2012年11月4日 星期日

Panasonic: The Largest Corporate Restructuring in History

People ride an escalator past a Panasonic advertisement in Tokyo.
People ride an escalator past a Panasonic advertisement in Tokyo.
  • Panasonic and Sharp together forecast $15.2bn of net losses for the year
  • Reckoning for past strategic mistakes, in the form of billions of investment write-offs
  • Investments in flatscreen TVs and solar panels have proved to be disastrous
(Financial Times) -- You know that Japanese companies are worried when they stop complaining about the yen.
In earnings presentations this week by Panasonic and Sharp, which together forecast $15.2bn of net losses for the year, the profit-squeezing effects of the currency's prolonged appreciation were barely mentioned. Instead, investors were treated to a reckoning for past strategic mistakes, in the form of billions of dollars in investment write-offs. "I am truly sorry," said Takashi Okuda, Sharp's president since June.
For years, Japanese consumer electronics groups have been investing both too little and too much.
In the 1980s, when the Japanese were beating up on formerly dominant US manufacturers, Americans marvelled at how much money they devoted to research and development and building newer, better factories, taking it as an object lesson in the value of long-term thinking.
But now it is Japan that is being outspent. Since 2000, South Korea's Samsung -- now the world's biggest electronics company by sales -- has allocated an average of 12 per cent of sales to capital investment, about double the ratio at Panasonic, Sony and Sharp.
When the Japanese have invested, it has often been in the wrong areas -- products such as flatscreen TVs and solar panels, which foreign rivals can make just as well at less cost.
Sharp, a century-old company that started out making mechanical pencils, is the most troubled of Japan's big consumer electronics groups. The Y450bn ($5.6bn) net loss it projected this week would be its second record deficit in two years, and last year its ratio of net debt to earnings before interest, taxes and other deductions more than doubled, from 1.7 times to 4.4 times.
On Friday Standard & Poor's slashed its credit rating for Panasonic's long-term debt by two levels, from A- to BBB, while Fitch downgraded Sharp's credit rating to B-. Fitch said it "does not foresee any meaningful operational turnaround in [Sharp's] core business over the short- to medium-term".
Sharp is trying to turn its focus from TVs and solar panels to small LCD displays for smartphones and tablet computers
Sharp was granted temporary relief in September when it secured Y360bn in emergency loans from its Japanese banks, which analysts say should give it sufficient operating funds until at least next June, when the loans come due. Negotiations with Hon Hai of Taiwan over a Y67bn investment, tentatively agreed in March, have stalled, and the company is furiously trying to free up cash on its own -- by cutting jobs and wages, selling overseas factories and mortgaging offices in Japan.
None of this is a long-term solution, however. Sharp is trying to turn its focus from TVs and solar panels to small LCD displays for smartphones and tablet computers, but even there it has experienced production delays and is losing ground to rivals, says Toshihiro Uomoto, a credit analyst at Nomura. "Sharp's problems go beyond just temporary funding issues, and extend to doubts over the sustainability of its business."
At Panasonic, most of this week's Y765bn net-loss forecast was owed to write-offs of tax credits and past investments. Revenues are also falling, however: it cut its annual sales forecast by 10 per cent, to Y7.3tn, and its projection for operating profit by nearly half to Y140bn.
Takashi Watanabe, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, says Japan's biggest consumer electronics company has enough profitable businesses that eliminating or shrinking the dud ones could turn it round.
Kazuhiro Tsuga, Panasonic's new president, has declared that each division will be judged on its own earnings power -- a change at what has long been a collectively minded company. Sceptics, though, will note that the company, which has 320,000 workers, has been through several big restructurings before, without hitting on conclusive profit formula.
Sony bucked the trend this week by sticking with its forecast for a narrow profit for the financial year to March, in spite of a Y15bn net loss in the quarter to September, blamed on restructuring costs.
Like Panasonic and Sharp, Sony is shrinking its TV-making business, and says it will focus on imaging technology, video games and smartphones, an area it has strengthened since buying out Ericsson's share of their mobile phone joint venture last year.
Shiro Mikoshiba, an equities analyst at Nomura, says the smartphone push looks promising on its own, but could be risky for a company that makes digital cameras, game consoles, portable music players and notebook computers -- all products that multipurpose smartphones are increasingly replacing.
"We see a strong possibility of a vicious cycle in the company's product strategy," Mr Mikoshiba says.



據《華爾街日報》報導,日本松下電器由於去年10至12月份,已出現虧損,松下電器預估,截至今年3月份,也將面臨虧損。為了因應商業形勢急劇惡化,松下 電器不得不關閉全球27家工廠(包括日本13廠),並計劃2010年3月前,裁員全球約1萬5,000人。此外,還會裁減高管薪水的1到2成。


TOKYO -- Panasonic Corp. joined a growing list of Japanese electronics firms forecasting a huge loss for the current fiscal year and said it plans to cut about 15,000 jobs to combat a sharp slowdown in demand and to ease the burden of a strong yen.
The announcement by Panasonic, which is considered one of the standout performers within Japan's electronics industry, is further evidence of how grim the outlook is for the country's flagship manufacturing industries.
Panasonic不願證實或否認媒體報導。該公司去年11月27日預估,本年度淨利300億日圓。Panasonic股價在東京證交所大跌3.1%,收1,065日圓,為1 月26日來最低。日經225指數2日跌幅為1.5%。
朝日新聞並指出,因為平面電視需求下滑,夏普公司6 日可能公布1956年股票上市以來的首次淨損。

Panasonic: The Largest Corporate Restructuring in History (Hardcover)

by Francis McInerney (Author) "ON JUNE 6, 1995, TWO MANAGERS FROM MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC Industrial, one of Japan's largest companies, visited Sean White and me in our offices in New..." (more)

本書中國翻譯本[ 走出松下幸之助 ]刪減 錯誤過多

Editorial Reviews

An enthralling story of regeneration. If a brand has a noble history, in skillful hands it can have a glorious future. -- Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group

Brings clear insight and a cross-industry perspective to make sense out of what many only make nonsense. -- Jeffrey D Montgomery, GMT Communications Partners III LLP

Francis McInerney asks the really big questions - and answers them with, in essence, a really simple formula. -- Robert Crozier, Publisher, Forbes Global

Panasonic puts a Rembrandt portrait face on the Japanese corporation, with depth of character, extraordinarily subtle nuances, and brilliant detail. -- Dan Burstein, author of Yen!

Transformation is no guarantee of success. However, if you understand the drivers, it may work. For readers, a fascinating experience. -- Ben Verwaayen, CEO BT Group

Product Description
Panasonic is not about any ordinary restructuring. It is about a company of $72 billion in sales, employing 293,000 people around the world, the tenth largest industrial company not in oil or autos, whose thousands of products are so universally used that it may have more customers than any firm in history. Panasonic is so big that it is one of the few companies which has a product in just about every home and business in the developed world, has operations in almost every country in the world, and has a vast scope of markets--making everything from flat panel TVs to car audio and satellite navigation systems, even entire building systems and home interiors. Panasonic’s breadth and size combined made reorganizing the company incomparably more difficult than even the task that faced IBM’s incoming CEO in 1992.

delves into how this great eleven-year restructuring (1995-2006) was accomplished without importing an outside CEO like Lou Gerstner. Panasonic was able to reorder a complex and tradition-bound organization in a country that is often thought, mistakenly, to deeply resist radical change, thus demonstrating how Japanese companies continue to adapt to the competitive forces roiling the markets around them.

See all Editorial Reviews

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Truman Talley Books; 1st edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English

Return to book
1. on Page 10:
"... • There was no brand we could point to-was it National, Panasonic, Quasar, NAIS, Technics, Ramsa, or what?-and no strategy for getting one. ..."
2. on Page 66:
"... Dick had decades of experience in the U.S. consumer electronics business, joining Matsushita from Quasar when Matsushita acquired Quasar in 1974. ..."

1. on Page 72:
"... This Matsushita customer had decided that the simplest way to further cut inventories and improve cash flow and quality was to allow the people on the line the flexibility to redesign the line at ..."
2. on Page 76:
"... They lower their devel- opment costs, improve manufacturability, and raise system-level quality. Suppliers that can adapt will do well. They can differenti- ate themselves on something other than price. ..."
3. on Page 77:
"... The Digital Revolution outlined our basic philosophy for dealing with these challenges: "A customer's entire experience of Mat- sushita defines quality. [The company] must raise the switching costs to its customers, ..."
4. on Page 98:
"... are: • Beating Japan (Dutton 1993), which describes the impact of falling information costs on whole nations. • The Total Quality Corporation (Dutton 1995), ..."
5. on Page 166:
"... With Atsushi Murayama, he oversaw the Corporate Management Quality Innovation Division, which comprised four committees to oversee all aspects of reorganization: • Corporate Culture • V Products • Supply ..."
6. on Page 214:
"... so many for profitability, and so many for inventory, environmental management, growth potential, and quality. The convolution of this mix naturally en- couraged managers to play the numbers game ..."
7. on Page 230:
"... rollouts as it has in PDP and with high-yield processes in automotive systems. Putting quality and speed to- gether were central to profitable growth, but Matsushita had too little of either. ..."
8. on Page 253:
"... quality brand with no clear image beyond category cost of entry; behind the times/outdated, no emotional tie with consumer or business ..."
9. on Page 255:
"... value Cautious Authority Life-enhancing Outdated Improving High-quality Boring Energetic Customer-focused Not a ..."
10. on Page 258:
"... The program also "raised the bar" in Bob Greenberg's words, driving a different quality of employee: "If you can't add value to someone's life, you shouldn't be working here.""' For the future, Greenberg told ..."
11. on Page 276:
"... billions- in a month or two. This is a market where all the problems of col- lapsing price-performance, mass marketing, quality, and volume hit at once and in the same spot. ..."
12. on Page 279:
"... Under Ohtsubo, Sakamoto, and Morita, the company's PDP grand strategy was based on several things: • Specialize in PDPs, the high-quality end of the flat-panel display business. ..."
13. on Page 281:
"... this are complex and have a lot to do with the fragility of the chips and the disproportionate impact on quality ..."
14. on Page 283:
"... it did so without a significant drop in yield, allowing Matsushita to drive step function increases in volume at high quality. Indeed, yield rates are now far above those achieved by the competition. ..."
15. on Page 284:
"... This quality problem brings up the main challenge facing Mat- sushita in improving yield. In this business, getting to 95 percent is ..."
16. on Page 296:
"... the demand for which is rea- sonably well understood-where price-performance pressures are low, relatively, and where quality and logistics count for everything. What matters here are complex inventory and yield relationships ..."
17. on Page 298:
"... in stages is part of the problem. Hewlett-Packard learned years ago that as each test stage ap- proaches six sigma quality (99.9999 percent yield), there is no ..."
18. on Page 300:
"... issue. Most car factories run two shifts and each one takes four deliveries, meaning that PAS has to work its high-quality variable-lot system over eight deliveries a day. ..."
19. on Page 309:
"... BRINGING MATSUSHITA FORWARD 309 capacity-yield curve in harness, it can sell aggressively with far less worry than the competition whose quality will fail once vol- ume is cranked up-a sad story repeated almost daily in The Wall Street Journal. ..."
20. on Page 318:
"... The Total Quality Corporation (Dutton 1995). In Total Quality, we proposed that information substitution lets companies eliminate waste by dematerializing production, push- ing ..."

21. on Page 319:
"... In other words, with- out improving our quality, we can't evolve into a Customer Value Creation Company."''' MEI built these green goals into its cost-cutting program so that ..."
22. on Page 330:
"... that he would pay his competition to keep spending to increase their market shares. He would focus on levels of quality that keep customers so he didn't have to spend money to win new ones to replace them. ..."
23. on Page 344:
"... where the highest-quality customer information comes from and then use this information to drive all operations. Com- panies that excel in outbound logistics-Wal-Mart, ..."
24. from Back Matter:
"... The Total Quality Corpo- ration. New York: Dutton, 1995, p. 4. 149. Nakamura, Kirk. "Discovering New Horizons for Future Growth. ..."


2000年6月,当中村邦夫坐上松下电器总经理的位置之时,他就意识到,世界范围内的激烈竞争使松下进行改革的时间已经所剩无几,他必须在5年内完成格斯 特纳在IBM10年所完成的事情——是收获辉煌的成功还是被打倒的惨败——中村邦夫一开始就是一个风险的制造者和承担者。


弗朗西斯·麦肯纳利(Francis Mclnerney) ,北河开发项目(North River Ventures)总指挥,生于英国,长于加拿大,并在多伦多大学完成经济学学习,北方商业信息(Northern Business Information)的副总经理,以经营咨询公司以及北河开发项目起家,直到现在。30年来一直给日本企业做顾问,以日本通著称。主要作品有:《日本 的弱点》、《高明的企业》、《速度经营革命》等。





第一部分 天亮前
第一章 落后的松下
第二章 中村邦夫的足迹

第二部分 基本理论
第三章 足球理论
soccer ball zone
 两极化不可避免 market dyad

第三部分 V字复活
第四章 改革概要 v product sales bridge
第五章 成长基础的改革与培养
第六章 品牌的改革与产品的重组
第七章 改革成果的验证与剩下的课题

第四部分 启程
第八章 明日的松下