Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Competition – A Communications and Electronics Giant Vanishes


Competition can make or break a company or corporation if they ignore the signs of innovation and economic strategies of emerging countries.  Case in point is my previous employer, Motorola Communications and Electronics.

Motorola began in 1928 by Paul Galvin and their early claim to fame was mass marketing of the car radio.  They were the lead innovators of two-way walkie talkies marketed to the police and fire industries and the United States Government for soldiers in combat zones.  Public safety was the core of their business and when I started with Motorola in 1982 it was our mission to protect and serve through crystal clear secure communication systems for industrial, public safety and government market customers.

Motorola developed a total quality management call Six Sigma which was a system to promote a product production at 99.99% free from manufacturing defects through various methods.  This management system was adopted by other Fortune 500 companies as well.  However, along the way to becoming a world-wide industry leader in communications and electronics, management got involved in the emerging electronics industry in China.  Not only did they help China develop systems using Motorola technology, the Chinese became one of Motorola’s biggest competitors. 

I believe that Motorola lost sight of the their core values and forgot that they needed to stay competitive to be able to thrive in such a diverse industry that included base stations, walkie talkies, pagers and cell phones.  Digital technology was taking over but it seemed there was no urgency to include this technology in Motorola equipment.  Industry leaders, such as Qualcomm and Nokia took over the cellular telephone market leaving Motorola lagging behind per Chicago Magazine article “What Happened to Motorola”.

Motorola has gone back to the basics with their Motorola Solutions division and slashed their international workforce.  They have now gotten back to where their customers are institutions and not individual consumers which has help them to rise above bottom up pricing.  They again dominate the emergency communications business in the United States by going back to the basics after assessing world-wide competition.

Fishman.Ted C. “Chicago Magazine”.2015. World Wide Web.06 11 2015

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