices around the country.

    Their roles were varied: sales, marketing, customer service, systems engineering and IT. All came ready to work, rolling up their sleeves and jumping right in to their respective departments. We believe the internship program was a huge success, not just for the students who got to experience various aspects of our company and corporate life, but also for us. (more…)

    Leadership, Marketing, Strategy, Thought Leaders

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    Why 3D printing?

    , Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies

    Recently, my son was mowing the lawn when a tie rod broke, completely disabling our lawn tractor. With our recent strategic alliance with 3D Systems, I immediately thought that if I only had a 3D printer, I could just print out a new part, install it and get the tractor up and running in no time.

    We are indeed excited to announce our official entrance into the market as the first of its kind – our partnership with 3D Systems makes Konica Minolta the first original equipment manufacturer in the United States to offer 3D printing solutions through the traditional printer and office equipment sales channels. As a result of this new alliance, we plan to offer customers a full suite of 3D printing services and solutions. (more…)

    Leadership, Technology, Thought Leaders

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    Focusing on Print: Beyond Technology

    , Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies

    Our industry is rapidly evolving to a solutions and services business model that focuses on technology and business process optimization along with hardware. The graphics communication segment of our business is no exception and is one that will receive particular attention from Konica Minolta in 2014.

    As we witnessed during Print 2013, graphics communication customers are demanding increasingly sophisticated, comprehensive solutions to enhance performance and productivity, as well as to improve the competitiveness of their business.  Whether in commercial print or in-plant print shops, there is a major drive to increase internal process efficiency and expand offerings into new market segments.  The effect of this trend is that increasingly we are playing a consulting role with our customers to help identify opportunities to enhance their business process and generate new offerings for their end users. (more…)

    Customer Experience, Leadership, Solutions, Strategy, Technology, Thought Leaders

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    Looking Forward in the New Year

    , Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies

    When we look forward to the next 12 months, the biggest challenge for technology providers in the imaging industry will be to adapt to a changing market landscape. In the past few years, the office technology business has continued to evolve to encompass all solutions and services that focus on documents. This includes print and production print as well as content management, workflow, mobile, social and the cloud.   Over the next few years, customers will continue to seek out providers that can deliver the solutions and services required to meet all of their document needs, and we would like to be on the cutting edge of that need.

    We see a lot of growth opportunities for Konica Minolta in 2014 as a result of our strategy to transform from a hardware-only provider to a company that provides solutions, services and hardware as part of its total package.  By expanding our EnvisionIT platform into new vertical markets, growing our software portfolio and investing in IT services, we are now able to offer multiple vertical customers a complete solution for managing their document needs, whether it is in printing, workflow or cloud-based document storage. (more…)

    Cloud, Content Management, Leadership, Solutions, Technology, Thought Leaders

    Continued Efforts & Innovation in CSR Initiatives

    , Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies

    aerial_shotOctober was an exciting month at our Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. headquarters in Ramsey, NJ. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we hosted the formal ribbon cutting of “Project Sunway.”  A 967,000 kWh solar energy system installed in the parking lots of Konica Minolta’s offices, Project Sunway will produce 15-18 percent of the energy needs for the buildings. Based on standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this project will offset the CO2 emissions from 132 passenger vehicles, or the electricity used by 84 homes per year. (more…)

    Corporate Citizenship, Leadership, Sustainability, Technology, Thought Leaders

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    Meet Our Experts

    , Senior Vice President, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies

    In a recent company press release our Chairman and CEO Tom Taiko stated that Konica Minolta’s continued success is a direct result of attracting and developing industry experts who have the passion and commitment to deliver complete solutions that meet a customer’s evolving information management needs.

    Across all departments of the company, we have a tremendous group of employees who are considered experts in their field by our customers, dealers, technology partners and outside industry professionals. These experts thirst for knowledge and are always willing to help customers or share their thoughts on the industry. (more…)

    Leadership, Strategy, Technology, Thought Leaders

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