Can We Talk?

You'd think that introducing a new product would be easy. You'd think that when you've done it four gazillion times that you might have it all figured out. Not Olympus.

Let me give you a simple example of the absurdity that's happening these days. I ordered a full set of Olympus OM-D goodies from my dealer this morning. He tried to order the full set from Olympus. Nope, one thing missing: the batteries. Let's see, you can order the grip but you can't order the batteries that go in them? That sounds a bit pointless, doesn't it?

Yes, I'm sure that the battery will eventually show up in my dealer's ordering system, and I'm sure he'll order one for me. By the time cameras ship everything will work itself out. Yet, those that jump on the pre-orders that everyone seems to be allowing now will find that they can't order grip+battery, so they might decide not to order it. Which sends a signal to the maker that the grip isn't selling in the expected quantities, maybe we'd better turn down the factory, which makes for fewer grips, which leads to the grip being out of stock when the person who didn't order it at the start finally decided that they'll go ahead and get it now. And yes, this is what happens these days, because companies try to keep really tight reigns on their production and inventory to keep overhead down and profits up.

This is one of those "frictions" I talk about when consulting. The bigger you want to be or the more sales you seek, the more you have to remove frictions. 

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