The enlightening experience offered a preview of initiatives that will positively position the company and its dealers for the future.
(Pictured above: Toyo Kuwamura, EVP & general manager of Canon Business Imaging Solutions Group, addresses the audience at the Canon One event in Hollywood, FL.)
Since taking the helm of Canon Business Imaging Solutions Group (BISG) five years ago, Toyo Kuwamura, EVP & general manager, has been determined to convey there is only One Canon for the company’s customers, dealers, and partners while emphasizing each channel of distribution receives the same benefits provided by a Canon ownership or relationship. The recent One Canon Event, the company’s fifth, held at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, February 12-14, provided an update of Kuwamura’s mission.
While employees of Canon Solutions America have readily accepted Kuwamura’s commitment and embraced his leadership and willingness to listen, changing Canon’s image with the company’s channel partners whose favorite adjective to describe Canon prior to Kuwamura’s appointment was “arrogant” has been a difficult task. Three years ago, after we communicated this feedback to Kuwamura, he embarked on mission to change dealers’ perception of Canon, personally visiting dealers to deliver the One Canon message. While some dealers have told us their opinions have changed, still not everyone is convinced.
In addition to meeting with dealers, Kuwamura and Canon have projected a very different image to the fourth estate than they have in the past. His awareness of the importance of press and analysts has helped serve Canon well.
Thanks to Kuwamura, in the past two years, Canon has provided their dealers with an incentive to participate in our Annual Dealer Survey so it can help him better understand how the Canon dealer channel feels about the company. The incentive has been successful and Canon dealers’ participation in the survey more than doubled in two years, jumping from 25 in 2015 to 57 in 2017. Based on that increased input, we were able to provide Kuwamura and his key staff detailed results. How Canon fares in our 33rd Annual Dealer Survey launched later this year will provide further insight and demonstrate if dealers are truly buying into his vision.
On a personal note, last year Kuwamura suffered a serious health setback that he is still recovering from. Having gone through a similar experience in 2010, I counseled him to take it easy because it is going to take at least a year to get back to where he was. He is a good man tasked with what many consider an impossible job (including us) and we wish him success. If he is successful it will be good for Canon dealers and that is why we hope One Canon becomes more than a slogan but a reality.
We learned a great deal at One Canon and hope whatever success Canon is enjoying is shared by their dealers. As we visit with Canon dealers on our continuing dealer tour in the coming months, you can guess what our first question will be.
Look for extensive coverage of the Canon One event in our March 2018 issue, including an overview of an in-depth analysis on cyber security, insights from a presentation by a Canon dealer and one of his customers, and Canon Vice President, Enterprise Managed Services Division Valerie Belli’s riveting report on how Canon has harnessed a great deal of resources, energy, and talent on a Managed Services effort that is yielding significant benefits for Canon and its direct customers. We also had a one-on-one interview with Mason Olds, senior vice president & GM, sales, who updated us on how Canon dealers are doing on a year-over-year basis. According to Mason, all indications are it will be a successful year for the channel. How good, we cannot say and we look forward to a dealer meeting (in the new fiscal) to tell us the whole story.
Access Related Content