President and CEO Toshimitsu Taiko addresses the company’s most pressing issues.
Konica Minolta’s new president, Toshimitsu Taiko, held a media round-table conference on March 31, the day before he took office. He discussed Konica Minolta’s current situation and the issues and policies he plans to address in his new role.
Recovering Business Performance and Creating Value
Two of Taiko’s priorities are recovering business performance and creating value in the information equipment business, which was damaged by semiconductor procurement difficulties and toner supply problems. “Stabilizing the management of the entire group is a priority at the moment,” he said.
He added that Konica Minolta plans to monetize the solutions business that supports modernizing business workflows in the traditional office through digital transformation and the cloud. Taiko said that Konica Minolta wants to accelerate the growth of the industrial business and the health care business using the company’s imaging technology. In the information equipment business, Konica Minolta plans to reorganize various solutions products, implementations, and operations know-how according to a customer’s industry and business issues by providing them as packages. “This will allow us to deliver optimal solutions and services quickly to customers who have similar issues,” he said. “Our policy is to enhance our contribution to the efficient promotion of DX (digital transformation) through smooth implementation and operation.”
Toner Production Plans
Konica Minolta aims to raise toner production equal to or higher than before the two explosions at its Tatsuno factory last year. “We have caused inconvenience and concern to our customers, neighbors, and many others,” acknowledged Taiko. “I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart.”
He then outlined the current situation and measures created to prevent a similar recurrence. The Kofu factory, which produces toner, resumed production last October after shutting down for a risk assessment, and the Tatsuno factory resumed production last November. Konica Minolta is taking steps toward a stable toner supply and has implemented a production mechanism that includes traceability analysis and other risk predictions by digital transformation in the production process. It established a new organization in January of 2022 with cross-sectional members of development, production, and procurement at the factories in order to develop specialists who can achieve, maintain, and evolve safe and stable production.
Regarding efforts to raise the toner inventory, Taiko said, “By strengthening production facilities and taking thorough measures to prevent a recurrence, we plan to reach the production volume as before, and we don’t see the supply will be delayed. However, taking this accident as a lesson, we plan to build up our consumable inventory toward 2023 and bring it to a more secure situation for our customers.”
Workplace Hub Update
In response to a question regarding where Workplace Hub, a unique product developed by Konica Minolta, Taiko provided an update. He noted signficant needs in (1) Workplace Hub product conversion, and (2) information management related to human resources.
In the second half of 2020, Workplace Hub changed its operating system from the previous LINUX to Windows OS, making it easier for customers to use various applications. The integrated system that incorporates the server into the conventional MFP at the factory could not keep up with the latest functions when a new product with the MFP functions would come out, so the company changed it to a simple mechanism to incorporate the server into the MFP at the installation site.
Workplace Hub Smart, which allows users to use applications in the cloud, has various values, especially related to personnel relations and employee privacy. Its usage is increasing because the server must be kept and managed onsite. Taiko referenced a banking customer in Europe that acquired dozens of units for each of its branches.
Workplace Hub Smart also offers a variety of applications, and a monthly subscription that allows customers to pay only for what they use each month. Taiko presented this as another example of how Konica Minolta is focused on increasing customer utility value by changing the Workplace Hub’s KPI.
Photo: Toshimitsu Taiko, president and CEO, Konica Minolta
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