Business Strategies

Excellent Global Corporation Plan Phase V 2016-2020

Canon, seeking to become a truly excellent company that is admired and respected around the world, launched the medium-to-long-term Excellent Global Corporation Plan in 1996 and has successfully completed the first four phases of this plan. In Phase V, we are implementing seven key strategies as we embrace the challenge of new growth through a grand strategic transformation.

1Establish a new production system to achieve a cost-of-sales ratio of 45%

Strengthen domestic mother factories by emphasizing production in Japan and integrating design, procurement, production-engineering and manufacturing-technology operations. Reduce costs through robotics, automation and other production-engineering technology.

Prachinburi (Thailand) staff receive training at the Toride Plant in Japan

2Reinforce and expand new businesses while creating future businesses

Create and expand new businesses by accelerating the horizontal expansion of existing businesses. At the same time, concentrate management resources, including the use of M&A, to accelerate the expansion of promising business areas.

3Restructure the global sales network in accordance with market changes

Review existing sales organizations and reinforce omni-channel marketing that integrates online and conventional sales routes. Strengthen and expand customer-driven solutions businesses and focus energies on cultivating markets in emerging countries.

4Enhance R&D capabilities through open innovation

Discard the strict notion of self-sufficiency and construct an R&D system that proactively leverages external technologies and knowledge, promoting joint and contract research with various partners such as domestic and foreign universities and research institutes.

5Complete the Three Regional Headquarters management system capturing world dynamism

Promote the acquisition of promising businesses through M&A and complete the Three Regional Headquarters management system, under which Japan, the U.S. and Europe utilize each region’s strengths to establish comprehensive and efficient management.

6Cultivate globally competent human resources capable of performing duties while maintaining an all-encompassing perspective of the world map

Optimize use of human resources in operations worldwide. Evaluate personnel around the globe to identify candidates for senior management positions and develop the skills of these future leaders by rotating them through key positions in Japan and overseas.

7Re-instill the Canon Spirit as a foundation for new growth

Revitalize the enterprising spirit in our corporate DNA and the San-ji (Three Selfs) Spirit, which have been the guiding principles of growth since our foundation, and complete a grand strategic transformation.

New training facility to foster the development of next-generation software engineers

Today, there is a growing need for AI- and IoT-related software to make products more competitive and support manufacturing sites. In 2018, the Canon Institute of Software Technology (CIST) was established to develop the next generation of software engineers. This facility offers an extensive curriculum, including courses for new employees and those transitioning to new fields, as well as training to enhance engineering skills and cultivate top engineers who can lead businesses. Aiming to elevate the expertise of our engineers and strengthen our product development capabilities, we plan to add new courses covering such diverse topics as data science, AI and information security.

Top: The CIST building at Canon’s Shimomaruko Headquarters
Bottom-left: Image processing workshop
Bottom-right: Integrated training covering electricity, mechanics and software

Canon’s Road to Phase V

Phase I 1996-2000

To strengthen its financial structure, Canon transformed its mindset to a focus on total optimization and profitability. The company introduced various business innovations, including the selection and consolidation of business areas, and reform activities in such areas as production and development.

Phase II 2001-2005

Aiming to become No. 1 in all major business areas, Canon focused on strengthening product competitiveness along with the changing times, stepping up efforts to digitize its products. The company also conducted structural reforms across all Canon Group companies around the world.

Phase III 2006-2010

Canon moved ahead with such growth strategies as enhancing existing businesses and expanding into new areas while also thoroughly implementing supply chain management and IT reforms.

Phase IV 2011-2015

Responding to weakness in the global economy, Canon revised its management policy from a strategy targeting expansion of scale to a strategy aimed at further strengthening its financial structure. While actively pursuing M&A activities, the company restructured its business at a foundational level to introduce new growth engines for future expansion.