Olympus Optical Company, Ltd
1. Evaluate Olympus’ current strategy.
Olympus’ current strategy is three-fold:
• Recapture market share by introducing new products. This is implemented mainly through Olympus’ extensive product planning process whereby enormous information regarding future mix of business, current and new technological development, business environment analysis, export, domestic market and industry statistics, consumer preferences, future lifestyle change, and competitive analysis is gathered, reviewed and incorporated.
• Improve product quality. Olympus’ quality improvement program focuses on both the introduction of new products and the manufacturing process in general. This strategy is intertwined with the other…show more content… Why did Olympus shift the responsibility for product planning from R&D to marketing?
Prior to 1987, product planning function was part of Research and Development in Olympus. The company later shifted the responsibility of product planning to sales and marketing, based on the following rationales:
• The purpose of the product plan review was to balance the demands of a consumer oriented market with the realities of research and development and production. In this sense, knowing the market situation and market demand is the foundation of the entire product planning process.
• Generally speaking, R&D staff is more inward-looking and product-oriented, whereas marketing people are more customer-oriented and tend to take an external perspective in doing things. Since market and customer information is so important in Olympus’ product planning process, it’s better for marketing people to take on this task.
• As part of Olympus’ product planning process, tremendous information has to be collected, reviewed and analyzed. Majority of the information, such as changes in the business environment, distribution channels, export, domestic market and industry statistics, consumer preferences, lifestyle trends, consumers and dealers’ reactions, feedback on industry trends, and competitive information, come from external sources. Marketing people are usually more capable and competent in gathering and interpreting this…show more content… In the system, design analysis and other additional analysis are used to reduce product cost by analyzing the trade-offs between product functionality and total product cost. Review and revision are carried out throughout the process. Moreover, the continuous improvement and operational control are also used to further reduce costs. However, the functionality reduction during the process will adversely affect the differentiation strategy as what we mentioned