The case is about the Samsung Electronics Co. The Samsung Group is a multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea. It is the world's largest conglomerate by revenue with annual revenue of US$173.4 billion in 2008 and is South Korea's largest chaebol. The meaning of the Korean word Samsung is "Tri-Star" or "three stars".
Samsung Group formed several electronics-related divisions, such as Samsung Electronics Devices Co., Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Samsung Corning Co., and Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications Co., and grouped them together under Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. in 1980s. SAMSUNG’s aim is to develop ...view middle of the document...
And since 2000, Samsung has earned a total of 100 citations at top design contests in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Brokerage Hyundai Securities expects Samsung to earn $10.3 billion on sales of $52.8 billion this year, up from profits of $5.2 billion and $39.8 billion in revenues last year.
The case begins with the scenario that the Samsung designers taking the pain in creating the design of their product and observing the people and taking their opinion in order to improve their product design and performance. It is mentioned in the case that inside skyscraper Samsung is creating design while outside no changes taking place.
DECADE OF DETERMINATION
Samsung in 1994 moved its design center to Seoul from sleepy Suwon. That same year, Samsung hired U.S. design firm IDEO to help develop a computer monitor the first of many such collaborations with IDEO and other leading consultancies. Then in 1995, the company set up the Innovative Design Lab of Samsung (IDS). Samsung designers were dispatched to Egypt and India, Paris and Frankfurt, New York and Washington to tour museums, visit icons of modern architecture, and explore ruins.
Many of the new design ideas are coming from outside. Last year, Samsung started sending designers abroad to spend a few months at fashion houses, cosmetics specialists, or design consultancies to stay current with what's happening in other industries. But in the Digital Age it's not too hard for strivers such as Lenovo of China and BenQ to make products that approach the quality of long-standing industry giants such as Sony, Panasonic, or Philips Electronics Samsung, of course, was an upstart itself not long ago.
So Samsung must continue to reinvent itself. In the past four years, the company has doubled its design staff, to 470, adding 120 of those just in the past 12 months. And since 2000, its design budget has been increasing 20% to 30% annually. To keep an eye on trends in its most important markets, Samsung now has design centers in London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tokyo, and this year it opened one in Shanghai.
Samsung's designers these days no longer have to find a way to put their boxes around the devices that engineers cook up. Instead, they often give concepts to engineers, who must then build the machine inside the box dreamed up by the designers.
The usability lab was built to provide a lifelike forum for tests. It looks like a typical living room, with a kitchen in the corner for testing cooking appliances. It's that commitment to research that has given Samsung its edge. Many designers sit in on focus groups and watch closely as potential customers provide feedback on their new models. And each foreign lab has a researcher on site -- unusual in the industry.
Some skeptics say the company still doesn't have the breadth and depth in design of Sony, or the ingrained design culture of Apple Computer Corp. "Samsung has improved, but I don't see an identity in their design that...