Having sailed past Digital Equipment Corp in terms of total turnover with embarrassing ease, Hewlett-Packard Co is poised for more success in 1993. Not quite all of its $16,000m-plus annual turnover is computer-related, although computers are infiltrating all its non-computer businesses. New chief executive Lewis Platt shows a welcome colourful turn of phrase as he […]
Having sailed past Digital Equipment Corp in terms of total turnover with embarrassing ease, Hewlett-Packard Co is poised for more success in 1993. Not quite all of its $16,000m-plus annual turnover is computer-related, although computers are infiltrating all its non-computer businesses. New chief executive Lewis Platt shows a welcome colourful turn of phrase as he says We’re about as well-positioned as anyone to succeed in the murky environment that fiscal 1993 looks like it will be. Our new-product programme is incredibly effective, and that’s how you win in this market. We’re getting out new products more rapidly than ever before. We’re cutting manufacturing costs, and we’re doing a darn good job of applying HP technology in insightful ways. He is also firmly committed to proactive management: This isn’t the kind of business environment in which we can set targets and expect something to happen, and we’re not waiting for an economic turnaround to provide us with the kind of results we want to turn in. None of us thinks we can manage this business by putting it on autopilot, he says. In a review of the business, other executives pointed out that in the fiscal fourth quarter, each of the major businesses showed record order levels compared with any quarter in recent years. Acceptance of the mainframe-class Corporate Business Systems has exceeded expectations and the company had more than 200 orders by October 31 and will start volume shipments this quarter. Orders for the HP 9000 multi-user Unix systems grew more than 40% during 1992 and although revenue for the HP 3000 declined, unit shipments of these systems increased about 20% for the year – striking given the move away from proprietary systems, but then the company is opening up an enormous Open bolt hole for HP 3000 users. The company says that initial acceptance of the new LaserJet printers has also exceeded expectations, and has been exceptional for the new HP DeskJet printers – for which it has tripled its manufacturing capacity over the past year; both lines will expand further in 1993. On personal computers, it says that as a result of the introduction of new HP Vectra 486s in May, the monthly unit sales volume of the 80486-based family quadrupled between May and October.
The test-and-measurement business in aerospace and defence declined to 15% of the company’s total business in 1992 from 25% in 1986, but the company says it has offset this decline with reasonable growth in the commercial part of the business. The company has experienced good growth in communications test, semiconductor test, systems solutions and professional services. And the medical business had a very good 1992 fiscal year, especially in cardiac ultrasound, patient monitoring and new products. Growth in electronic components was very strong, but the analytical business had a year with no growth, partly due to the economy and partly due to some tough new competition. Despite its voluntary redundancy programmes, total employment for the year was up about 3,500 people, some 3,050 of whom were gained through the infilling acquisitions the company regularly makes. Employment in the Computer Products Organisation increased by about 2,100 people in the year to meet expansion needs. For the medium term, telecommunications is the key.