SOS: Hewlett-Packard’s Sinking Ship

On the Businessweek website, there is a blog post explaining the downward spiral of Hewlett-Packard. The blog begins by explaining that the company’s CEO, who happens to be the fourth in the past seven years, announced that shares recently dropped to a nineyear low and that the company’s 2013 profits are more than likely to miss the estimates previously made. The company has been in a state of decline for the past twelve. The company will make facility consolidations and large layoffs worldwide.

The author of the blog, Judith Hurwitz, predicts that Hewlett-Packard will have no choice but to become a holding company or break up into pieces and sell. Ideally the company would turn around by creating new innovative products since the company was built on the idea innovation when it first began and it succeeded quite well for a time in the market of technology. A turnaround through the creation of new products would help them attempt to keep up with such companies as Apple, although those chances appear slim to none at this point especially since the company is in the red to the amount of 30 billion dollars. With that amount of debt, options become limited. Any manufacturing company faces large costs involved with creating new products from design to production and testing, similar to our Deming cycle or PDSA. Hewlett-Packard would have to create products that can compete with or surpass those already on the market and then improve upon them as time passes. With Apple creating new products or improved models regularly and a loyal customer base, I do not think Hewlett-Packard stands much of a chance at a turnaround especially since they only specialize in hardware in the form of computers and printers.

Early on in the company’s life they proved to be a contender in the computer market, I myself have had several of their products over the years. However, as we have seen with many well-known and well-off companies, the ship is starting to sink. I believe many factors have gone into their current downfall such as a fast paced market that is constantly changing, changing consumer demands, and the success of Apple. This only makes me wonder if Apple will one day face the same fate. I am sure Hewlett-Packard, or any other company for that matter, never thought they would be in such a position. Had they branched out in the form of products such as phones or software, perhaps they would be better off today; or maybe such things will be what saves them. Perhaps they have attempted to make incremental improvements to both their products and business strategies over the years that have not proved to be greatly beneficial in the long run; maybe what they really need is a breakthrough.

Do you think Hewlett-Packard will be in business much longer? What are some ways they can stay in business?

3 thoughts on “SOS: Hewlett-Packard’s Sinking Ship

  1. I think Hewlett-Packard is a sinking ship. There have been many articles released about the potential downfall of Microsoft as well. Apple has a hold on the technological world and they keep expanding and branching out. I actually think that Hewlett-Packard might benefit from branching out and developing new products such as phones.

    There is a concept in the financial world known as, “diversification.” This is where you don’t put all of your “eggs into one basket,” so to speak. This way, If Hewlett-Packard has many different products, and one fails, they have other products that can potentially sustain them.

  2. You mentioned Apple being very successful, and I agree with you. Apple is able to introduce innovative products that consumers can’t wait to have. As for HP, I can’t think of anything truly interesting that they’ve made in recent years. Given that, I am not really surprised to see that the company is not doing well. Unless HP can introduce a product that is unlike anything on the market, and something that consumers actually want to purchase, I don’t think they can stay in business.

  3. I am from Singapore I am a senior banker. I bought a premium laptop DV6 series frp, HP Feb this year. I was wondering how can a laptop that has problems be released to the stores? I curse and swear for choosing HP in the first place. I should have known that HP is a sinking ship. The quality is no longer there! I am utterly disappointed with the way they handled customer service as well. I had to send in my laptop 3 times for them to find out what the problem was. On the third attempt they decided to reformat my new laptop and finally it worked. But why do I have to suffer all these grievances? I suffered this turmoil for a duration close 2 months. I lost faith in HP and will never buy a HP product ever again. For your info I am still getting them to compensate me for what I have gone through. more than 6 months they are still not able to give me a resolution.

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