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01-20-2022, 12:24 AM - 2 Likes   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kobie Quote
and there may actually be no more Pentax in stores at all, period.
I haven't seen a new Pentax camera or lens in a store here for many years...

01-20-2022, 12:24 AM - 1 Like   #17
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Sounds like more of the "six models of K-3III" process. Fan meetings and digital communications like pentaxofficial and the GR site. I do wonder what workshop manufacturing means. Particularly in terms of technical innovation.

I understand the thinking when it comes to camera bodies but lenses? I dont understand that.

Also a big question how/if they will handle international communication.
01-20-2022, 12:47 AM - 3 Likes   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
I do wonder what workshop manufacturing means. Particularly in terms of technical innovation.
If my experience of "workshop manufacturing" matches what Ricoh Imaging means for cameras and lenses, it means manufacturing is setup for agility rather than for optimal unit cost. More staff training for being able to switching from making one product to making another product, less automation and making smaller batches to just match the demand but not more, eventually the products are designed to be reuse parts, to be assembled using the same tools and processes, but that means unit cost is slightly higher. Workshop style is good for small volume markets, downside can be higher unit cost and potentially less consistent manufacturing quality since manufacturing depends more on people (variations from operator to operator) but can be offset by better trained operators.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-20-2022 at 12:52 AM.
01-20-2022, 12:57 AM - 3 Likes   #19
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Totally unexpected.

First of all, note that the press release specifically talks about Japanese market. It's possible that they'll do the same thing to other markets, but we don't know yet.

Anyway, I think JPT is about right as for "Studio-style". The original word, 工房, is where artisans work to design and produce things. A workshop, a studio, an atelier. The message I get from reading the Japanese press release is that they'd like (us to think that they want) to listen to and talk to customers like artisans would to their clients to create things together. Greater customization, product ideas from customers, maybe smaller batches. You can guess beyond that, but at this stage it's probably not that useful.

Concerning what they call the digital sales strategy, I'm surprised that they sounded as if they don't want traditional retailers any more. Do they part with retailers with physical storefronts from giants like Bic Camera and Yodobashi to smaller retailers who regularly featured Pentax like Yaotomi? Will the retailers still sell Ricoh and Pentax online, or are these cameras going to be exclusive to Ricoh's own online stores?

And what happens to the markets outside of Japan?

01-20-2022, 01:16 AM - 1 Like   #20
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If they are starting with customized versions, I guess a more direct sales model is natural - retailers wouldn't like to have jet black with classic shutter release button monochrome K-3iiis sitting on shelves.
I do think they should keep the classic sales channels for the standard (and, perhaps, popular customized) models.

I would also like to keep being able to see Pentax gear in our local store.
01-20-2022, 01:30 AM   #21
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I can see there being very little in it for both shops and Pentax maintaining those channels. Around here very few items are in stock even online. Besides the direct online + flagship store combo is more or less becoming the norm. As the Petapixel review of the DFA21 shows though Pentax can't completely abandon technical progress. Workshop manufacture is probably best at JLimited type stuff.
01-20-2022, 01:34 AM   #22
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I wonder if Pentax indents to stay abroad in the form it has now, withdraw or limit presence even further. Cause I doubt they will do the fan-meeting style in the west, either EU or US. I would say that we would get "leftovers from Japanese table", so digital only and no say in what options are or are not available. And I do not think it will work well for Pentax here.


As for rest I think it will be more like very small "available" batches of premade cameras via the malls/digital while the main work will be concentrated on customized cameras made on order. I wonder how far they will push this style, I think on the beginning it may be colors or engravings only, but something like heavy customization may be possible in future? Sensor for astro (though I doubt CCD one), B&W, diffrerent screens, full manual etc.


I do think they are going full speed ahead toward Leicaization of their bussines.

01-20-2022, 01:40 AM - 3 Likes   #23
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The possibilities here are quite interesting:
I want a K-1 series camera - ok
Flippy screen or not (yes please)
Sensor, Colour or B&W? (Colour please)
Resolution choice - 36, 48, 72 - please be aware that higher resolution will impact frame rate - (uhh hmm, I'll go 48 please)
AF, yes or no (Yes please)
Etc, etc
The price for you chosen camera =... - Manufacturing and delivery = 2 months.
01-20-2022, 02:03 AM - 2 Likes   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by NZ_Ross Quote
I can remember how the computer industry changed when Dell came along and implemented a 'build to order' model. It upended the PC business, and has proved to be successful business model.

It will be interesting to observe how Ricoh implement this, and whether they offer a differentiated 'build to order' payment up front type product.
One of the keys with the Dell model was that they also decreased costs, while allowing greater customization. (I was a large company equipment coordinator at the time). Decreased cost and improved marketing would boost Pentax.

But it seems like Pentax/Ricoh is going the way of increased cost and decreased marketing (digital communications only, no mass market). So... I dunno.

The other thing is that while just-in-time manufacturing has many benefits, especially reducing warehousing, storage, maintenance costs, we've also just seen a dramatic revelation over the last two years of how JIT is vulnerable to any disruption whatsoever. One little screw or one type of glass or plastic becoming unavailable or delayed means that the product is not available at all. No stock = no backup = no sales.

Is Pentax looking at this from an improved efficiency / no more complications model? Or are they looking at it while knowing the vulnerabilities they would face?

Of course, there are variations in the degree to which JIT is implemented. They may keep small batches on hand, rather than larger ones. They may require that their manufacturing sources retain X amount of supplies on hand, prepared for orders.

The idea of "digital only" market bothers me. I suppose it is because that tends to rule out mass appeal, meaning they've looked at the marketplace for "other than smartphone" cameras and decided that there's very little mass appeal to it any more. To me, that's just sad. Photography is perhaps more widespread than ever, but the number of true enthusiasts beyond smartphones, 30-second TikToks, and YouTube "influencers" seems to be dwindling.
01-20-2022, 02:32 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by kwb Quote
Totally unexpected.

First of all, note that the press release specifically talks about Japanese market. It's possible that they'll do the same thing to other markets, but we don't know yet.

Anyway, I think JPT is about right as for "Studio-style". The original word, 工房, is where artisans work to design and produce things. A workshop, a studio, an atelier. The message I get from reading the Japanese press release is that they'd like (us to think that they want) to listen to and talk to customers like artisans would to their clients to create things together. Greater customization, product ideas from customers, maybe smaller batches. You can guess beyond that, but at this stage it's probably not that useful.

Concerning what they call the digital sales strategy, I'm surprised that they sounded as if they don't want traditional retailers any more. Do they part with retailers with physical storefronts from giants like Bic Camera and Yodobashi to smaller retailers who regularly featured Pentax like Yaotomi? Will the retailers still sell Ricoh and Pentax online, or are these cameras going to be exclusive to Ricoh's own online stores?

And what happens to the markets outside of Japan?
This was like my reaction. Ricoh has been making the deal sweeter to order directly from them for a while, by offering 3-year warranties and a loyalty points scheme. So this is not completely unexpected to me. However, it does sound like they will basically move away from the big retailers like Bic and Yodobashi. It'll be interesting to see how complete that is. I also wonder about smaller specialist camera stores like Yaotomi, Map, Fujiya and so on. They are not huge, but punch above their weight for serious photographers. It seems that they'll set up their own storefronts in Amazon, Rakuten and other big online retailers. This makes a lot lot sense.

I think the reason they talk about Japan, is that they are de-facto online only in most other countries anyway. It's only in Japan where the change will be that notable to most customers.

I don't think it's feasible for them to duplicate the kind of fan events in other countries, because they don't have the staff to do it in English. I'm sure they would love to if language weren't a problem. Especially, the GR developers actually arrange photo walks with local user groups, so they are shooting together with them to get their feedback. They've done it in Taiwan and China, but I can't see it working all over the world. However, they could do more of the kind of surveys they do in Japan. They could also improve the Ricoh store for other countries to be closer to the Japan one.

I also think they are trying to evoke the artisan image by using 工房 (pronounced "kobo"). It's interesting that a Dell-like online computer vendor uses kobo in their name too.

Anyway, I think this is quite interesting. It looks like a realistic and proactive move, not a defensive move. This is probably what Ooku was talking about when he mentioned structure changes following the new CEO appointment.
01-20-2022, 02:39 AM   #26
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They've been moving in both directions for a while now - looks to me like they're just making it official
01-20-2022, 02:41 AM   #27
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I also wonder what they mean to "co-creation community where each customer is connected and mutual communication is activated". Would be nice to have dedicated "we are Pentaxians" social network coordinated by Rocoh, though I dobut it will go beyond FB or Instagram. Or maybe not, FB/IG only means that China will be ostracized and will need separate network.
01-20-2022, 02:52 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
They've been moving in both directions for a while now - looks to me like they're just making it official
Agree

QuoteOriginally posted by jersey Quote
I also wonder what they mean to "co-creation community where each customer is connected and mutual communication is activated". Would be nice to have dedicated "we are Pentaxians" social network coordinated by Rocoh, though I dobut it will go beyond FB or Instagram. Or maybe not, FB/IG only means that China will be ostracized and will need separate network.
It could mean even more focus on Japan I guess. Unless users manage it themselves? The Chinese pentaxians seem to do stuff? Pentax forums getting official Ricoh stamp? They better clean this place up if that's the case...

I think the GR line is a bit more advanced in terms of online marketing and content. The GR attracts "better" users for online content, Pentaxians are made for radio
01-20-2022, 03:23 AM   #29
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Leica used to have the so called "la carte" program, where you could order a customized M system camera. Customization options where, IIRC:
1. Choice of viewfinder magnification and set of framelines (analog models only)
2. Overall finish (silver chrome, black chrome, black paint)
3. Leatherette (color and materials, quite a few to choose from)
4. Engravings on top plate (your own signature also possible)

Leica discontinued the program few years ago, though. Looks like the artisan style, made to order manufacturing didn't pay off for them.
01-20-2022, 03:23 AM - 4 Likes   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jersey Quote
FB/IG only means that China will be ostracized and will need separate network.
... as well as those of us who wouldn't touch Facebook, Instagram or any of the other established, free-for-all, "social networking" cess-pits with a barge-pole... which, considering the age range of most of us in these forums, is probably quite a significant percentage of Ricoh / Pentax customers...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-20-2022 at 03:34 AM.
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