Shimadzu reorganization builds division autonomy

May 22, 1991

Shimadzu Medical Systems has restructured its North American operations,creating four divisions, each with responsibility for its ownbudget and strategic goals. The divisions are: administration; service; sales and marketing; and

Shimadzu Medical Systems has restructured its North American operations,creating four divisions, each with responsibility for its ownbudget and strategic goals. The divisions are:

  • administration;
  • service;
  • sales and marketing; and
  • ultrasound.

The Japanese medical imaging vendor brought back Toshiaki Udagawato head up the reorganized group. Udagawa is the executive whofirst introduced Shimadzu's x-ray equipment in the U.S.

Udagawa replaced retiring general manager Hiroyuki Hattoriin March. As executive vice president and general manager of SMS,Udagawa will head up the SMS administrative division as well asprovide overall leadership.

Udagawa initiated Shimadzu's U.S. medical imaging effort in1972, when he managed the firm's New York office. That was thefirst year in which Shimadzu exhibited at the Radiological Societyof North America conference, he noted.

During his 33-year career with Shimadzu, Udagawa also servedas managing director of Shimadzu Europe. He was responsible forboth the scientific instruments and medical equipment businessof Shimadzu in Europe from 1979 to 1984.

One of his goals in accelerating Shimadzu's North Americanmedical imaging effort is to increase the responsibilities ofthe firm's American staff, Udagawa told SCAN.

Harry De Mint, director of sales and marketing, will overseethe vendor's dealer networks for x-ray, computed tomography andmagnetic resonance imaging systems in the midwest and westernregions. Shimadzu took over direct supervision of the dealersfrom former distributors in those two regions but intends to maintainits one Canadian and two eastern U.S. distributors, Udagawa said.

"We have fixed all of our distribution channels,"he said. "We made too many changes in past years. Now wewant to provide stability for our customers and will maintainthe present organization as is."

Shimadzu's ultrasound business continues to be handled througha separate nationwide dealer network. This business is headedby Edith Stone, director of ultrasound sales and marketing.

SMS appointed Deborah A. Zane as director of research and developmentfor the ultrasound division in January. Zane is responsible forbuilding Shimadzu's joint Japanese/American ultrasound researcheffort, which will develop new scanners for the American market(SCAN 2/13/91).

While the research group will initially focus on ultrasound,efforts may be expanded to other modalities in the future, Udagawasaid. Manufacturing of medical equipment in the U.S. is also possiblein the future, although no plans have been set, he said.

CREATION OF A SERVICE DIVISION under Dennis Schoenfeldt, nationalservice manager, is one of the more dramatic organizational changesfor Shimadzu. Schoenfeldt will be responsible for servicing allmodalities nationwide.

Shimadzu is investing heavily in a buildup of parts and accessoryinventories as well as service staff to increase its responsivenessto American customers, Udagawa said.

The objectives of the overall reorganization are to increaseindividual responsibility and authority among the division leadersand to help clarify the company's mission and values. Each divisionwill set its own targets for developing the American medical business,he said.

Shimadzu is also considering merging responsibility for Mexicanmedical sales into the North American organization, in line withefforts to establish a free-trade relationship between Mexico,the U.S. and Canada. No decision has been made on this regionalchange, however, Udagawa said.