GUEST: Jim Dolce, Vice President Technology and Strategic Business Development at FUJIFILM North America Corporation
Dynamic industries – those that have gone through significant changes in recent years – have faced a unique set of challenges in sales and product development. FUJIFILM North America Corporation, is one of them. Their Imaging Division, which has historically been a B2B sales and marketing organization, has shifted to become a product development organization.
We sat down with Jim Dolce, Vice President Technology and Strategic Business Development at FUJIFILM North America Corporation, to discuss challenges that dynamic industries face and how they can overcome them.
Shifting to Business Development
As a former software developer, Jim was drawn to the freedom of doing many different things. “The idea of building cool software…because you can,” Jim said.
But when a shift occurred that led Jim to his current business development role, he needed to change his mindset to look at how to create value and be able to build a sustainable business. “I think that was the biggest challenge for me,” Jim said. “I see so many great things we could be doing – now being able to apply a business case to that…and say, ‘Where is the opportunity? Is it a short-term win versus a long sustainable business?’”
Part of Jim’s change in mindset was to look at not just current customers, but non-customers as well. “There’s a much broader customer segmentation out there today. How can we develop new solutions to meet their needs and create real value for their customers?”
Fujifilm, as a business, has survived through diversification. When Jim started with the company 15 years ago, it was at the peak of the photo printing business. But when the photo industry took a hit as new technologies emerged, Fujifilm kept afloat by both supporting loyal customers and by investing in new technologies, like digital imagining and healthcare. “So a lot of our challenges are about how we continue to meet their needs, developing solutions for them that will not only help them today but will lead them into the future.”
When faced with these challenges, Jim asks, “How much is focused on the present, versus the future?”
“What percentage of our resources are devoted to supporting our existing businesses, and how much (are we) investing in the future with business development?”
In today’s world – the “platform economy,” as Jim says – achieving scale comes down to three things:
- Scale – all of your systems have to be designed with scalability in mind.
- Scope – diversification is key. Look at the breadth and depth of your products.
- Speed – this is about empowerment. If every decision has to flow up the chain, you’ll never work at the right pace.
“Really thinking about what the organization needs to be able to achieve a different level of scale is really the changing mindset that I think we all need to adopt,” Jim said. “If our team can’t scale as the business scales, then we’re going to be the bottleneck.”
What is Most Effective When Someone is Trying to Sell You?
We like to ask our podcast guests this question. Here’s how Jim answered:
“First and foremost, do your homework. I’m not just a name on a list…don’t pitch your product or technology to me. Pitch your product to me. Don’t be lazy in approaching me. Do your research and tailor your message to how your solution is going to create value for my customers, my business and for me.”
In every episode of the B2B Revenue Executive Experience, we try to pull one nugget of wisdom from our guests that they would impart on a sales professional. Here’s this one:
“Remember that we’re all human beings. At the end of the day people have lives, they have families, we’re all human. When you take that for granted when you approach your work, you lose something. Focus on value creation. How are you creating value for your customer and your customer’s customers? When you focus on creating value in your interactions, you really can’t go wrong.”
This post is based on a podcast interview with Jim Dolce, Vice President Technology and Strategic Business Development at FUJIFILM North America Corporation. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience.
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