Santa Clara University


Company Specifics

Founded: 1969
Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
Ownership Structure: Samsung is an International Company incorporated in South Korea with a total of 181 locations in 61 countries  
Employees: 70,000
Products: Samsung products are categorized into one of the following four business areas: (1) Home Network, (2) Mobile Network, (3) Office Network, or (4) Core Components.  Products include memory chips, LCDs, display devices, computer peripherals, and home appliances. 
Customers: Small to large companies, individual consumers



Samsung Suwon Complex
GiHo Ro, Overseas Alliance Manager

Tangjeong LCD Factory
Brian Berkley, Vice President LCD Technology Center



The Samsung Suwon Complex and the Tangjeong LCD factory were the two facilities we visited during our second day in Korea.  The class was looking forward to this due to the size of Samsung and its influence within Korea and internationally.  At the Suwon Complex, we toured the exhibition hall, history museum, and digital gallery.  In the afternoon, Brian Berkley guided us through the LCD Technology Center. 


Key Takeaways

The importance of brand recognition permeates Samsung’s marketing strategies
Brand recognition is an important factor in determining the success of a company such as Samsung.  In the electronics industry, branding is growing in importance relative to quality and features.  In order to promote its brand to a large global audience, Samsung was a sponsor of the Beijing Olympics


Samsung product strategy focuses on providing complete system solutions
Samsung has placed a focus on improving the interoperability among its products in order to increase customer satisfaction and become a total solutions provider.  The intent is that once customers purchase a product such as a television, they will also be inclined to purchase other Samsung products, such as a blu-ray DVD player, that integrate well with the television.


Samsung never stops innovating for the future
Samsung has targeted further growth and expansion in the large-screen TV market by increasing its glass manufacturing capacity and building its seventh and eighth generation lines at Tangjeong.  In the consumer products showroom we observed Samsung's efforts at increased innovation. New products bring more value to customers in the form of thinner bezels and lower power consumption.  The LCD clean room production facility was highly automated, with most of the observed human activity focused on testing and final assembly.


Samsung’s hierarchical management structure reflects the importance of seniority in the Korean culture
During one of the briefings we learned that Korean companies tend to be organized more hierarchically than American companies.  We noted that the management structure is tied very closely to the Korean culture. For example, there is an emphasis on ensuring that older people are properly addressed.  This a key takeaway since people visiting from other countries must be aware that cultural differences have a major impact on the potential success of a business interaction. 


Posted by: M. Wallace

We started our visit with a group photo in the lobby of Samsung's Suwon Complex in Incheon, Korea.


This is the first of many conference rooms we used at Samsung.


We enjoyed a Korean lunch with Samsung employees in a company cafeteria.
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