This appendix provides background information on the vast Xerox Corporation and its main activities. The majority of information in this appendix has been downloaded from the company's World Wide Web site at http://www.xerox.com during February 1996, and so is representative of the Xerox official policies. The original source amasses this information as "Xerox factbook 1995". However the author has included his own information from the research into this report and from his own experience. This appendix is intended to give the reader an insight into the type of company Xerox is, its innovations and its failings.
The Document Company Xerox, founded in 1958, is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. Xerox develops, markets and supports a wide range of hardware and software products, services and technologies that enable users to create, manage, reproduce and distribute every kind of document in both digital and hard copy forms. The company works in association with other major companies and manufacturers of information and communications systems to deliver complete document solutions for any size enterprise. Because of this the company adheres to all recognised industry standards and protocols. In addition the company is also aware of its responsibility to both the community in general and the environment at large. The Document Company has subsidiaries in Europe and the Pacific Rim serving a world-wide network of dealers and distributors. Xerox's 1995 revenue was approximately \$19 billion.
Xerox is a global company in the document processing market. They design, engineer, develop, manufacture, market and service the widest array of document processing products and systems in the industry. Xerox copiers, duplicators, electronic printers, optical scanners, facsimile machines, networks, digital publishing machines, and related products, software and supplies are marketed in more than 130 countries. The stylised "X," depicting the pixels of digital imaging, symbolises the new Xerox. Much of Xerox's impressive technical innovations have come from its research Centre in Palo Alto, California in the 1970's. It attracted many excellent designers and technicians and is roundly regarded as the source of Xerox's current success. Following the company's fall from grace when the xerography patent ran out, the heavyweight company, who had a heroic indifference to their customers ('if they want a copier, we're the only people that make them') was forced to re-focus and relaunch. This is really the relevance of the PDP, Xerox had grown complacent and was nearly destroyed by faster, cheaper competitors. However, Xerox's own indifference to some of the staggering achievements of PARC such as the computer mouse, WIMP environments, 'What you see is what you get' applications and intuitive graphical user interfaces, and shoddy patenting have left Xerox with a respected but fumbling image. Indeed, one of its greatest fumblings was in the late 70's when Xerox decided they wished to enter the personal computer arena and agreed to allow Apple's boss - Steve Jobs - into PARC in exchange for 100,000 shares in his company. It was probably the worst decision Xerox ever made. Jobs left with a handful of PARC researchers, and within a few years had released the Apple Macintosh, closely pursued by a few weak law suits from Xerox. The rest is history.
Xerography, the technology that started the office copying revolution, was the inspiration of patent attorney Chester Carlson, who made the first xerographic image in 1938. The Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, contracted with Carlson in 1944 to perform early development work on the process, which Carlson called "electrophotography". Three years later, Battelle licensed The Haloid Company of Rochester, N.Y., to develop and market a copying machine based on Carlson's technology. Carlson, Battelle and Haloid agreed that "electrophotography" was too cumbersome a name for the process. A classical language professor at Ohio State University suggested the new name: "xerography," derived from the Greek words for "dry" and "writing." Haloid coined the word "Xerox" as the trademark for its products. The words xerography (to describe the process) and Xerox (to identify the products) were introduced simultaneously to the marketplace in 1948. Inspired by the early, modest success of its copying machines, Haloid changed its name in 1958 to Haloid Xerox, Inc. The company became Xerox Corporation in 1961 after wide acceptance of the Xerox 914, the first automatic office copier to use ordinary paper.
Xerox practices Total Quality Management and is committed to providing its customers with innovative products and services that fully satisfy their needs. Since 1980, Xerox has won quality awards in the United States, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. The major U.S. award was the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which Xerox Business Products and Systems won in 1989. In 1992, Rank Xerox won the first European Quality Award. In 1980, Fuji Xerox won the Deming Prize, Japan's highest quality award. Xerox products have been consistently rated among the world's best by independent testing organisations.
Xerox is committed to work-force diversity, which they see as a business opportunity going beyond numbers and targets. It is the acceptance of people with globally diverse backgrounds who bring fresh ideas, opinions, perspectives and creativity to our company and the community. At the end of 1994, the Xerox document processing work force in the United States was about 14 percent black, 7 percent Hispanic and 5.5 percent Asian and other groups. Women made up 32 percent of the work force.
Xerox shares the public's concern about the environment. As a responsible corporate citizen, Xerox uses recyclable parts and packaging and recycles as much paper and other waste as possible. self and its products exceed many government requirements for health, safety and environmental protection in the countries where it operates. Xerox embraces the philosophy of sustainable development, which means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The following section has been edited down from the original document to those models and technologies more pertinent to this report.
Major Products by Year of US. Announcement
|Five Years In Review||1994||1993||1992||1991||1990|
|Total Revenues (\$ millions)||17,837||17,038||17,176||16,737||17,100|
|Primary Earnings Per Common Share||6.73||-2.46||-2.91||3.74||5.56|
|Employees At Year End - Document Processing||87,600||97,000||99,300||100,900||99,000|
|Return on Assets (percent)||16.10||12.60||13.60||14.10||14.10|
|Fortune 500 Listings||22||21||22||22||21|
Corporate Research and Technology: provides the framework for transforming ideas into products and services. Its research goes beyond technology to all aspects of organisational effectiveness, including work and design practices, customer engagement, and institutional learning.Research is conducted at four major facilities in the United States, Canada and Europe: Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC) manages Xerox systems research, Wilson Centre for Research and Technology manages Xerox marking research and technologies. Xerox Research Centre of Canada manages Xerox materials research. Rank Xerox Research Centre develops document technology for multilingual and multinational uses. In addition, three technology centers are responsible for development of marking platforms, digital imaging platforms and document services platforms: Digital Imaging Technology Centre manages digital imaging technologies. Architecture and Document Services Technology Centre manages document services technologies. Corporate Engineering Centre drives engineering productivity for the entire corporation.
Rank Xerox: manufactures, markets and services Xerox products in more than 80 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. It also owns a 50 percent interest in Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd., in Japan. Rank was formed in 1956 as a joint venture of Xerox and The Rank Organisation plc, Xerox acquired majority interest (51 percent) in 1969. Xerox increased its stake to 71 percent in 1995 in a \$960 million deal that raised its share in Rank Xerox profits from 67 percent to 80 percent. Rank Xerox has 26,000 employees. Manufacturing, development and engineering facilities are located in Mitcheldean and Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom; Lille, France; Venray, the Netherlands; and Coslada, Spain.The Rank Xerox Research Centre in Cambridge, United Kingdom, specialises in the study of human-computer interaction. Rank Xerox has operations in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. It also has partnerships with Fuji Xerox in Japan and Modi Xerox in India. Xerox Middle East and Africa Operations are part of Rank Xerox and conduct business mostly through distributors.
Modi Xerox Limited: Modi Xerox is a joint venture between Rank Xerox Limited and Modi, an Indian company. It was formed in 1983 to manufacture and market document processing products in India and other eastern hemisphere countries. It has 1,800 employees.
Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.: Fuji Xerox, a 50/50 joint venture between Rank Xerox Limited and Fuji Photo Film Company, Limited, develops, manufactures and markets a full range of document processing equipment, including copiers and duplicators, facsimile machines, workstations, electronic printing systems and engineering systems. It has 27,000 employees, including 15,500 in Japan. Fuji Xerox was incorporated in Japan in 1962. In addition to Japan, it operates in the South Pacific Region through its subsidiary, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific (Pte) Limited. The company has manufacturing facilities in Ebina, Iwatsuki, Suzuka and Takematsu, Japan.
Xerox International Partners: established in 1991 as a joint venture between Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd., and Xerox Corporation, sells printers in North America and Europe to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) for resale, as well as to the Xerox operating companies. Xerox is a 51 percent partner; Fuji Xerox is a 49 percent partner.
In this section we shall look at the equipment Rank Xerox employs for transfer of information within the organisation (including the Xerox empire world-wide) and to the outside world. The details of specific hardware may be omitted where sensitive to the owners, but the general usage abilities for this submission are included.
Rank Xerox has an advanced telephone system, which can essentially be split into two sections - internal site communication, and external communication, in the UK, both of these are run through Mercury.
The former of these makes use of a near one per desk telephone network, which allows almost all non-shop floor staff to be reached by telephone extension - though there are many phones on shop floors as well. The system also caters well for conference calls as well as allowing users to employ advanced conditions to calls which BT are only now beginning to introduce nationals, and some functions which BT are not planning to introduce. Functions such as 'camping' which allows a caller to queue on a person's line and connect when the persons previous call has ended are available, allowing a greater opportunity to talk to a person without having to constantly redial. Other features allow group answering, transferring of calls and auto-forwarding of calls. The ringer system also differentiates from calls from outside of the Xerox network.
Externally, workers at RX Mitcheldean can contact colleagues at other sites internationally via the Xerox phone network, allowing RX phone numbers to be accessed over their own network. This not only saves money, but it also allows for a reduced number of standard 'outside' lines- making it easier to contact people. The network, on selected phones, also allows people to ring outside vendors in the normal way.
In addition to this most sites around the world also have a site tannoy and pager system (for those on the Xerox pager network) enabling people to reach those not at their phones; in the case of the tannoy, a call is put over the site tannoy system asking for that person to ring the connection line. In practice this method is very useful and very effective for reaching people.
Xerox has access to an advanced computer network system which spans almost everyone of their facilities, and most people in those facilities. This provides RX workers not only with the ability to process and store information electronically for themselves and others on site, but also gives them the ability to correspond with colleagues both abroad with Xerox, and with others outside the Xerox umbrella via a general Internet link.
What this means in real terms is that anyone in the programme teams can send documents and notes in near-to real time to one another around the world irrespective of local-time. The notes/documents are composed by a person at a local terminal and then can then be sent via the computer network to the desired person or persons at multiple locations around the globe. This system also allows for standard facsimiles to be sent from the desktop -without a hard-copy at source- to those who need to be mailed, but are not on the network.
The desktop computer systems at Rank Xerox Mitcheldean are generally of two types - the older system of a Xerox own-brand 6085 Star Systems running a desktop operating system called "Globalview", which contains the communication software outlined here, and the newer desktops of IBM-PC compatibles running Microsoft Office through Windows 3.11. This latter configuration is currently being phased in as the 6085's are replaced and enhances the mailing and fax systems whilst retaining the generic functionality of the older system. Both of these systems run quite happily together and both are capable of sending multiple documents with attachments, graphics and the ability to copy forward and reply from the message itself. These functions are of course vital for being able to transfer diagrams, drawings etc. There are also a number of Sun workstations, mainly IPC and IPX versions, which run an advanced version of Globalview. There has been some problems with the phasing in of the current Compaq/Microsoft Windows & Office bundles, partly through a lack of familiarity on the part of the staff, but mainly because although the Star systems were monochromatic in general, they were capable of features the current PC's cannot match. Though this is undoubtedly a tribute to the advanced hardware Xerox used to produce, it has resulted in the phase out of Star's to be slowed. An example of the type of functions not available is that Windows cannot handle truly independent personal desktops, with separate configurations and E-Mail addresses on one station - thus one person needs one PC for their own E-Mail, unlike the Stars, which could maintain many desktop accounts on one terminal at once. This potential problem though, is being looked into at Xerox and a solution is anticipated soon.
System availability is high. Although not strictly one per desk, in many of the buildings there is usually one terminal free at any given point in time. Access of servers and transfer of mail/fax's is fast (much quicker than the University VAX/morse system). Virtually all non-shop floor staff receive training on the computing system, and each has a personal 'desktop' and most use the mail facility regularly.
However, like all E-Mail systems, the user must log on to his or her desktop to see if there is any mail to read, once retrieved, these message can then be stored, printed, forwarded or deleted as appropriate. All that is required to send an E-Mail is the recipients address. Internally this can be found via one of the many company directories or deduced by that persons names and location. This means that a person can receive E-Mail from people they have never met an thus it is easier to reach new people - invaluable if looking for information or seeking out contacts.
In addition to the previous two transfer systems, many of the Xerox sites world-wide have access to the teleconferencing system Xerox Team Vision - or XTV; amongst them are the three main UK sites -Mitcheldean, Welwyn Garden City and Marlow, as well as many sites abroad particularly in the United States, Mexico and Japan.
Video conferencing links sites via what is best described as a two-way live television link - though it actually goes even further than that. This allows two teams on opposite sides of the world to be able to see one another at a meeting, almost as if they were in the same room. These conferences are run from special rooms at each site which is almost like a small TV studio. The room has seating and in many respects looks similar to an executive meeting room, however, at one end of a typical room there are a pair of large screens and each room contains a control panel for controlling the outgoing picture and the local cameras within the studio.
The system is run by both parties (although multiple site link ups are possible) agreeing a specified time (remembering to account for differences by time-zone), and then one party - the host - booking the XTV room at their site. The other site is then requested and the meeting verified if no timetable clashed occur. As the concept of teleconferencing is new to many participants, training courses and advice leaflets are also provided to ensure a productive use of the slot.
The room's abilities allow for cameras to be panned and zoomed so giving a good look at a specific part is possible as is transmitting overhead slides over TV and showing flip-charts. The XTV studio itself also contains many other devices such as faxes, telephones, a computer terminal, a copier to ensure that any transferred information can be gotten from site to site and between people at the meeting as soon as is possible. Security is assured by on-the-fly encryption of the outgoing signals and deciphering of incoming signals. Delay in signal lag is minimal, and is easily adjusted to. Another factor is that the incoming screen automatically switches to who ever is talking, along with the time lag, this can initially result in quick input changes as people seek clarification, but as the users become accustomed to the system and the time lag, this is virtually eliminated.
The system is intended as an alternative to expensive travel situations and allows meetings to be conducted face to face for durations from one to several hours. After initial unfamiliarity, the XTV system is now widely used and liked by many on-site, allowing a certain humanity to be added to telephone calls or E-Mail messages - it also allows the visible detail phones cut out and the real time nature E-Mail lacks. In use, as this author witnessed, the system is very useful, the picture is clear, and using the widescreen split picture, (akin to University Challenge's picture format) it is possible to see up to ten people with easy recognition, and speech is easily on par with a good speakerphone. The impact of face to face communication in this way should not be underestimated, and the meeting went just as well, if not better than one where all the people are in the same room. Certainly the interface makes listening much more important. Having said that, the fact that the user is looking at screens soon disappears and the feeling of being in the same room is great.
The IAP system is used by Xerox world-wide - although RX pioneered it - is a system to aid the assembly of the machines. It involves capturing digitised photos of a part being assembled in sequence and placing them on process sheets along with stepped instructions for assembly. The system users CCD video cameras linked to Sun stations running Interleaf 5 and videograbbing software. The results are impressive with the IAP studio having its own lighting sets and so the quality of captured thesisimages is very clear. Undoubtedly this system can result in much quicker learning curves and is regularly used as a teaching aid. The capturing of the thesisimages can be slow to start with, especially with black plastic parts, and for reflective metal parts, but image enhancing software can usually alleviate this problem.
Xerox uses an Intergraph based CAD system, such as those installed at the Mitcheldean site. However, at this manufacturing site - which holds no direct design change authority - the system is purely used as a raster interpreter for Docuplex thesisimages. Essentially what this means is that they can use drawings from the Docuplex system in their scanned raster (bitmap) format, and can send them electronically, can print and annotate them, but they cannot actually make a valid change or alter a part number, or do any direct CAD work. They can though, and do use the system to plan facilities layouts for new manufacturing projects. At Welwyn Garden City however, which has a limited design authority, it can design parts in a geometric format. The docuplex system has made raster versions of most drawings available over the terminals by scanning the previously used aperture cards - this makes finding the correct drawing for reference very simple, but some drawings are still not on the system, and new drawings for new machines can be slow in being put on, due to their changing nature, thus photocopies are more usual for this.
The company's material planning system, a hybrid MRP-II JIT system is run from DEC VAX terminals, which control most purchasing and transfer systems, such as work in progress stores, part ownerships and rework inventories.
Throughout this submission, there are discussions, definitions, comparisons and analysis of different points. In order to enable a manageable comparison between the different concepts and their implications, a three resource framework - explained briefly here, will often be used . Essentially, these three resource groups are :
In the Concurrent Engineering arena these groupings allow for certain non-quantative aspects of CE to be conveyed. For example, culture is often something that is hard to compare between scenario's, but if it assessed from these three groupings' perspective, although not perfect, they do allow for a viable comparison to be made. That is there are people involved , who have a culture, that is a way they prefer to do something (methodology), with certain tools (technology & methodology), perhaps using assumptions made from their upbringing and environment (human); in order to achieve the end result. Indeed the weightings and usage each of these groups receives will also give an explanation of a given process or situation.
These three groupings were also utilised by the Digital Equipment Corporation when they began to implement more Concurrent practices in the late 1980's.
The human resource includes not only people such as the project team members, but also the people they interact with in the course of the project (and possibly those who they interact with outside of the project realm). These people then may be either internal or external to the organisation. This grouping also includes their skills, attitudes, knowledge and the experience they have gained.
A large part of this is the hardware and software the team interacts with - such as computers for CAE (CAD/CAD, analysis, testing etc.) as well as E-Mail systems, CNC (Computer-Numerical-Control) equipment, telephones and video-conferencing systems. These resources too may be internal, private and proprietary, or global and standardised - many of which are analysed in their relevant sections.
This includes the decision making processes and philosophies - not just the formal ones as they are laid down by the organisation itself, but also the processes that actually happen in that organisation, such as chains of reporting and engineering procedures.