Mark Mathews, president and CEO of Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc., talks trends, challenges and opportunities in managed print and managed services. Read more from Mathews in this Executive Corner.
What is your current state of mind?
I am excited and passionate about the future. The world’s economic situation has stabilized, Toshiba has numerous new products and programs launching this year, and we have an exceptional team. We see 2012 being a very good year for us.
What is the greatest challenge you face today?
My greatest challenge is avoiding complacency. The world is constantly changing, and every business must continually challenge itself. At Toshiba, we frequently ask ourselves how we can evolve to not only keep pace, but to lead our industry.
What do you see as your biggest opportunity?
Our biggest opportunity for growth is in managed services and color printing. In particular, we see enormous opportunities in managed print services — not just helping customers reduce their cost per page, but also reducing the number of pages they print.
What qualities do you look for when making key hires?
There will always be a place at Toshiba for individuals who are creative and good team players. We like people who can come in, offer a different perspective and get a team engaged. We know we must evolve, or we won’t be able to survive — and having that same attitude when looking for new recruits is crucial.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
During the economic recession, Toshiba faced numerous challenges, and we emerged a stronger, more proactive organization. Being part of that wasn’t always pleasant, but the results were rewarding.
If your customers were to describe your company in three words, what would they be?
Toshiba is customer-focused, agile and caring. We know we exist because of our customers, and everything we do is to ensure their success.
Managed print services or managed services?
Without a doubt, it’s managed services. Toshiba’s vision is to provide services, which improve our customers’ ability to manage information and documents, be they in paper or electronic format. Managed print services is just a subset of managed services.
Where are you investing the most within your company this year?
At Toshiba, we’re investing in our growth initiatives in the area of managed services. We’re recruiting staff and building our customer-facing as well as back-office infrastructures so that we can deliver a more competitive offering that will improve our customers’ experiences.
What is your greatest concern for this industry?
We’re reaching another crossroads in the industry where organizations must transition to a services model or face being left behind. Our industry has outstanding companies with established customer bases, highly skilled service capabilities and business leadership that has the tenacity to excel. As an industry, we have every reason to be successful as we move toward a services-led model.
How would your employees and co-workers describe you?
People around me describe me as responsible, caring and a lifelong learner. On the flip side, I’m a little short on empathy, and my family has joked that the filter between my brain and my mouth doesn’t always work.
Who are your favorite writers?
My current favorite book is “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s a powerful book that puts one’s life in perspective and should be required reading for every American.
Why do you hold your current business position today?
Honestly, I’ve never focused on my career. I’ve always tried to be a team player and make our organization better. I have a question I keep posted in my study at home, which I try to use in all situations: “What can I do for you?” In the end, it all comes back to those we serve.
Do trends exist in this industry?
Trends will always exist, but in our industry we have seen the trends and cycles accelerate. The key is for organizations to embrace those changes and integrate them into their own strategies and plans.
Who is your next hire?
Toshiba is always looking for good people.
What is your favorite quote?
“Don’t let making a living stand in the way of you making a life.” — John Wooden
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