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Agfa Responding positively to a changing environment

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Introduction

Agfa Responding positively to a changing environment Introduction When a new technology comes along that is capable of improving dramatically the products of a whole industry, every firm in that industry has vital strategic decisions to make. It must ask itself: � How far and how quickly should we amend or abandon our present products? � How far and how quickly should we embrace the new technology? � Are we big enough and capable enough to accomplish all the essential changes on our own? � How can we come out of this time of change stronger than we went in? Once taken, these key decisions have to be implemented. Technological change > Strategic decisions > Strategic implementation All this makes for exciting times within the industry, for producers and also for consumers, who also have some adjusting to do. Imaging is one of the world's growth markets and new technology is making its mark; imaging has 'gone digital'. It is not a complete transformation. Analogue imaging has not been abandoned and still has millions of satisfied consumers. However, the industry will move on. ...read more.

Middle

Digital technology is transforming newspaper production. For example, sports photographers no longer have to dash back to the office to develop prints, wondering anxiously what they have captured. They know immediately the quality of the image they have and they can despatch it immediately too. As a result, the publisher soon has on sale a comprehensive local Saturday night 'sports special' carrying action photos of spectacular moments that occurred hundreds of miles away just a short time earlier. The new technology is also transforming photography for the general public. For example, crystal clear photos of a baby can now be available to proud, anxious grandparents thousands of miles away within a few minutes of an infant's birth. Analogue images Technological advance does have a downside, in that demand for new products affects sales of older ones. As a market, analogue photography has almost reached maturity. It is still significant in size with almost 70% of the market. However, with plenty of scope for further product developments and for repeat business. The growth of digital technology has not deterred Agfa and its competitors from bringing out new, improved products for use with 'old' technology. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is leading. It is also listening and learning. In a highly competitive industry, Agfa's thorough approach is enabling it to retain important competitive advantages over its closest and fiercest rivals. Questions 1 Describe what has happened in recent years to the market for imaging. 2 Provide two examples of images that you come across daily. Briefly describe the sort of technologies that you think are associated with each image. 3 Describe the difference between analogue and digital technologies. 4 Discuss the circumstances and reasons why analogue might be better suited than digital for client needs in certain situations. 5 How might Agfa appraise the value of its investment in digital technology? Glossary Competitive advantages: Qualities that give a business distinguishing characteristics that set it advantageously apart from its main competitors. Euros: European common currency unit, introduced as part of the process of European Monetary Union. ISDN: Integrated services digital network: high speed digital telephone lines. Investment: Putting funds to use in the hope of securing returns later. Pixel: A dot on the computer screen that forms part of the whole display or image. Resolution: A measurement of the number of component dots per inch or millimetre that comprise an image. ...read more.

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