Jump to content

It's only Chapter 11.


Recommended Posts

<p>There rarely are Masters appointed in Chapter 11s unless there has been fraud or other criminal activity on the part of management. In Kodak's case they have hired a turnaround specialist from Jay Alix's firm. That is probably the best turnaround firm in the country.</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 133
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

<p>The problem with selling Kodak's film business - and their film business in general - is that the production facilities left are scaled to make a certain amount of film at one time. That amount is - A LOT. They can't make less than certain amount of master rolls as the entire film prodution process is sized to make that amount. If they don't have enough demand for the film, then what's been produced sits in warehouses and slowly goes out of date - or you get short dated film in the stores. It's not as simple as making just the amount needed (less film at one time), as staying viable in the film business also includes selling everything you make, and not have it sit in warehouses waiting for customers. </p>

<p>When I managed photo stores 30 years ago we had the same type of problem with films we'd order for stock. A film like Tech Pan might sit on the shelf for months until it became short dated and we put it in a "Sale" bin. Likewise, something like Super XX (my personal all time favorite sheet film) would sit on the shelf while boxes of Plus-X, Tri-X, HP-5, and FP-4 went out the door regularly.</p>

<p>My observation is that Kodak hasn't know what business it wanted to be in for over 30 years. They've been in and out of so many diverse market segments (sometimes more than once) that you had to wonder what they were thinking and who was tracking markets and trends. As an example, they were in and out of the magnetic media business (tape at first) on at least two occassions. Each time swearing that they were making a committment to the market segment and two years later closing down the production facilities and discontinuing the products. The last time they tried it they were making floppy disks - I still have some...</p>

<p>They also had the habit of purchasing viable companies and running them into the ground or making them disappear - however you want to look at it. They never seemed to take the time to truly understand the market they were entering and the customers in that market segment - it all went into the Big Yellow Blender, got homogenized with all of the other products until there was nothing left but mush of that product and no market for the Kodak version. </p>

<p>Copiers - Kodak made great copiers at one time better than Xerox, better than anyone. They serviced them better - and today when I walk into the reproduction room I'm greeted by Canon copiers. Canon - who got into the business long after Kodak exited it because they couldn't figure out how to capture a market segment - but, Canon could at an even later date and still does quite well.</p>

<p>Kodak, one of the best, highest technology, most frustrating companies I've done business with and watched for 30 years slowly march itself off the cliff through its own internal management practices.</p>

<p>I have no idea what they're going to do now. "Monetizing" technologies...haaa...haaaa...that means selling assets to generate whatever cash you can. Sooner rather than later, you run out of things to "monetize" because it takes R&D money to invent the technologies you're so cavalierly monetizing. The best assets they had, ideas and technologies that could provide a long term income stream if developed to market, are now being sold for short term gain. </p>

<p>Kodak won't make it in the computer printer business because they couldn't figure out how to make it in: magnetic technologies (which should have included hard drives, and now flash drives), copiers, cameras, etc. - and now they're going to move the market away from Canon, Epson, HP, Brother, etc. in printers? Really? </p>

<p>Maybe Kodak would be better off with a career in comedy as that's about all I can do is laugh at them as the Kodak Follies play out. Oh yeah...monetize it baby! That's the ticket to success....</p>

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Page 8-12 of the newly put forth <a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/79162865/Public-Lender-Presentation-1">Public Lender Presentation</a> points towards the film unit being sold off. Josh, while Steve is right on the notion of the scale of production of film at Kodak being too big for the now niche market, did we not hear at Kodak while we toured the facility that the amount of film put out in a single coating session *could* be made shorter than the mile long, 54" master rolls? What is the output and storage dynamic at Ilford?<br>

<br /> This is a rough ride. I have pretty much what I need for 10-15 years of film work now, but I would like to continue to rotate stock as I use it up. At the very least, I see prices for Kodak film products rising considerably in the coming year.</p>

<p> </p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<blockquote>

<p>I hope you don't get classified as a film-hater or film-eater or some other kind of troll.</p>

</blockquote>

<p>They can categorize me however they want...I've been there using nothing but Kodak photographic products since the 1950's. I still have the paper box (with prints in it) from the first 100 sheets of double weight Kodak Polycontrast 8x10 that I ever purchased - for $8.35. So I really don't care what the current crop of film users thinks about me...I'll just go home and look at the unopened box of 4x5 Super-XX that I still have and wonder if they have one too. I'm betting they don't.</p>

<p>I've used, whenever possible, the products Kodak put out as they were always the very highest quality because of the legendary Kodak quality control which no one ever seemed to be able to match. </p>

<p>When Kodak was in the video business, I used Kodak professional video tape. For our own information, we tested the Kodak tape against Fuji, Sony, and Ampex video tape. The Kodak tape had a flatter frequency response and when we put it on a drop-out logger showed far fewer drop-outs. The Kodak tape was also better under hard use (slow motion replay) where it was subjected to multiple head passes on single areas of tape and rapid start/stop motions. The binders were better (probably due to Eastman Chemical), and the substrate was better (virtually no stretch - I'd probably thank the film division for that one).</p>

<p>A better product at the same price ...how did it sell? Hardly at all. Kodak did NOTHING, ZERO, NADA, ZILCH to find the market for their own product. </p>

<p>When I'd rent equipment to the networks and would show up at a field production truck, invariably they had Ampex tape in their machines. Why? Because Ampex had that market cornered because they catered specifically to networks and high end production facilities and it was just "known" that if you weren't using Ampex - buddy, you didn't have the right stuff - noob, neophye, nimrod...need I say more..hrrummppff...</p>

<p>I used to delight in unwrapping the cellophane from the bright yellow and black Kodak tape boxes and putting the tape into my machine - when invariably questioned by the TD on my choice I'd just smile and say, "I've tested the tape you're using and I can prove the Kodak has less drop-outs." "Want me to send you a copy of a drop-out log?"</p>

<p>Better product - no market savvy....the story of Kodak's last 30 years. The motto "Onward into the fog" seems to best describe Kodak's navigation of a myriad of profitable markets where they ultimately got lost, ran aground, and finally quit the business. Kodak always seemed to figure they were too big to fail....and that they'd always be able to find another market to apply the Kodak "magic name" - as if that's all it took.</p>

<p>Well, frankly they're out of magic, and the name doesn't mean that much anymore. Not a hater just a long time user who's watched in amazement as they've squandered every chance and market advantage the name gave them. Chapter 11 isn't going to make them any smarter unless they get a turn around artist who can resurrect the magic once associated with the red logo on the yellow background - and find products worthy of that name... oh yeah...and consumers who want the products.</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Looking at there PPT it doesn't look like their core photo business will play much of a roll going forward. I still have prints I made on Kodak paper 40 & 50 years ago in Kodak boxes. I remember when some of my clients would buy out entire emulsions and send the film to those of us who worked for them and have us send it directly to the Palo Alto Lab for processing. Even though I liked Agfachrome for my own work, what little I had time to do, my clients all specified Kodak stock for transparencies from 35 through 8x10. Too bad Kodak could not have sold stupid. They had a large inventory they used.</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Interesting you should mention the Palo Alto lab. We had customers who insisted that all of their film had to go to Palo Alto. I always sent all of my film to Palo Alto. The processing at that lab was far better than the district lab (Dallas) we were supposed to use. </p>

<p>Then you get to the Fairlawn, NJ lab. The only Kodak lab that regularly used to send back film with water spots...no charge...lucky THAT was the last lab Kodak chose to have available in the US instead of the Palo Alto lab.</p>

<p>Yeah, even if stupid was a product in demand, Kodak, with a seeming surplus, would still not have figured out how or to whom to sell it...as they were obviously using all of it themselves and claiming they were encountering a shortage...</p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>First post, first question: does anybody have an idea of the size of the film market worldwide? Just camera film, without movie film. How many rolls are sold on an annual basis? Or total gross revenue? 2011 figures or the most recent ones. The only information I've found in this post is that around 25mln rolls were sold last year in the US alone.<br>

(not that I'm thinking about buying Kodak film business, it's just a curiosity..) </p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...