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04-07-2012, 09:27 PM   #61
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Don't expect the Pentax-USA (or any other division's) CEO or PR chief or other senior officer to take questions from members here. They have other jobs -- they manage, and delegate. It would be nice if PFC had an ASK PENTAX forum similar to ASK B&H, where questions can be raised, but are only answered by authorized folks, like corporate and PFC staff. I'd expect the corporate assignment to go to a junior PR worker as punishment.

Don't expect senior corporate officers to blog about substantive corporate issues. About other stuff, sure, but nothing that impacts the firm. My experience: I was a software engineer in the systems division of a rather major insurance company (non-healthcare). The systems chief, a really nice guy, 'blogged' 1980s-style: he wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper. He did not discuss the company. He wrote about the region, community activities, business in general, etc. But he wasn't tasked to reveal new insurance products.

Our PFC community, especially here in Pentax-USA-land, seems manic-depressive. Hoya is ruining Pentax, boo-hoo... Ricoh will save Pentax, huzzah! Oh no, Ricoh is ruining Pentax -- bring back the Hoya-era prices! Whatever Pentax-Ricoh management does is aimed at ME, boo-hoo... Ricoh will make Pentax develop game-changing products, huzzah! [/me makes rude noise] Ah, c'mon folks, get over it! Don't expect comforting answers to pointed questions. Don't expect words. Expect actions. Let's see how this shakes out.

04-07-2012, 09:33 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
At least in Europe, the Pentax management seems to be able to not repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot ... they seem to keep a rather tight lip. Wonder why?

A+, J
Quite simpel, we got a different management for each country almost, there is not one large EU office.
The situation and how things are arranged and managed is very different.
04-07-2012, 10:01 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
It would be nice if PFC had an ASK PENTAX forum similar to ASK B&H, where questions can be raised, but are only answered by authorized folks, like corporate and PFC staff.
Wait... why DON'T they have this?
04-08-2012, 01:17 AM - 1 Like   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I couldn't do Ned's job or any other CEO's job or I'd be a CEO. I do the job I do because I can do it well enough to grow it and keep it.

Perhaps I haven't been clear. From the outside it appears that Hoya forced P-USA to adopt the BigBox marketing strategy, significantly shrink the US employee roster and outsource most of the business functions. I have consistently criticized that decision since it was announced - and done so without rancor, for the most part. In response to the volume strategy, over ensuing years USA prices cycled to the bottom, so that USA internet sellers were competing with Pentax-Canada, Pentax-Europe and the Australian distributor.

Now that P-USA is being forced to cleanse the distribution channel, it appears there is little if any infrastructure left upon which to build a more European, local sales and service distribution model.

  • There doesn't appear to be a full-time, dedicated person who manages the placement of product links and new product splashes on the Pentax Webstore.
  • There doesn't appear to be a full-time public/media relations employee to make timely, explanatory statements on behalf of P-USA management, or to write them for senior public figures.
  • There doesn't appear to be Pentax-employed Customer Relations department
  • There doesn't appear to be a Pentax-employed technical support department
  • We know there isn't a Pentax-employed service department
  • We know there isn't a dedicated sales force (perhaps excepting National accounts); there apparently isn't a contracted sales broker
  • There apparently isn't a broad workshop schedule supporting customers and local retailers (I think Ned and John did several local workshops on the East Coast last winter - not a task I would assign the VP-Marketing and CEO)
The core point of my earlier post, perhaps not clearly expressed, is that I wouldn't want to be a senior manager at Pentax USA right now. I've lived through corporate acquisitions from both sides (now - after 20 years of buying, my company was recently bought by another). The ensuing culture, strategy and tactical changes are at best challenging and often perplexing in that promises you've made to valued relationships must be broken and the relationship rebuilt. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that is why Ned felt it important to blog about the Adorama relationship.

Sometimes there isn't a good choice or a better choice, there's only the only choice - and it isn't a pleasant choice. Pentax-USA's results have just been judged by Ricoh and instruction to change has been given. That's where I think Pentax-USA (Ned and John) is right now - pointing to results that have been judged by the owner.

And spending Easter (or Passover) weekend making a list of things to address with valued relations on Monday.
All of which rather vitiates your earlier posts about the functions of a CEO. It looks as if there isn't one, effectively, because under the ancien regime Pentax USA was reduced to about three guys and a dog in a back office somewhere. Anyway, you could prop Obi-Wan Kenobi in front of a microphone next week and it wouldn't make any difference. The damage has been done so it doesn't much matter who says what. What actually happens over the next 8-12 months will be the deciding factor for most folks on here, I guess. Ned strikes me as a good man and a considerable artist in his own right. Quite why he stays in the job is a little baffling: here he is again, preparing to go over the top to face obliteration while the authors of these actions are snug in offices halfway round the world and aren't coming out to say anything.

04-08-2012, 02:02 AM   #65
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Yes but it a weird mix ... Pentax Europe GmbH & Pentax Life Care

QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Quite simpel, we got a different management for each country almost, there is not one large EU office.
The situation and how things are arranged and managed is very different.
Bonjour Anvh,

Yes, I knew that there's different management for different nations (and/or linguistic zones ... no Pentax Beligium exists, etc.) and that this would result in different management styles ... but I would suggest that we'll see a consolidation into a super central European office in the future.

Here's the Pentax Europe link, for those who are curious - PENTAX Europe GmbH

And what's weird is that the "Imaging Systems aspects" which are owned by Ricoh are on the same site(s) as the "medical imaging aspect" which was retained by Hoya (???)... seems like a bizarre mode for functioning to me.

Click on any sub-link named "'Pentax Life Care" - see on the UK site : LIFE CARE - PENTAX U.K. Limited or again see the Pentax Europe GnmbH site ... it's there, too.

Et voilą ... for what it's worth. Salut, John le "Brown" Baudet du Poitou
04-08-2012, 04:17 AM   #66
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There is an representative for Pentax Benelux but i ain't so happy with them.
Maybe we will see such a shift for a big office but that isn't the case at the moment, we can't expect that the small offices act the same as the big ones.

The site is also different.
Pentax Imaging exist for quite sometime now and when we go to pentax.com we also only get to the Ricoh side.
With the EU site we always went to the screen to chose the division. We are only 6 months into the merge you know, it's not like everything will be black instead of white all of a sudden. Hoya also still has Pentax brand name and their customers here in the EU are used to getting to them through the site this way, there is just no way it will change over night this. This something Hoya and Ricoh need to solve together but because it as always been this way i doubt it will ever change.
04-08-2012, 06:30 AM   #67
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Pentax does have some form of local distribution network, so I don't think they are a complete bare bones organization here. My local store that stocks a full range has mentioned their Pentax dealer before and the long time they had been friends with him. The one negative Pentax had, and might still have, was that they didn't have a website for camera shops to order new stock and such. The other companies do have that, so it makes the whole process easier on local shops.
04-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Don't expect the Pentax-USA (or any other division's) CEO or PR chief or other senior officer to take questions from members here. They have other jobs -- they manage, and delegate. It would be nice if PFC had an ASK PENTAX forum similar to ASK B&H, where questions can be raised, but are only answered by authorized folks, like corporate and PFC staff. I'd expect the corporate assignment to go to a junior PR worker as punishment.

Don't expect senior corporate officers to blog about substantive corporate issues. About other stuff, sure, but nothing that impacts the firm. My experience: I was a software engineer in the systems division of a rather major insurance company (non-healthcare). The systems chief, a really nice guy, 'blogged' 1980s-style: he wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper. He did not discuss the company. He wrote about the region, community activities, business in general, etc. But he wasn't tasked to reveal new insurance products.

Our PFC community, especially here in Pentax-USA-land, seems manic-depressive. Hoya is ruining Pentax, boo-hoo... Ricoh will save Pentax, huzzah! Oh no, Ricoh is ruining Pentax -- bring back the Hoya-era prices! Whatever Pentax-Ricoh management does is aimed at ME, boo-hoo... Ricoh will make Pentax develop game-changing products, huzzah! [/me makes rude noise] Ah, c'mon folks, get over it! Don't expect comforting answers to pointed questions. Don't expect words. Expect actions. Let's see how this shakes out.
(Bill Clinton voice on) Its the economy prices stupid. (Bill Clinton Voice off) I couldn't resist Rio. Hysterical However, Leica era prices for stuff like a DA* 16-50mm and 1 year warranty is ridiculous even if it was Pentax 2005 pre Hoya boys.

sarcasm


Last edited by Blue; 04-08-2012 at 11:03 AM.
04-08-2012, 10:59 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
Pentax does have some form of local distribution network, so I don't think they are a complete bare bones organization here. My local store that stocks a full range has mentioned their Pentax dealer before and the long time they had been friends with him. The one negative Pentax had, and might still have, was that they didn't have a website for camera shops to order new stock and such. The other companies do have that, so it makes the whole process easier on local shops.
The U.S. network is fairly simple. PentaxImaging in Golden Denver, Colorado to Adorama, BH, Abe's, 47th, 17th, Amazon and a couple other retailers. tossed
04-08-2012, 01:11 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
It would be nice if PFC had an ASK PENTAX forum similar to ASK B&H, where questions can be raised, but are only answered by authorized folks, like corporate and PFC staff.
QuoteOriginally posted by RXrenesis8 Quote
Wait... why DON'T they have this?
Because:
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I'd expect the corporate assignment to go to a junior PR worker as punishment.
So maybe they haven't enough staff that one needs punishing? Yet?
04-08-2012, 03:06 PM   #71
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Ned's blog always seems to get trotted out with new releases... then disappears for months on end! But, it might not be such an awful idea to at least read what he has to say before opining =). At least he's willing to respond, which shows cojones. And jeez, to hassle him for making a list - huh?!?! I organise my entire life through bleedin lists, give the guy a break for trying to do this properly/thoroughly, yeesh.

But, I hope you're not fed an airy fairy "it's HQ's fault, wasn't us guv". As prez, you really can't blame everything on someone else. That's... weak. And, if he says higher pricing is neccessary to lead to better a/b/c/d, then the intelligent people will judge his statement by specifics and deliverables, rather than vague and wooly unverifiable promises.

What I can't get over though is the manner in which was done, and that it wasn't realised this would cause uproar? Blogs talking about a 90% price increase is disastrous PR handling. A better plan would surely have been to pump out a press release justifying a gradual transition over the course of a year through glimpses of the promised land to come. You do have to ask yourselves who PentaxImaging think their customers are, the people who buy the cameras or the distributers.
04-08-2012, 03:08 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
What actually happens over the next 8-12 months will be the deciding factor for most folks on here,
Vitiates? I believe I made it quite clear over many years - if 'ya got results, point at 'em and walk away. If ya ain't got results, well then you're screwed. Ned's screwed.
04-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The U.S. network is fairly simple. PentaxImaging in Golden Denver, Colorado to Adorama, BH, Abe's, 47th, 17th, Amazon and a couple other retailers. :tossed:
I have two small local camera shops that have Pentax, one with a full line and the other with mostly camera bodies. There are also other sites like Best Buy and Walmart.
04-08-2012, 07:36 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
I have two small local camera shops that have Pentax, one with a full line and the other with mostly camera bodies. There are also other sites like Best Buy and Walmart.
For your browsing pleasure, here is an industry listing of the camera stores in Canada and the USA - all 3000 of them - divided by state and province - All Camera Equipment
04-08-2012, 07:51 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
I have two small local camera shops that have Pentax, one with a full line and the other with mostly camera bodies. There are also other sites like Best Buy and Walmart.
I haven't seen anything Pentax on a Wal-Mart shelf, K-Mart or Sears since the k1000 era. I have never seen anything in the 1 BestBuy in 150mile radius. One of the Wolfs stores allegedly had a K20d when they came out but I never could find it. Those stores were closed. The thing here in the State Capital that passes as a B&M quit carrying Canon and now deals in Sony. However, they 2 outdated 10 year old N.O.S. accessories. It doesn't make much sense to order anything from Wal-Fart or Bad Buy internet sales in lieu of BH or Adorama given their customer support which is quite good. That said, WalFart and Bad Buy would fall under the "couple other retailers" in my post.


sarcasm in regards to Wally World etc.
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