Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pentax' Performance Evaluation Against Forbes' Seven Secrets of (Successful) Companies

First, I have read how Nikonian guru Thom Hogan evaluates Nikon against the seven aspects and criteria as highlighted by the Forbes (via the 1001 Noisy camera). And I think such an evaluation of Pentax would also be very interesting. So, here we go:-

1. Design: Moderate

As we all know, Pentax has been lagging behind in core technologies and system performance, as well as the selection of bodies and lenses. But it gives Pentax a few more marks with the aesthetic design and selection options of the coloured K-xes as well as the recent new models of P&S DCs, which have more unique styles and opened up new fashion trends. So, I've still given a "Moderate" rating here.

2. Speed: Poor

The product launch of Pentax has never been updated and new products are announced and coming out so slow and too late.

3. Cost: Good

Pentax' factories are now at the Philippines and Vietnam ONLY, for the manufacturing of digital bodies and lenses respectively. So they could really keep all the manufacturing costs really low enough to very low. But then do note that this has nothing to do with whether they would sell lenses at lower prices (but actually just much higher now) and if the manufacturing standards and quality of the products could be kept (the reverse is true, IMHO)!

4. Service: Moderate

I do have experienced improvements of service (but still not good enough) since Pentax raised crazily the prices of their lenses and since they have migrated all their lens production completely to the Vietnam factory! (More profit margin then better services? >:-o)

5. Communication Outside: Poor

Needless to say, Pentax virtually has no marketing at all and their communication to the stakeholders for their success is rather poor. Actually, it seems that they just don't know who are the stakeholders at the end of the days. So it is just helpless.

6. Communication Inside: Good (I guess)

After being cut a lot of fat and laying off of many staff / closing down of Japanese home production facilities, I guess the communication within such a smaller size division (within a big company) should now be more effective and good enough than before!

7. Purpose: Poor

The purpose of Hoya in doing the Pentax camera business is actually unclear. Someone says that they want to make the financial facts good so that they can sell it out to someone else (in fact, there are some previous news reports about that). People said before that Hoya only interested in Pentax' medical business but not the same in the camera business. And the fact is that Hoya has been much cost conscious in running the Pentax business since they acquired them. In fact, I have never seen clear commitment from Hoya in Pentax. A good example is that there has been no update in the Pentax lens development roadmap for years now. The dead air has actually been here for so long and new product launch and announcement is nearly non-existent (and not even just slow, if I have to say).

So, my analyses end here. It is just not so optimistic after all. :-(

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