December 5 2013 1 . (i) Why have Japanese firms, once dominant in the electronics industry, fallen behind competitors such as Samsung, Apple, and Amazon? (it) What is ‘monozukuri? How has this influenced Japanese firms? (iii) Which environmental forces (micro and macro) have strongly influenced Japanese firms such as Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, and Toshiba, in the last few years? Be specific. i. They were too confident about their technology and manufacturing capabilities and lost sight of the products from the consumer’s point of view.
In other words, they eep creating breakthrough technology, but failed to make improvements faster such as easy-to-use software, online services, and smarter marketing messages. Their technology is outdated compared to the other competitors. They have failed to improve their technology and give the customer what they want. it. It is “the art of making things. ” This has Japanese firms focusing on creating thinner, smaller, or best improved product in the physical sense, but overlooking what really mattered to people like ease of use and design.
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This has held back the Japanese firms because they are not listening to what consumers want. Ultimately you have to listen to what consumers want because they are the one’s purchasing the product. For example, the e-reader, Sony was focused on selling devices, while Amazon was focused on selling books. As a result, the Kindle was more in tune with the customers. Even though they were the first device that pointed the way to the future, they let the market slip away from Sony. iii.
The strong yen has narrowed the profit margins for products sold overseas and, in urn, reduces their ability to invest in future production of new products and technologies. The strong yen that is near record levels has narrowed the profit margin of Japanese goods sold abroad. This problem has made it difficult from them to export their product due to high costs. This was also caused problems with innovation and to reduce the cost to appeal to the mass market. An example was Japanese companies that fall behind in the race to develop the newest technology such as organic light emitting diodes.
The new displays are thinner and require less energy. As technology innovation adapts, Japan might fall out of the technology race all together if they do not find a way to compete globally and invent a new product that will appeal to the masses. 2. Due to various environmental forces, several Japanese firms in the electronics industry have struggled recently and fallen victim to their competitors. What can these firms do to overcome these struggles and achieve success in the marketplace? suggestions beyond those in the assigned readings. Be specific.
One of the articles stated it correctly, saying this is a cutthroat type of industry. If a company does not consistently stay on top of things at all times they will fall behind very quickly and easily, Just like what is happening with the Japanese firms. The main point that we took in from the articles is that these Japanese firms are losing sight of the big picture. We would hope that they are aware of every move made by the other firms but it Just seems like they are Just not keeping up. Also, it seems that they are not trying to produce something that is relative for the entire world.
So, a big factor to in chieving success is to stay on top of everything at all times and do not fall behind. One article stated that playing catch up could be easier than staying on top. There is a chance this works but only if these firms are working on a product that will completely renovating. The Struggling firms are trying to reinvent themselves and strive to remain “consumer electronics manufacturers” with little less “Consumer”. Firms such as Panasonic and Sharp are trying to produce “Green Energy’ products such as solar panels.
The firms want to get away from making home appliances such s TVs and focus towards becoming a B to B Business. Sony is trying to get into Medical devices and have acquired a medical tech company and is also in talks with Olympus. Sony’s CEO sees this new focus as the “Future Pillar” of Sony and expects sales of medical equipment to reach $660 Million in early 2015. In order for these firms to achieve success, they have to be ahead of the game, they cannot always be playing catch up by matching other company’s products, and they have to be more innovative.
The challenges will be finding that innovation and making it affordable nd make it a high demand among consumers. These electronic firms have always been content with the product they put on the market and have been profitable but now other competitors have improved their product and have stole the market from underneath them. They must change their strategy or they will be left behind. They need to listen to consumers and reinvent what is currently trending in the current market. They need to learn how learn how to “lean manufacture” and reduce costs where it is possible to allow profit-margins to increase.