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This paper seeks to analyze the workings of Sony Corporation. Sony has numerous business within the United States as well as in Tokyo, Japan. While their main headquarters is in Tokyo, Japan, Sony has smaller headquarters to some of their subsidiary companies in New York city within the United States. According to the company website, Sony was established in 1946. The company has over a hundred thousand employees throughout its various businesses. There are various groups within the company, which are assigned by general topics. The groups include mobile communications, information technology, personal audio visual, home electronics, game business, micro-systems, entertainment business, personal solutions, and financial holdings.
The structure of the business is developed as to manage overall operations, but also allow the diverse categories and groups to grow and innovate within themselves. The diversity of the company allows Sony to survive, thrive, and grow regardless of the market conditions or any stagnant categories at various times. The company also prides itself in employee recruitment, diversity, retention and growth. The company has areas of business in motion pictures, gaming, television, photography, music, and internet services, to only name a few. This paper will discuss operations, marketing, and human resources further. Overall, Sony is a very successful company and has shown its strengths while some other companies in similar categories have diminished.
Sony was established in 1946 by two individuals. Both of these individuals came from a military background. Akio Morita was a former naval lieutenant and Masaru Ibuka was a defense contractor. The name of Sony is derived from two words which translate into meaning small one and sound. The company began with the production of transistor radios in the fifties, and within a few years, Sony created its first subsidiary company in order to produce the adhesives for the radios, thus alleviating the burden of using so many outside suppliers. After creating the transistor radio, the company further utilized the same technology and concepts to introduce AM/FM radios and televisions.
After the company was able to achieve results in the radios and televisions, it began developing VCR’s. The main strength of the company, both throughout history, as well as today is to further develop and innovate technology to stay with or ahead of the current technological trends as well as the consumer needs and market trends. The company has developed many products throughout the years to meet all the needs of the consumers. They came out with radios, televisions, VCR’s, CD players, video cameras, record companies, and Columbia Pictures, to only name a few. Currently, the company has publicly traded stack, and operates in many countries. They are said to be ranked second in the world as a leading consumer electronics manufacturer and seller. Many stores sell their products, and the growth of the name, reputation, and products continues to soar.
The first method of marketing utilized by Sony is simply word of mouth and referral marketing. The company name is so well known throughout the world that many people know of and about Sony products. Sony has transformed itself from not only leading the market in consumer electronics, but also in entertainment. By introducing the gaming consoles and continuously innovating them, Sony has been a lead runner in the best entertainment merchandise. The company also leads the market in motion pictures as well as other entertainment merchandise. The endorsements of celebrities as well as the catchy advertisements have essentially been icing on the cake for the company that has already established themselves as a well-known brand. Although the company has not seen profits every year, it has continued to survive through its use of innovation and branding. “The consumer electronics giant adjusts its portfolio each year based on the marketing needs for priority products” (IEGSR).
Depending on which products are at the top of the priority list, Sony determines how to best adjust their marketing efforts. For example, if the subsidiary company that produces motion pictures is set to release a movie that is expected to dominate the movie market, the most effort will be seen marketing the movie. If several new products are set to debut throughout the year, equal efforts and monies will be set aside to market those products. Sony, through learning, growth, and expertise, is able to prioritize its efforts and budget according to what they see being the biggest profit. Sony also highly utilizes sponsorships to market their products. Some events that they have sponsored in the past as a means to market their products have been concerts, movie festivals, and sporting events. By utilizing sponsorships effective, Sony is able to build upon its good reputation and reach its target audience.
Sony currently manages its operations and supply chains through a subsidiary company named Sony Supply Chain Solutions Inc. This company further breaks down the categories of operations into four sub-groups, which are the domestic distribution operations group, international distribution, parts procurement, and customer service. There are many aspects of business and operations which Sony must manage effectively. Sony is a global corporation, and as such, must address the needs and laws as well as the restrictions of numerous government organizations and people. Again, through the use of innovation and collaboration with partners, Sony is able to meet all the needs of the various groups of individuals.
“Sony has introduced its own requirements to help improve and maintain the soundness and transparency of its governance by strengthening the separation of the Directs function from that of management and advancing the proper function of the statutory committees”, (Sony,2012). Sony seeks to utilize the strengths of all its employees in further developing its organization and operations while adhering to all regulations and meeting the needs of all interested partied. The current governance structure is represented below, as shown on the company website, (Sony.2015).
Sony utilizes committees as well as a board of directors in order to address all the issues that may come up. The committees have been shown to be effective in operational management, as groups are able to be more creative, innovative, and effective in finding many solutions to various problems. The oversight structure of Sony has changed numerous times over the years to better meet the needs of the corporation and further enable the company to grow and survive when the economy has not done so well. The structure further enables the company to have effective checks and balances.
Sony determines its pricing strategies based on how well the company is doing, the cost of manufacturing as well as operating, the cost to build and maintain, as well as the life of the product. Through analysis conducted by groups of researchers, the company determines the fair price of introduction. The company also further analyzes the prices of the competitors on the market, to stay in competition, as well as offer sales that their competitors may or may not be offering. Again, the use of subdividing groups, and interests, Sony is able to make the wisest decisions at the given time, and through the use of committees and oversight, all decisions are made. “Looking back on FY2015, we made significant progress, achieving a stronger profit structure with greatly improved results, in terms of both consolidated operating income and net income attributable to shareholders” (Sony, 2015). The company also determines the amount of profit they need in order to meet their obligations, as well as reinvest in the company or experience a profit.
Sony Corporation prides itself in hiring regardless of gender, background, race, or location. As a company with several locations throughout the world, Sony seeks to recruit and retain talented local individuals at all of its locations. Through valuing diversity and the various backgrounds and knowledge of the employees, Sony is further able to retain employees and reduce the costs of turnover. Sony also has a global internship in which they recruit college students from many countries to join their company while they are still in college. Sony strives to recruit and retain the highest level talent, knowledge, and expertise in the industry. By doing so, the company is further able to continuously adapt to the ever changing market, and continue its innovation and growth. There are many programs within Sony that encourage employees to further develop their skills and capabilities through continuing education as well.
Some continuing education programs include regular trainings, language classes for employees that wish to learn a new language, cross training, management training programs, and support mechanisms for career growth. One support mechanism for career growth is the use of coaching and empowerment, which are both widely used within the company. Sony believes that in order to succeed, they must value their employees and further encourage them to succeed within the company. The company fully supports internal recruitment, and boasts of its tradition of challenging the employees to challenge themselves and each other. “…as well as encouraging the spirit of challenge among employees, it enables the Group to assign the right people to the most appropriate roles while simultaneously bolstering key parts of its business” (Sony, 2015).
Sony has been and continues to be a driving force in many industries. Through the utilization of technology, innovation, effective marketing, and experience, Sony has not only survived throughout the years, but has also seen growth and profit. The company is not only effective in marketing, but also in operations and human resource management.
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