Canon Financial Services, Inc.: The Systems and Methods Committee

Canon Financial Services, Inc.: The Systems and Methods Committee

Ira Yermish (St. Joseph’s University, USA)
Copyright: © 2001 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-87828-961-2.ch004
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Abstract

Canon Financial Services, Inc. (CFS, www.cfs.canon.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of CANON USA. Originally, an independent office products leasing company, CITILEASE, founded by Albert Smith who remains the president, CFS has grown to be an important financial arm for the U.S. Canon copier and office products business. Since CITILEASE was acquired in 1990, the operation has grown dramatically. In 1996, CANON USA recognized CFS as one of its premier divisions. A key success factor for this growth has been the strategic management of information within a corporate framework of outstanding customer service. The strong leadership of Smith and his organization as well as the commitment to information technology resources has fueled this explosive growth. In this case study we will first examine the structure of the copier and office products leasing industry. Few businesses find it desirable to purchase copiers, fax machines and other computer equipment. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is the flexibility of capital in light of rapidly changing technological capabilities of the products being leased. The complex relationships of CANON dealers, independent dealers and service organizations, customers, credit reporting agencies, banks and CFS will be described, especially with respect to the complex flows of information necessary to complete the leasing application and contract tasks. Having established the industry basis we will describe CFS’s organizational structure and how information flows within the organization and among external organizations. The information technology infrastructure will be presented along with a brief history of the issues leading up to the current state of this structure. For example, the requirement to outsource the basic lease maintenance software will be examined in detail, especially from the point of view of this decision’s impact on strategic flexibility. The main focus of this case study will be the steering committee charged with addressing the information technology issues throughout the organization. The Systems and Methods Committee includes representatives from each of the departments and is chaired by the manager of information systems. Perhaps most striking about this organization is the role the president plays within the committee deliberations. The key players within the committee will be presented along with their comments about the committee operations. We will then place the reader at a point in time with a number of issues currently being addressed by the committee. A summary of the activity with respect to these issues will be presented. The reader will be asked to examine the issues and make a recommendation for a course of action for a new problem presented to the committee.

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