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EPSON in France. Best in France Case Study December 2004 Alain-Gabriel Gomane Tamás András Hofer Yoko Nagai Altaf Pataf. Origin of Epson. Epson part of the SEIKO Group developed a printing timer that was chosen for the official timekeeping at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

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epson in france

EPSON in France

Best in France Case Study

December 2004

Alain-Gabriel Gomane

Tamás András Hofer

Yoko Nagai

Altaf Pataf

origin of epson
Origin of Epson
  • Epson part of the SEIKO Group
  • developed a printing timer that was chosen for the official timekeeping at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
  • Launched of the world's first electronic printer, the Epson EP-101 in 1968.
  • The name Epson is a combination of the EP-101 and SON.


epson milestones
Epson Milestones
  • 1881 K Hattori & Co Ltd (now SEIKO Corporation) is inaugurated.
  • 1964 The SEIKO Group is selected as the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
  • 1968 The world's first mini-printer, the Epson EP-101, is launched
  • 1975 The Epson brand is established.
  • 1994 The Epson Stylus Color pioneers Epson's worldwide range of desktop colour inkjet printers.
  • 1995 The world's smallest, lightest and brightest multi-media projector, the Epson EMP-3000, is launched.
  • 2002 More than 9,500 patents claimed for Epson technologies.
corporate data
Corporate data

Founded: May 18, 1942Net sales: 1,413,243 million yen <10 100 Millions of euros>(As of March 31, 2004)  Head Office: 3-3-5 Owa, Suwa, NaganoNumber of Employees: Epson Group (Consolidated):84,899, Parent Company: 12,839 (As of Mar. 31, 2004)Main Business: Development, manufacturing, sales, marketing and servicing of information-related equipment (computers and peripherals, including PCs, printers, scanners and projectors), electronic devices (semiconductors, displays, and quartz devices), precision products (watches, plastic corrective lenses, and factory automation equipment) and other productsGroup Companies: 110 (Japan: 36, Overseas: 74)(As of March 31, 2004)

epson s corporate vision and strategy
Epson's corporate vision and strategy

Epson brings Digital Image Innovation to LifeEpson will provide cutting-edge imaging solutions, focusing on the fields of imaging on paper, imaging on screen, and imaging on glass

Epson has established SE07 as its medium-to-long-term corporate vision. SE07 sets out where we plan to be in 2007 by clearly defining the fields in which we will develop our business based on the concept of Digital Image Innovation. We set SE07 as our compass, linking to it the goals of each employee, operations division and the corporation as a whole. We remain committed to strengthening our corporate character through continuous reform of our business processes and through innovative management.Forming the base of Epson's business is its Management Philosophy, Quality Philosophy and Environmental Philosophy. What we desire above all is to see every one of our employees worldwide continually striving to provide goods and services that bring satisfaction to consumers. From a corporate point-of-view, we will work to maintain high transparency and sound fiscal policies, serving as an example of trustworthy management and good corporate governance.Based on its commitment to quality and trustworthy management, the Epson Group as a whole is dedicated to bringing Digital Image Innovation to life.

Saburo Kusama, President & CEO

Saburo Kusama

epson philosophy
Epson Philosophy

Commitment to Innovation 

The philosophy of Epson employees is to

Start Together & Achieve Together, which helps us develop and implement forward-thinking products and approaches

epson main products
Epson main products
  • "3i" strategy
    • i1: imaging on paper (developments in printers and other imaging products)
    • i2: imaging on screen (developments in projectors)
    • i3: imaging on glass (developments in mobile displays)
epson main products8
Epson main products
  • Printers
    • Ink jet printers
    • Laser printers
    • Dot matrix printers
    • Large Format Printers (Graphic Arts)
  • Image capture
    • Scanners
    • Digital Still camera
  • Projectors
  • Point of Sales Printers / Solution and systems for retail
epson in europe emea
Epson in Europe (EMEA)

- 1,500 employees from manufacturing and services

- 1,500 employees in sales

- EMEA Covers Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East, Russia, Africa

- Headquarters in Amsterdam (Netherlands), founded in 1991

- European Marketing is split between France and UK

- European 3rd level support in France (Créteil)

European management






European 3rd level Support (France)

Consumer (UK)

Business (France)

epson in france10
Epson in France
  • In France, Epson has 2 entities :
  • Epson France SA
    • Located in Levallois-Perret
    • created in 1983
    • Sales
  • Epson Engineering Europe
    • Located in Créteil
    • Created in 1988 and became a European structure in 2002
    • European 3rd level support
epson f rance sa
Epson France SA
  • Number of employees : 260
  • Sales : 442 Millions Euros (31st March 2003)
  • Before 1983, Epson was distributed through a local dealer called Technology ressource.
  • In 1983, Epson absorbed this company and kept the employees
  • Cultural change : dealer to manufacturer philosophy
  • Matrix organization

General Management France

POS/ Graphic Arts / Projectors

Marketing / Sales



epson france sa market share
Epson France SA – Market share
  • Number one in (2003 figures) :
    • dot matrix printers market (market share : 70%)
    • scanners,
    • point of sales printers with 70% of market share
    • sales of projectors (For the sixth consecutive year), 18% of Market share
  • Number two in :
    • Colour laser printers with18.1% market share in 2002(source : GFK)
    • Ink jet printers with 29.8% of market share in 2002 (source GFK)
  • More than 860,000 printers, 200,000 scanners, 21,000 projectors, 46,000 point of sales printers et 2,500 solutions and systems for retail sold in 2003 in France.
european marketing in epson france sa
European Marketing in EpsonFrance SA
  • European Marketing reorganization in 2001
    • Epson France responsible for the Business market(B to B) in Europe
    • Epson UK responsible for the consumer market (B to C) in Europe
  • France was chosen to be in charge of the business market because of a very good market share in this area.
  • In France, the European marketing team represents 20 employees, including 2 Japanese, 1 English, 1 Spanish, 1 German, 1 Canadian.
  • For the European Marketing, Epson France SA prefers to hire someone who already lives in France or takes part in the group (Otherwise, it is not only too costly, but also hard to explain both French culture and the corporate culture to a new employee).
epson engineering europe
Epson Engineering Europe
  • Located in Créteil
  • Created in 1988, became a European structure in 2002
  • 3rd level support structure (software and hardware) for Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • Sales : 11.8 Millions euros
  • 100 employees
  • Inaugurated in 2002 by Saburo Kusama (Epson CEO) in presence of Laurent Cathala, mayor of Créteil (pictures below)
epson engineering europe15
Epson Engineering Europe
  • The site had been chosen to be located in France
  • « UK too north, Spain, Italy too south » : France is in the center
  • Square meters available in France
  • Infrastructures available in France
  • In 2002, 40 workshop workers were laid off and 40 engineers were hired instead.
  • 18 different nationalities in Créteil
  • European entity with European consumers
  • Relocation issues
    • An external company has been hired to train new expats, find an apartment, organize the removal.
      • This company saved Epson a lot of time.
      • In particular, explaining Payroll, taxes, healthcare. For example, taxes have to be deducted in France to the opposite of the UK or Spain.
assessment system in epson
Assessment system in Epson
  • European perfomance management system put in place in April 2004
  • Based on S.M.A.R.T. objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound objectives)
  • Limited on time
  • Interim interviews between managers and employees every 6 months
  • Final assessment in March at the end of the fiscal year (FY = April to March).
  • Grading from 1 to 5
  • Before Self assessment. Self assessment differed according to national cultures. E.g a Japanese tended to give himself a bad grade.
why france
Why France?
  • Epson France SA
    • Business opportunity (France is a big market in Europe)
    • Strategy : First contracted with a distributor to test business in France and then implemented.
  • Epson Engineering Europe
    • Geographical location
    • France is in the center of Europe : easy access to UK, Germany and Italy. UK was too north and Italy was too South to have a support center for Europe.
    • Infrastructure is well equipped
    • Space available
difficulties in coming to france
Difficulties in coming to France
  • Social protection : Employee protective labour law
    • Compare to other countries, labour law in France gives more priority on protecting an employee.
  • High Tax
    • Need to explain to an employee who came from different countries
  • Charging system of tax is different among countries
    • In France, tax will be paid a year after an employee gets his/her payment. When an employee comes from different country, the firm have to explain the difference.
  • Administration system in France is sometimes difficult
    • Eg get an ID, work permit...
advantages of coming to france
Advantages of coming to France

We saw that the main 2 reasons EPSON choose France is that the geographical location and the quality of the infrastructure. In addition to that, there is very significant advantage of having a office in France.

  • Quality of life
    • General standard of life is high. Life style is more enjoyable in France than in some of the other European countries.
    • Nice weather
    • Rich culture
essential advice and notice
Essential Advice and Notice
  • A particular attention has to be given to salaries, tax and social charges different
  • Very strong social law protection for employees
  • Have a specialist for a labour law
    • Labour law in France is very complicated.
  • Make a comprehensive contract
    • Make sure to make the condition of the contract very clear in official documents
  • Hard to fire employees in France
  • No unions, if possible
    • Ironically, union often makes hard for a firm to have a communication with employees (Epson has no unions).
special thanks to
Special thanks to
  • Thérèse Gratia, HR Manager Epson France SA, BP 320, 68bis rue Marjolin, 92305 Levallois-Perret cedex, email :, tel : 01 40 87 37 91
  • Veronica Johnson, HR Manager Epson Engineering Europe, 60 Rue Auguste Perret, 94000 Créteil, tel : 01 56 71 57 03
  • Gilles Beaumont, Knowledge author (technical support specialist), Epson Engineering Europe, 60 Rue Auguste Perret, 94000 Créteil, tel : 01 56 71 57 36
our team
Our team
  • Gomane, Alain-Gabriel :
  • Hofer, Tamás András :
  • Nagai, Yoko :
  • Patel, Altaf :