As an ecommerce business owner I can understand the website inventory problem. I have run into issues where the in house financial system is not compatible with the website. A more difficult problem is when you are manufacturing items since the website does not know much material will be required to make a product and it cant know how much you can make since that depends on what sizes you plan to make. In both cases there is simple work around. Enter high stock numbers in the site, and when you go out of stock just change the out of stock item to zero. Even the free ecommerce websites support that.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
It's amazing what word of mouth can do. I will never buy from Light Impressions based on what I've read here.
Originally Posted by Sim2 View Post
Don't know the company but sounds a bit like they order from their suppliers only when the have got an order themselves, the classic stock on demand theory. Works fine as long as your own suppliers can supply within a short time span.
Perhaps that might have been my point - for some businesses the classic supply on demand model does not work for all businesses, despite what the accountants might believe.
Originally Posted by fdi
I understand the original poster's frustration, and I don't discount the folks who've voiced similar issues with LI. But I'll add that I've bought from LI occasionally in the past and would consider them in the future, even after they moved away from me and the shipping times are longer, personally. I've gone from ordering by phone from their old location to online from the new one, never had a customer service issue. Just didn't want to see this thread be a total pile-on on LI (okay, their website can be a little of a tangle, but ordering custom-sized stuff is always a little more involved...)
the issue was not a matter of ordering something custom - I'd be far more understanding of a delay in providing the item if it were custom. But this was a very simple communications issue revolving around what SHOULD be a stock item that they buy from a supplier. Regardless of the cause, it speaks to at best very poor inventory management on LI's part- if they know that the lead time to get replacement for a given item from the manufacturer is 6 weeks, then they need to manage their inventory so that they order again when they have a six week supply remaining. They also need to do sufficient inventory tracking such that when an order comes in for something that is in fact out of stock, they notify the customer within a reasonable period of time and offer the customer options on how to handle the shortfall. Because they have done none of the above, they've lost a good repeat customer.
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I spoke with Photographers Supply in San Francisco a while back and they have pretty much stopped ordering from Light Impressions. Photographers Supply said that their orders had way too many back ordered item and that for example on a recent order they had received 3 out of 30 items ordered. This conservation came about because I was inquiring about a LI item that was out of stock.
I was also angry when LI start hammering me with marketing emails. Quite doubtful that I'll ever order from them again.
I wasn't speaking to your experience, just citing my own in a thread that was otherwise piling-on LI.
I have used University Products for years and they have always been honest and delivered as promised.
This is the issue: the move to the West Coast came about when Bill Edwards, the founder and original owner of Light Impressions, sold the business. The move to Los Angeles was only a side show - the key point is that there was a change of ownership.
Originally Posted by eddym
Actually, Edwards fairly quickly recognized that his traditional customers weren't getting the kind of service he had provided, and his solution was to start a new business - Lumiere Photo.
By the way - Lumiere sells L-pins.
I will rarely jump on the thread bashing a business bandwagon but this is a company that has had good business that is now just trying to kill itself. Scott, I agree that this case was definitely bad enough to publicly air and post a thread.
I hope you get your L pins in time.
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