By Louella Fernandes, Quocirca
At its recent Inspire Expo event in Malta, Sharp Europe unveiled a new strategy and vision for broadening its portfolio of products and services to address the needs of the interconnected office.
Paving the way for a return to growth
Once a stalwart of Japanese electronics, Sharp is a company in need of a major reversal in fortunes. Sharp gains much of its revenue from LCD screens and TVs – and is a major supplier of display screens for Apple and other smartphones. However it has suffered stiff competition with smaller rivals in China and Korea, which has led to a slump in its LCD panel division culminating in an overall company annual loss of ¥222.35 billion ($1.9bn) in fiscal 2014. Sharp has also forecast a loss for the April to September half of this business year.
Sharp’s range of restructuring measures includes its withdrawal from the consumer business. Its LCD TV business has already been terminated in the US and Europe. In Europe it has transferred exclusive brand license rights for both its television business and audio products to Slovakian TV maker Universal Media Corporation (UMC). UMC also owns Blaupunkt, Eternity and E-motion.
Sharp’s return to profitability is now centred on its focus on high value products and the business-to-business (B2B) market for the two Document Solutions and Visual Solutions business units which have maintained some growth.
A new vision to deliver greater business value
Sharp is looking to create a unique value proposition for its customers in its ability to offer an integrated solution that encompasses multifunctional printer (MFP) hardware, cloud portal software and visual solutions such as interactive whiteboards. As such, Sharp Europe has combined its sales and support structure for its Document and Visual Solutions businesses across the region, and now offers a complete portfolio through a single B2B sales organisation.
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