Thursday, December 10, 2009

Business model example: Xerox - Business Model Innovation in 1959

The business model around Xerox Model 914, introduced to the public in 1959, has become a classical example of how a new technology sometimes needs a new business model to become successful. The Xerography technology, to produce images using electricity that avoids the use of wet chemicals, was superior to other available methods, but also very expensive. When Haloid (later renamed Haloid Xerox and then Xerox Corporation) tried to find marketing partners for its Model 914 the company was constantly turned down by the likes of GE, IBM and Kodak. Haloid decided to lease the equipment, instead of selling it, at a relatively low cost and then charge a per copy fee for copies in excess of 2000 copies per day. The company provided all the required supplies, service and support and the customer could cancel the lease on only fifteen day's notice. This was a bold move given that the average business copier at that time produced an average of 15-20 copies per day. Haloid took a large risk as customers were only committed to the monthly lease payment and paid no more unless the performance of the Model 914 led them to make more than 2000 copies. The Model 914 became a huge success, with customers averaging two thousand copies per day (instead of month) and the company sustained a compound annual growth rate of 41% over a 12 year period. Also, the company became highly incentivized to develop faster machines that could handle high volumes with maximum machine uptime and availability.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very interested in the Xerox case.

    I'm studying the financial impacts of switching from a selling products business model to a renting renting products business model.

    I've looked for books on that subject but didn't find anything. Books that I've found only talk about the marketing/sale/organization aspects. The financial aspect was forgotten or very lightly treated.

    Do you know books or articles talking about the financial side of this kind of business model ?