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Old 21st March 2007, 11:44   #1
lancsman
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Manufactures Promise

Is it just me or do I see a trend of manufactures promising vast improments to their solution well before they are released? This also seams to co-inside with the community as a whole looking at that particular peice of equipment from a their party supplier.

If I was cynical I would say it was to keep their customers from spending their money with other suppliers whilst they sort their own house out.

Is there a way this forum could work closer with the manufactures to get them to make release announcments to the community, but with some one ensuring the item exists and will be releases in a resonable timescale. The less vapour ware the better that way we can have a more informed buying decision. I for one was sold on the promise of the integrated computer upgrade expect just after i bought my unit, still waiting and not expected soon.

I am just expecting too much from this fledging industry if so let me know and I''l put the soap box away.

Thanks Mark
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Old 21st March 2007, 12:22   #2
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Re: Manufactures Promise

its not exactly unique to this industry. Can you sort out world peace while you're at it :)
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Old 21st March 2007, 15:11   #3
Barrie Law
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Re: Manufactures Promise

Quote: (Originally Posted by lancsman) View Original Post
Is it just me or do I see a trend of manufactures promising vast improments to their solution well before they are released? This also seams to co-inside with the community as a whole looking at that particular peice of equipment from a their party supplier.

If I was cynical I would say it was to keep their customers from spending their money with other suppliers whilst they sort their own house out.

Is there a way this forum could work closer with the manufactures to get them to make release announcments to the community, but with some one ensuring the item exists and will be releases in a resonable timescale. The less vapour ware the better that way we can have a more informed buying decision. I for one was sold on the promise of the integrated computer upgrade expect just after i bought my unit, still waiting and not expected soon.

I am just expecting too much from this fledging industry if so let me know and I''l put the soap box away.

Thanks Mark
Hi Mark,

Fair point, but as you say manufacturers are trying to get divers to buy their new or improved product and human nature is to wait a while for something new to be available and diving product release dates seem to be written in sand.

As a supplier I have posted the statements from manufacturers about new products and release dates only to find a delay in getting the items into stock and out to interested parties.

The solution is to only post info when the products are in stock and ready to ship............................Sorted


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Old 21st March 2007, 15:38   #4
n2diving
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Re: Manufactures Promise

Quote: (Originally Posted by Barrie Law) View Original Post
The solution is to only post info when the products are in stock and ready to ship............................Sorted
Absolutely! Now if customers would be so kind as to stop asking us about what features it will have (before we have completed the design) and what price it will sell for (before we know what it will cost to build) and when it will be available (before we have scheduled production). Of course when they have badgered a WAG out of us, that same person often becomes upset and condemn us when said WAG does not bear much resemblance to reality.

The reality is many companys no longer just do announcements of products, they do something called the 'pre-announcement'... thus the concepts of 'vapourware' products and 'Real-Soon-Now' timelines were born. It's done because consumers demand that it be done, not because we want to do it.

There, I feel much better now... thank you.
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Old 21st March 2007, 17:17   #5
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Re: Manufactures Promise

Yes, all of us evil customers are forcing the innocent, gullible manufacturers into announcing products and delivery schedules before they are ready.

Or, could it be that the manufacturers just aren't able to say "we don't have an availability date as we are still in development. We will provide more detail as information becomes available" and then sticking to that....Why? I won't speculate.

Rebreather manufacturers have established a clear pattern of announcing release dates and then failing to meet them. Sometimes by years...
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Old 21st March 2007, 17:42   #6
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Re: Manufactures Promise

working in r&d, I know when something is ready for market and when it is simply light years away...but, at the end of the day, the customers pay my wage and salesmen are tempted to let the odd bitty sneak out - I know because I'm as guilty as any. Fortunately being in the military realm it's not so much of a problem although empty promises generally lead to 90 hour weeks. What I cannot understand is people like Oceanic and APD making statements without any backup. Maybe they should take Apple's approach, nothing until the product goes on sale, even to the extent that they have multiple development teams designing and building the same thing - see iPhone.

my $0.02.
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Old 21st March 2007, 20:00   #7
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Re: Manufactures Promise

Quote: (Originally Posted by trob09) View Original Post
Rebreather manufacturers have established a clear pattern of announcing release dates and then failing to meet them. Sometimes by years...
I actually agree with you, it happens much too often. But in their defense they rarely formally 'announce'... mostly what goes on is they just 'talk' about it with industry insiders trying to gauge the market... that makes it's way to sales people and dealers, with less and less of the qualifer statements and context... thus a game of 'telephone' begins... and at DEMA behind closed doors a statement like "We are working on a new idea for X that we might be able to have ready to show by DEMA next year in the price range of $YYY to $ZZZ, what do you think?" becomes "They have announced X will ship first of next year for $YYY."

And even then schedules slip at the largest of companies for unforseen trivial issues. In the big picture of a product that was in development for several years, a delay of a few months is insignifcant.... but to someone delaying a purchase is seems like an eternity. Even the best of manufacturers rarely deliver the product as initially envisioned, in fact that's not even a bad approach to development... start with the 'kitchen sink' and then see what you have to throw out to bring it to market in a reasonable time at competitive price.

I agree with Barrie... let's all agree not to say a word about new products until they are in the warehouse and ready to ship. RBW can help by censoring all the rumors and leaks that appear in their postings too!
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Old 21st March 2007, 20:39   #8
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Re: Manufactures Promise

Quote: (Originally Posted by n2diving) View Original Post
I actually agree with you, it happens much too often. But in their defense they rarely formally 'announce'... mostly what goes on is they just 'talk' about it with industry insiders trying to gauge the market... that makes it's way to sales people and dealers, with less and less of the qualifer statements and context... thus a game of 'telephone' begins... and at DEMA behind closed doors a statement like "We are working on a new idea for X that we might be able to have ready to show by DEMA next year in the price range of $YYY to $ZZZ, what do you think?" becomes "They have announced X will ship first of next year for $YYY."

And even then schedules slip at the largest of companies for unforseen trivial issues. In the big picture of a product that was in development for several years, a delay of a few months is insignifcant.... but to someone delaying a purchase is seems like an eternity. Even the best of manufacturers rarely deliver the product as initially envisioned, in fact that's not even a bad approach to development... start with the 'kitchen sink' and then see what you have to throw out to bring it to market in a reasonable time at competitive price.

I agree with Barrie... let's all agree not to say a word about new products until they are in the warehouse and ready to ship. RBW can help by censoring all the rumors and leaks that appear in their postings too!
A long time ago, my grandfather told me "if you want to keep something a secret, don't tell anyone. If you can't keep it a secret, why should anyone else?"

Accountability and management of the issue starts and stops with the manufacturer. Censoring customers, fans, websites and "insiders" is not a solution. It's not even a particularly good band-aid.

Never promise more than you can deliver. When a manufacturer states a release date of a product at a consumer dive show (like Beneath the sea) to multiple consumers (not industry insiders), that's an announcement. Failure to live up to that announcement will reduce customer loyalty.

Tim
(who's day job involves advising manufacturing companies on similar issues...)
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Old 22nd March 2007, 00:06   #9
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Re: Manufactures Promise

Trob,

Over the last 10 years or so, many of the current "main-line" manufacturers in the rebreather business have blossomed from "Garage" operations to full-blown Companies. This growth has been hugely difficult, and is really a testament to the tenacity of the individuals involved, as well as a little trust and acceptance by the diving community.

There are no doubt some on here who remember the first HH sets introduced had a "90 day" order-to-delivery status that stretched out to 6 or 7 months. The problem then was cash flow. You've got to have the cash to pay for the build, but you also need the flow to keep your business going. For the record - it takes a LOT of money to build a rebreather or rebreather controller. Take what you consider a LOT of money for you to invest, then multiply that by 3, add the dirty looks you get from your wife and you get the picture...

Secondly, we are not isolated CEO's who are only reachable if you are a member of some Country Club. We (the various manufacturers) are generally Divers, who are well known by a lot of other Divers, and who still answer their own phone (albeit, less frequently!).

That means, that our "Old Dive Buddies" call us and try to get the scoop on what we are doing. Even some persistent, annoying customers who shall remain nameless (but sound a lot like Charlie Hunter) badger our staff into trying to get them to reveal projects that we're working on in secret ("C'mon, tell me!.........Kevin said you could tell me!.......I'm really helping him build whatever it is you aren't telling me about.....")

Once they get that info, it rarely stays with them. It's just too irresistible to call up some other pals and say "hey - you hear Kevin's developed a rig that can fly to Mars?? He'll have it at DEMA!!" :p

Then, everyone gets on something like RBW and says "that bastard, Kevin hasn't shown up with the Fly To Mars Rebreather." "Typical Vaporware - I'll bet his rig can't go farther than the Moon..."

The other problem is that some Manufacturers want you NOT to buy someone else's product - so they say they've got the "Same Thing Coming," and it is going to "smoke that bastard, Kevin".

So - you can see some Triangulation: You've got Divers who crave the next best thing and want to know when they can buy it, you've got Insiders who can't keep a secret, and you've got Manufacturers who want to preserve Market Share at any cost.


That is why I no longer talk about our new products coming out.

And my friends call me a "bastard" for doing so....

:D


Kevin Juergensen
Juergensen Marine, Inc.

Last edited by heyydude; 22nd March 2007 at 00:11.. Reason: Changed "never" to "no longer"- my wife remided me I used to sing like a canary about "coming projects" too. Got to be honest
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Old 22nd March 2007, 00:37   #10
Barrie Law
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Re: Manufactures Promise

Hi Kevin,


Enjoyed your post but you know you can tell us we promise not to tell anyone!!


Regards
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