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Thread: Discontinuance

  1. #1
    Stephen Frizza's Avatar
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    Discontinuance

    Ok im curious when a photographic material gets discontinued like say what kodak just mentioned in an alternate thread what exactly does the copmpany do
    during the discontinuation, does a company make a small reserve of the material? do they set a last run then say its all over red rover? or do they just say nup no more, im not making this. all gone!

    anyhow im just curious as to what happens to production levels of a material
    in the weeks leading up to the last run. does it burn full steam ahead? producing a small surplus to be nice? hmm am i dreaming :-(

    Kodak HIE why oh why!!!!!!!! hehehehehehe. I still cant get over it.

    ~Steve

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    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    No special knowledge of particular photo manufacturers, but general industrial practice is to announce discontinuation ahead of actual cessation of production. This helps customers who are dependent on a particular product, they can stock up and then have time to experiment and find a suitable substitute product, it also helps the manufacturer by making it more likely that the last batch of a decreasingly popular product will sell out. It will usually not be possible to extend the discontinuation date because there will be a strict schedule for tearing down, selling on or scrapping the production machinery and re-using the production building! Sometimes stock will be in the distribution chain for months, even years, after the discontination date, sometimes (as, for example, with Pentx 35 mm film SLRs in the UK), stock vanishes almost overnight (e.g. a multinational company pulls all stock from slow-selling markets and re-routes to another market.

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    FILMS are made in "runs". There may be only one "run" a year of a slow moving film, such as Kodachrome. I think the company evaluates the sales when it gets close to time to schedule another run, and if projected sales do not make it over the break-even point in dollar value, then the "run" is canceled and the product is announced as discontinued on a certain date, based on what remaining inventory the company has of the product. At times, the remaining inventory is several months worth.

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    Unfortunately sometimes the inventory is nil, as was the case of Kodak EIR. Kodak said that they were going to have several month's worth of the film available from its last run, and then weeks later made the announcement that they were discontinuing the film...and that there were no reserves left or anything. I can't tell you how much this pissed me off. I had to scramble to find any rolls that were still in local stores, as all the biggies (B&H, Calumet, Freestyle, etc.) had been cleaned out immediately after the announcement, or had nothing in their inventories to begin with due to Kodak not fulfilling its back-orders. A great way to alienate your customers I think you'll agree.

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    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Sometimes, the intent is there to have several months worth, and then upon customers reading the announcement, there is a run on the product and suddenly there is no more on the shelves. So this can backfire.

    When Kodak got out of the paper business, there was a run on Kodak paper at the stores and they suddenly sold out. This was especially true of Azo. So what was to have been months of supply turned into weeks.

    PE

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    With all these discontinued products, I wonder how many people at Kodak have lost their jobs?

    Dan

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    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Dan;

    That has been posted here many times. Kodak has gone from about 120,000 world wide to about 50,000 or less world wide or less. Income has dropped from $20B for film to $2 B total with film being about $1B.

    This is not untypical of most major film companies.

    PE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Dan;

    That has been posted here many times. Kodak has gone from about 120,000 world wide to about 50,000 or less world wide or less. Income has dropped from $20B for film to $2 B total with film being about $1B.

    This is not untypical of most major film companies.

    PE
    most unfortunate - it's a bit surprising about about Kodak's income. I thought their digital offerings were quite popular - things like the easy-share cameras, paper and such.

    Dan

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    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Sometimes, the intent is there to have several months worth, and then upon customers reading the announcement, there is a run on the product and suddenly there is no more on the shelves. So this can backfire.

    When Kodak got out of the paper business, there was a run on Kodak paper at the stores and they suddenly sold out. This was especially true of Azo. So what was to have been months of supply turned into weeks.

    PE
    PE,

    You are correct. When a product discontinuation comes out me must rush to our distributors and buy out whatever we can to keep the remaining product from the hoarders! :o

    That is what I did with 120 UC 400.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    most unfortunate - it's a bit surprising about about Kodak's income. I thought their digital offerings were quite popular - things like the easy-share cameras, paper and such.

    Dan
    There is a much narrower margin of profit on digital goods. So even with popularity, profits are slim in the point-n-shoot arena that Kodak chooses to participate in. Profits are greater in the Prosumer DSLR field, but Kodak doesn't compete in that arena.

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