Manufacturer of printing equipment
Company name: Agfa
Company size: Large
Company web site:
Date of Foundation: 1867
Nr. of Employees: 250<

Case summary:
Agfa are facing a rapidly changing Market situation. The Change from analogue to digital Technology requires the company to develop NewProducts to satisfy a rapidly changing Market. In the old MarketCompetition was limited to two other large players. The developing sectorCompetition is proliferating and Agfa faces many more rivals. Agfa confesses that it had paid insufficient attention to Design in the past. The reason given for this was its strategy of Growth by acquisition and the fact that it sold Products from many different manufacturers and from many geographic areas. Ronald Marien, responsible for marketing and communication believes that Design is subservient to product functionality. However he was convinced that Design would add value to Agfa’s Products making them more attractive to potential buyers. Working with External designers Hegge ID the entire product range will be redesigned to give them a fresher and more uniform appearance. As Newcompanies are absorbed by Agfa this Design approach is extended to their Products adding value and improving saleability.

The repositioning of Agfa: design on a limited budget
Ronald Marien is responsible for marketing and communication at Agfa Graphics, a subsidiary of Agfa Gevaert. He takes a very sober view of design, which as far as he is concerned should always be subservient to product functionality – a standpoint endorsed by Frans Hegge. As the story of their work together will show, both Agfa Graphics and Hegge ID have both feet firmly on the ground. Their output is tested in practice and against market realities every day.

As a result of the recent switch from analogue to digital technology, Agfa Gevaert is currently passing through an important transitional period. A few years ago, its core business still lay in the production of consumables based on developing film, but scanning technology and digital imaging have now made applications such as photo film and X-ray film largely redundant. Obviously, this has major implications for Agfa’s business plan: its efforts have turned towards a different target market, its employees’ competencies are being transformed and new expertise is being built up.

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