DIGITAL MICROSCOPY AT CARL ZEISS: MANAGING DISRUPTION Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

DIGITAL MICROSCOPY AT CARL ZEISS: MANAGING DISRUPTION Case Study Solution

INTRODUCTION:

Carl Zeiss was aworld class leader of high performance microscopy systems for bio medical research and sciences. The products of the company included high performance, flexible systems that first met the needs of clinics and scientists. The products were very expensive, but highly demanded by the customers as the company manufactured the best product.

The company needed to build a second column for their microscopic business. They felt need for diversification because customers of medical equipment were highly dependent on public funding for purchasing equipment, as government budget was being constraint, the researchers foresaw declining prospects. They needed a “second column” that was driven by private money. The best option found was “industry”.

DIGITAL MICROSCOPY AT CARL ZEISS MANAGING DISRUPTION Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

DIGITAL MICROSCOPE:

The Carl Zeiss Company had planned to develop a digital microscope. But the company knew that their new product is in the race as this product had already entered into the market. Despite Carl Zeiss being a world’s class leader of microscopy systems in medical research, they planned to introduce a second column in their company i.e. Industrial Applications. As the medical research revenue was government focused and public money, the company wanted to increase its revenue by earning private money that they found in the industry applications.

At the summit business meeting, the team discussed the Carl Zeiss microscopy unit, and the theories and cases on “Disruptive Technology and Innovation”.

Disruptive Technology and Innovation:It means that the company alters its way/ start an innovative way of operating businesses. The disruptive technology forces business to use different strategies to approach the business and take risks. The risks involved in using disruptive technology is the decline of market share.

President of microscopic business, Simon explained that the competitors who enter the microscopic business by developing digital microscopy have used the disruptive theories. Their digital technology is based on machine vision. They measure colors, structures and other factors at a microscopic level. But they have to do this at a lower level. Most of their intelligence systems were based on hardware.Also, they had intelligent logarithms, which resulted in a very high speed and simple user interface for the customer.

The competitors of Carl Zeiss were two Japanese companies, Keyense Corporations and Hirox. Keyense Corporation was developed in 1974 and it specialized in factory automation. The offerings were automation and sensing. The main products of the company were machine vision, laser marking and photoelectric sensors. The Keyense’s digital microscopic systems were used to satisfy the needs of customers in manufacturing industries who needed inspection system. Companies that fabricate parts of metal used the digital microscopic system to examine metal surfaces and structures and semiconductors manufacturers who used them to examine the quality of package assembly.

Another competitor of Carl Zeiss team was Hirox that founded in 1978. It produces high end lenses and manufactures optical systems. Initially, Hirox manufactured and sold TV lenses for short-sighted people. In 1985, Hirox developed the world’s first ever digital microscope system.

There was a strong growth of Japanese manufacturing between 1980s and 1990s and it fostered the growth of Keynes and Hirox as their main market was the industrial segment in Japan. The president Simon, explained that Carl Zeiss were much involved in biology, research and conventional microscopy. That time Carl Zeiss were not interested in material science and material application. It was very easy for Carl Zeiss to overlook these competitors. The competitors developed new market but stayed mainly in industrial field.

Both the Japanese competitors started at a very large level. The production and examination of objects were done on mass level. It was necessary for them to follow their customers at microscopic level. For example, in manufacturing electronics and semiconductors, microscopic inspection is an important production tool...................

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