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written by Tetsuo Kubo December 16, 2020

Business development is accelerating to keep pace with workstyle changes.

On October 9, Konica Minolta held a web briefing for the Japanese market with President Shoei Yamana and the company’s directors. The theme was, “Konica Minolta’s Business Acceleration Amid COVID-19.”

Yamana reported that while Konica Minolta’s business performance is on a recovery trend after hitting bottom in May 2020, the company has created a growth strategy to strengthen its revenue base and grow business on the premise that print will not return to pre-pandemic levels. He identified Workplace DX and Konica Minolta’s health care and people-oriented safety and security created by image IoT (for example, temperature screening and nursing care facility solutions) as important business segments for the company post-pandemic.

Workplace DX  

Konica Minolta has established strategies in response to changing work styles and is developing products for this “new normal” caused by COVID-19. Workplace DX is a new approach that considers elements to facilitate work style reform, including work style reform including a remote, distributed workplace; automation to accommodate businesses with fewer personnel and increased ease of use; and non-contact automation that enables safety and security.

“We study the changes and their essential value for human beings, and design our products and services based on that,” explained Yamana. “It is essential to pursue the social significance of the company and quality of life, including safety and security.”

Image IoT 

Konica Minolta has met the changing needs of customers over time with its imaging technologies. The company has been working on visualization for a variety of customers. It has long sought to bring images to life in the medical field, the caregivers’ work in the nursing care field, printed matter in the office or printing field, business processes, the quality of manufacturing and aging infrastructure, and of course, simply images of beauty. All of this is accomplished with Image IoT. Konica Minolta is currently working on a cyber-physical system that combines images and Edge IoT.

Yamana described the social significance of Konica Minolta enabling its customers’ “pursuit of motivation to live.” Another initiative is creating a sustainable society. The company identified five social issues and plans to develop solutions around those issues. The goal is to achieve a level of balance between solving these social issues and understanding people’s motivation to live and work.

“As a method of providing customer value, we visualize issues that customers may not notice by themselves by finding optimal solutions,” said Yamana. “We also provide customer value with an as-a-service model, having a bird’s-eye view of the workflow value chain.”

Reforming Work Styles 

Yamana also discussed how the company is striving to reform work styles for SMBs and local governments by developing technology that supports remote and distributed workplaces. It evolves the “Ijikan Design” (see sidebar), advocated by Konica Minolta Japan with DX and its “design work of the future.” Another example of technology the company is focusing on due to the current environment and given the growing demand for labels is digital-label printing.

“For our clients, we provide digital-workplace transformation to improve the productivity and creativity of working professionals,” said Yamana. “We aim to create a world where people can shine and feel motivated to live and be happy in such a work style. Konica Minolta has set B2B to P4P (Profession for Person) as an approach to realize such a vision.”

Ijikan Design

Ijikan Design (Good Time Design) are consulting services that aim to increase the number of “good times” for client companies where workers can design their own fulfilling schedule by, for example, shortening the amount of time dedicated to routine work and increasing the amount of time that allows workers to demonstrate their creativity. One solution is using the bizhub MFP that leverages the cloud, as well as paperless functionality, which are timesavers for its users. According to Konica Minolta executives, the use of Workplace Hub will also be included in future DX development.

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