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Kent State University

School of Technology









December, 6 2005




















Xerox Corporation is the world's largest document-management company, providing the industry's broadest range of color and black-and-white printers, multifunction systems, copiers, digital production printing presses, and related consulting services and supplies
The company is so identified with its product that the term "Xerox machine" is often used to refer to xerographic duplicators produced by other companies. And, the term "Xeroxing" is quickly becoming synonymous with "copying." You won't find many companies listed in the dictionary as a verb.
Originally named Haloid and beginning as a manufacturer of photographic paper and equipment, the company came to prominence in 1959 with the introduction of the first one-piece, plain paper photocopier using the process of xerography (electro photography), the Xerox 914. The company expanded substantially throughout the 1960s, making millionaires of some long-suffering investors who had nursed the company through the slow research and development phase of the product. Proceeds from the introduction of new computer industry allowed the company to open a famous research center, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center or Xerox PARC.
Xerox shifted its business model in the 1970s and 1980s as patent expiry removed exclusivity from their copier technology, and diversification plans largely did not succeed. Many technologies developed largely by PARC were ignored by Xerox and made their way into other companies' products—for instance, Ethernet, the WIMP interface, and personal computers.
Xerox did successfully invent laser printing, which became a multibillion-dollar business for the company that continues today. Meanwhile, the company's manufacturing costs were far in excess of those of their Japanese photocopier competitors, its design and manufacturing quality became questionable, and its internal culture had become problematic.
After losing the profits of PARC from their own inventions Xerox changed its approach respect to changing environment and they started to consider the important effect of open innovation. As we are going to see in the next pages Xerox realized the crucial benefits of spin-off companies through the understanding of open innovation.
The company was revived in the 1980s and 1990s, through Xerox's Leadership Through Quality initiative which resulted in improvement in quality design and realignment of its product line. Development of "digital photocopiers" in the 1990s and a revamp of the entire product range—essentially high-end laser printers with attached scanners which were able to be attached to computer networks—again gave Xerox a technical lead over its competitors. Xerox worked to turn its product into a service, providing a complete "document service" to companies including supply, maintenance, configuration, and user support.
Today, Xerox's primary markets include office environments from small to large, production and commercial printing customers, graphic-arts and creative services companies, public sector operations, and industries like healthcare, education and financial services.

Xerox sells a range of document technology, including high-end digital color presses like

the Xerox iGen3 Digital Production Press and DocuColor systems; high-end black-and-white digital press technology like Xerox Nuvera and DocuTech; office multifunction printers like the Work Centre Pro family; and Phaser color and black-and-white network printers.
Corporate structure
Although it is a global brand, Xerox has a slightly unusual corporate structure in that it maintains a joint venture, Fuji Xerox, with Japanese photographic firm Fuji Photo Film Co. to develop, produce and sell in the Asia-Pacific region. Fuji Photo Film Co. is currently the majority stakeholder, with 75% of the shareholding.
The company's European operation, Rank Xerox has been fully owned by Xerox Corporation since 1997. The Rank Xerox name was discontinued following the buyout.
Xerox India is an Indian subsidiary derived from a joint venture formed between Dr Bhupendra Kumar Modi and Rank Xerox in 1983. Xerox Corp. obtained a majority stake in 1999 and aims to buyout the remaining shareholders.
Xerox received a 100% rating on the first Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign in 2002. They have maintained this rating in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The company was on Fortune magazine's list of "50 Best Companies for Minorities" for seven out of seven years. It was named to the top 10 of Diversity Inc magazine's list of "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" for 2005. In 2004 and 2005, the National Association for Female Executives listed Xerox among the "Top 30 Companies for Executive Women." Xerox has operated a formal supplier diversity program since 1985 and has spent nearly $5 billion with diverse suppliers since that time. Its successes in supplier diversity have frequently been recognized as well
Trademark issues
The success of the Xerox brand has led to the terms "a Xerox", "Xerox it", "to Xerox", "Xeroxed", and "Xeroxing" being used synonymously for the product/act of photocopying. Though common, the company does not condone such uses of its trademark, and is particularly concerned about the ongoing use of Xerox as a verb as this places the trademark in danger of being declared a generic word by the courts.
Xerox Corporation continues to protect its trademark diligently in most if not all trademark categories. Despite their efforts, many dictionaries continue to mention the use of "Xerox" as a verb. These include the Oxford English Dictionary, generally regarded as the definitive reference on the English language.

Key Numbers

Company Type

Public (NYSE: XRX)

Fiscal Year-End


2004 Sales (mil.)


1-Year Sales Growth


2004 Net Income (mil.)


1-Year Net Income Growth


2004 Employees


1-Year Employee Growth


Top Competitors

  • Canon

  • Hewlett-Packard

  • Ricoh

PARC: On January 4, 2002, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center becomes Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated. As an independent company, PARC is poised to deliver research and innovation to industry leaders in many fields.
Gyricon LLC: In year 2000 it is spun out to commercialize PARC's "electronic reusable paper," a document display technology that is thin, flexible and portable like paper but can be connected to a network and reused thousands of times, when an electric charge is applied to it, the material displays and changes text and graphics, so the display can be updated with a click of a mouse. Gyricon LLC will become a leading provider of SmartPaper ™ innovations and signage solutions200
ContentGuard: It is a joint venture between Xerox and Microsoft is spun-out to develop and license software for digital rights management. ContentGuard solutions offer content owners more control and flexibility over the distribution of their content. Its extensible rights Markup Language (XrML) digital rights-management software, developed at PARC, authorizes access to content or a network service in a language that multiple systems can read.
GroupFire: It is spun out to commercialize almost 70 PARC intellectual property claims covering information retrieval and data mining, natural language semantic analysis, and artificial intelligence. GroupFire enables personalized and simplified Internet searches by managing bookmarks and allowing access to them from any computer that is connected to the Internet. GroupFire will later become Outride, Inc. Its intellectual property assets and technology will be acquired by Google.
Uppercase, Inc: In year 1998 it spun-out to commercialize a result of ubiquitous computing research: a lightweight, portable document reader (PDR) which includes a display, computer processor, battery and network connections for document access and viewing. Microsoft will acquire the company in the future
Inxight Software, Inc: In year 1996 it spun out. Inxight provides information visualization and knowledge extraction software to help users access and make sense of large amounts of information on the Internet. Its software commercializes the results of PARC's unique approach to the visualization of information that uses a hyperbolic browser and other focus-plus-context visualization techniques to give the user 3-D views of text databases.

1) How are new ideas generated from R&D or other departments or customer feedback?

It is clear that Xerox didn’t get any idea from outside sources. They developed their ideas inside the company.

2) Is there a reward system for innovation – monetary, promotion? If so, explain

Xerox had a good reward system. Workers from different parts of the establishment had to write their idea on a sheet of paper and send this to secretarial office, which was managed by a full time employee. This office had the suggestion reviewed by several experts. These experts reported their judgments back to secretarial office after a reward was determined and feedback given to man/woman who made the suggestion. 

3) Are there employee investment opportunities?

Xerox wanted their worker to only work for them, they used close innovation paradigm that didn’t give employees a change to start their own work, there were some cases those some employees quit and started their new jobs but Xerox couldn’t take enough opportunity or earn patents rights from these works.

4) What type of environment prevails in R&D?

Xerox managed its R&D according to the best practices but Xerox never understood the real value of its PARC. It didn’t mean that environment in PARC was not good, researchers in PARC contributed very important developments to the computer industry, it was mistakes of management that they didn’t see the opportunities in PARC because of their close innovation paradigm.

5) How are researchers assigned to projects? (Delegation)

Xerox didn’t let their workers to work on their projects if management thought that the project was useless. And then management switched the workers’ research project, this was the one of the reason that workers started to quit and found their own businesses.

6) How does your R&D infrastructure compare to other companies’ infrastructures?

If a company made enormous contributions in computer industry we can’t say their R&D infrastructure is so bad. The only and the most missing point is Xerox was unaware of open innovation and their research center didn’t share knowledge with other outside resources.

7) How do you recruit researchers?

Xerox always hired best and brightest people respect to their knowledge, qualification, experience, specialization, attitude

8) Where is research located?

Xerox had a great research department in Paolo Alto called as Paolo Alto Research Center (PARC)

9) What is the turnover in R&D in terms of personnel, time, and money?

Xerox never gained enough money in term of turnover in their R&D, they could be the biggest company in PC industry, even bigger than Microsoft but instead of Xerox other companies took the advantage of PARC.

10) How do you handle ideas that fall outside of the scope of your current business?

People in Xerox always wanted to make their own research and tried to become the first company which produced a new product, so they never trusted an outside idea.

11) Spin-offs/Acquisitions/Skunkworks/Satellites?

As I said in question 4 Xerox followed closed innovation paradigm, it didn’t use any satellites or spin-offs for their work.

Xerox Innovation Group (XIG) divides its functions into three areas: research and technology, intellectual property management and licensing, and business unit operations. XIG business units and spinoff companies generate revenue by providing software, services and new devices to their customers.

12) How much money did you spend for research and development?

In 2004, Xerox spent $760 million on research and development, or about 5 total Xerox group commitment in R&D to about $1.46 billion in 2004.

13) How do you manage your Intellectual Property (IP)?

Xerox innovation group (XIG) includes everything from the scientists who invent new technology... to the experts who help secure intellectual property through patents... to the managers who deliver the technology to Xerox business groups, use it as the foundation for new businesses, or license it to an outside company to bring value to their products.

1) Who is your target market?
Today, Xerox's primary markets include office environments from small to large, production and commercial printing customers, graphic-arts and creative services companies, public sector operations, and industries like healthcare, education and financial services.
2) How many distribution channels do you use?
Xerox products are sold through a variety of channels, including direct sales, telebusiness, resellers, agents, concessionaires and the Web.

These geographically based organizations primarily market and sell office and production products directly to Xerox customers, although they also manage additional sales channels. They also deliver support and people-based services in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Other territories are managed by Xerox's Developing Markets Operations.

3) How do you determine the cost or the list price of a product?
Xerox is making much of its total cost of ownership (TCO) numbers for each of the printers, citing that they are lower than those for similar color laser printers. TCO is not a common way to determine user costs, as most vendors simply average the cost per page for toner and developer. Xerox also adds the price of paper, transparencies, service and warranties.
4) How do you analyze your competitors?
When it comes to performance and reliability, Xerox products outshine the rest. Compare Xerox printers and multifunction products to the competition, and
discover why Xerox continues to be an industry leader.
5)What kind of business planning methods did you use?
Xerox used Swot Analysis. A SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture.
6) What are your internal strengths in the industry with your competitors?
First, Xerox has a favorable brand name image. The company was one of the pioneers in the document processing business, and the name stands for quality, state-of-the-art technology, and good service. Many Japanese brands may not have such a favorable image. This image was enhanced by the introduction of the "Total satisfaction guarantee" where instead of monetary refunds, the products are replaced. Secondly, Xerox Corporation has an excellent quality management team. This fact has enabled the corporation to increase its market share. Also, Xerox places a heavy emphasis on employee participation in operational decisions. Also, the people in the Xerox organization are of a proactive nature, rather than a reactive. This will make it possible for the company to set industry standards, rather than respond to the actions of competitors. Also, employee participation programs makes it possible for Xerox to gain valuable information from the "bottom up" and the company should be well prepared to meet new customer demands.
7) What are your weaknesses in the industry with your competitors?
High overhead costs as a result of Total Quality management implementation, and a fairly weak financial position. First, keeping-up a close to perfect quality index costs a lot of money. It is possible the trade-offs associated with the "100% quality concept" may be too large, thus creating a negative competitive position for Xerox. How much are customers prepared to pay for exceptional quality and service?
8) What are your external opportunities in the industry?
Diversification into more product line, and finally, seek expansion into more potential foreign markets. First, by diversifying into more product lines, Xerox will be able to utilize its good reputation and favorable image in new related products and services. By offering more diverse products and services, the company may be able to more effectively respond to international needs in the "office machine" market. Therefore, it may be less difficult to diversify into new potential markets, such as Europe and South East Asia. However, some international markets may not be able to pay the price for quality (such as less industrialized nations).
9) What are your external threats in the industry?
Increased competition from low-cost-high-quality products from domestic and foreign manufacturers, economic recession, and finally, deregulation's of trade barriers by the implementation of the World Trade Organization on January 1st, 1995. First, in recent years, foreign competitors and domestic competitors have cannibalized a large market share of the copier market from Xerox. These competitors will most probably be able to improve quality and maintain low prices. Many companies may not be prepared to pay a high price for image and reputation. In addition, the copier market is highly sensitive to economic trends. As a result of economic depression, businesses are less willing to invest in assets and may chose to "sail through" the recession utilizing what the company already has. Investments are therefore discouraged. This fact could certainly affect Xerox's market place. Also, unfavorable government intervention such as the lowering of import barriers of goods and services to the United States in accordance to the new GATT agreement may impose a major threat to Xerox's largest market, which is currently the USA. This will make imported copiers less expensive to buy in the domestic market, since importing foreign companies will face lower ad-valorem trade barriers.
10) To what extent and how do you take the feedback from the customers for your current and future products?
Xerox uses suggestion box for taking feedbacks from their costumers.
11) How often do you patent your products?
In 2004, Xerox filed 760 new invention disclosures and was issued 525 U.S. patents.
12) Why do you patent your products?
IP strategies and policies are aligned with corporate technology, product and market strategies. Invention disclosures are analyzed, rated and, as appropriate, recommended for patent prosecution, public disclosure or trade secret retention. XIPO ensures that other companies respect Xerox intellectual property rights by enforcing Xerox rights through various licensing and other settlement arrangements, by defending Xerox from the assertions of others, or by obtaining strategic cross-licenses with key companies.
13) Approximately, how many different business models do you have currently?
If we investigate the history of Xerox they used closed innovation method so they had only one business model but in today’s fast moving world the big companies like Xerox now use multiple business models.
14) Do you see any opportunities in a particular market?

  • Offset transfer

  • Market and application development

  • Mono to color transition

    • Increasing use of color in business applications

    • Improving ease of use

    • Lower color run costs

  • Color page opportunity is huge

    • In 2004 approximately 3 trillion total pages in market, excluding Eligible Offset

    • Only 5% of 2004 pages were color

  • Color page growth rate is accelerating

    • Color pages projected to grow to 17% of total pages in 2009

15) What is your business success factors in the industry?

The key success factors to Xerox successful strategy turnaround are very much employee related. First, increased involvement of employees has directly increased customer satisfaction. Employees are now directly responsible for keeping customers happy and satisfied. Also, since "employees are the closest to the customer", so they know the best how to please the customer. Furthermore, employees are involved in more management decisions. A large emphasis is placed on employee participation. In addition, plenty of money was spent on employee training. I believe that the funds spent on training paid off good returns. A large emphasis was based on changing the corporate attitude regarding the concept of quality, this massive cultural change was accomplished by the training programs. A new slogan was developed, "the better the quality the lower the overall costs."

The new customer supplier relationship which was created aided in the process of improving the quality standards of component products. It is logical that it is impossible to produce a superior quality product, when components do not meet required quality standards of the company. Also, by better utilizing assets, including the employees, Xerox was able to increase returns on assets (fixed assets) by almost 300 percent.

By reorganizing the organization (particularly in the research and development staff and the marketing force), with the objective of viewing new product lines as systems in the organization. Also, Xerox was one of the first major corporations that recognized the need to move from a purely product-line oriented company (Copier Company) to an information company. Computer information networks such as Ethernet and other office communications networks made it easier for divisions and people in the organization to communicate with each other. One of the major problems that corporations face today is problems and interference in communication channels.


  1. What is your business model?

• Installs a pages an annuity revenue

• Color leverage 5X revenue and gross profit per page vs. B&W

• Services annuity

  • Earnings expansion

• Productivity focus for operating leverage

• Xerox Lean Six Sigma approach

  • Strong cash flow

  • Capital structure optimization

2) What kind of yields provides your business model?
A strong business model that yields:

• Revenue growth

• Earnings expansion

• Significant cash flow

3)Do you have any winning strategy that captures market growth opportunities?
• Color

• New Business of Printing

• Services
4) Which part of your business plan includes customers?
Customer satisfaction is the division's number-one priority, and XBS has made knowing the current and future requirements of existing and prospective customers its business. It uses a three-pronged customer satisfaction measurement system to systematically track XBS and competitors' performance in this critical area and to furnish regular feedback to organizational units and account teams. An open, networked architecture provides XBS employees with rapid access to customer data.
5) How can your business plan provide customer satisfaction?
Four categories of customer requirements -- service quality, sales support, performance of on-site XBS personnel, and billing and administrative support -- are subdivided into detailed performance attributes that are measured in semiannual surveys and monthly reviews with customers.

Through XBS's 10-Step Selling Process, on-site services are customized to meet the unique needs of each account. Dedicated account teams develop "standards of performance" according to customer service priorities. These standards, which XBS pledges to meet through its "total satisfaction guarantee," are formalized in operations handbooks developed specifically for each customer.

6) What is the marketing strategy of your company?
Xerox has identified sponsorship activity as a key part of the marketing strategy. Performance technology provides the platform. Xerox supports activities that will build our brand image through mutual beneficial associations - celebrating real innovation and excellence in individual fields.
7) What service or product does your business provide and what needs does it fill?
Xerox provides hundreds of systems and services that help customers create, manage and share documents: high-end digital production printers, office multifunction systems, toner and paper, outsourced document management and more.
8) How will you reach your potential customers?
XBS also develops strategic initiatives based on its understanding of the division's strengths and weaknesses as well as its reading of opportunities and threats. This analysis draws on the division's extensive competitive intelligence, "voice of the customer," and "voice of the market" information systems. Other inputs include benchmarking data and storyboarding scenarios, which help the division to home in on future customer requirements, anticipate potential risks and challenges, and quantify the resources and action plans necessary to accomplish strategic goals.
9) Does your business have a Mission Statement, setting forth the purpose for its existence?
Our strategic intent is to help people find better ways to do great work -- by constantly leading in document technologies, products and services that improve our customers' work processes and business results.

1) What is your problem solving process?

The six-step Xerox Problem Solving Process (PSP), a systematic approach to enable problem solving for continuous improvement. Processes are developed for successful completion of each of the six-process steps: problem identification, root-cause analysis, solution generation, solution selection and planning, implementation, and evaluation.


2) What kind of problem solving approach do you believe that you are using different than your competitors?
Creative thinking is a different approach in compare to traditional problem solving methods. The creative problem solving process differs from routine problem solving in that with routine problem solving a pre-established method for solving the problem is used; with creative problems solving, any pre-established method for solving the problem is either unknown or not used.  Creative problem solving involves a hunt for new solutions, while routine problem solving uses old solutions

3) What kind of attitudes do you face when you are trying to solve a problem? 

1) Constancy

2) Commitment

3) Compression

4) Complacency. 

  As the Xerox invention of GlossMarks demonstrates, redefining a problem is often a way to find a serendipitous solution.  Xerox researchers originally set out to eliminate "differential gloss," the plastic-like sheen on high-quality prints and photocopies, when they discovered a productive use for the gloss.  Like watermarks in paper, GlossMarks can embed a unique image in a document to discourage counterfeiting.  When the problem was defined as "remove gloss from prints and photocopies," they did not find a solution.  However, when the problem was broadened to "produce innovative products," the researchers were able to identify a solution.

Constancy:  Once we've learned a solution to a problem, we often try to reuse that solution when encountering similar problems.  It can be difficult to ignore that solution and consider others.  When that solution is ineffective, being fixated on it interferes with our problem solving.  Creative problem solving requires being able to define and solve problems multiple ways.

Commitment:  Although our minds can process a lot of information, we often get committed to overly simplistic assumptions about things.  For instance, we assume that our current project is like prior projects, or we assume that our customers have similar priorities.  In other words, we stereotype things.  Creative problem solving requires relaxing our assumptions in order to notice subtle differences and similarities that might help us find solutions.

Compression:  To quickly solve a problem, we often artificially limit the information we use in defining the problem and searching for solutions.  We overlook important things surrounding the problem or mistakenly assume that some types of solutions are more appropriate than others.  Creative problems solving requires looking at the "big picture," considering all relevant information about the problem, and ensuring that a variety of possible solutions are examined.

Complacency:  Sometimes we give up too easily when we encounter problems for which we don't immediately see solutions. Creative problem solving often requires extensive study of the problem and time for creative ideas to incubate in our minds.        

4) What kind of approach do you follow when you face with a problem?

First, accept and be patient with wild ideas. Generating and considering wild ideas can seem like a waste of time, but it's often the route to an ingenious solution. 

Second, play around with the problem definition.  State the problem as you see it and then try to see it in other ways.  Use odd analogies for the problem.  Elaborate on it, and look for ways to state it "the other way around."  These activities break the "compression" conceptual block. 

Third, produce many possible solutions without regard to their practicality after listing many solutions, try combining and modifying the solutions on the list.  If you're still not satisfied with the solutions you've produced, take a break for several hours or even several days.  Let your ideas incubate, and you'll find that you often identify a solution when you're not even trying.

5) What are the common problem solving techniques that you use?

 Managers can also use various training interventions to promote their subordinates' creative problem solving.  The most popular types of creativity training focus on fluency--producing a large number of ideas.  Fluency techniques include brainstorming and the Nominal Group Technique. 

Synectics is a brain storming technique that approaches to stimulating creativity by using analogies to break patterned thinking. 







  • Gross, N.  (2002, November).  Putting a gloss on the right stuff.  Business Week, November 18, p. 77.

  • Kiely, T.  (1993).  The idea makers.  Technology Review, 96(1): 33-40.

  • Whetten, D. A., & Cameron, K. S.  (2002).  Developing management skills, (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

  • Xerox Corporation web site,

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