So anyone catch NIKON is laying off people

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by benhasajeep, May 26, 2009.

  1. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    They are laying off 1,000 people. And yet there is a shortage of some equipment to sell in the US? The new bosses are are taking the boards contention to go after Canon but they missed the boat (litterally) on demand. Canon is resorting to big rebates. Nikon is out of stock on popular products. So, now they are going to lay off people??

    I know it goes deeper than that. But it seems Canon is over stocked, Nikon is under stocked. So, why the layoffs. Just going to let the stock status stay low, and people on the fence tired of waiting just go over to Canon??

    Nobody can guess the economy. But it seems at least in the US case, they are not watching the store, or are very gun shy about producing products and not hitting the target.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Canon is overstocked? not sure where you got that from we are rather understocked on Canon gear over here in the UK and last I heard there were long waiting lists for newer gear coming out.

    As for layoffs - I thinkall big companies are currently laying off staff if they can - since whilst there might be a production problem now as things get deeper into the recession (which they are expected to) demand will slow and thus production will lessen. It will still do reletivly well as pros still need their gear and many hobby enthusiasts will keep supporting them = though their purchases might slow down a bit as money gets shorter and prices rise.
    Also remember that neither Nikon nor Canon really expected the big sales boom that happend early on in the recession as people went buyer mad as price rises started coming in and people grabed what they could (and still are) before the prices rise again.

    Also what are those 1000 people - Nikon does more than just cameras and these could be support staff, coffee boys - etc.. more than just manufacture staff.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In other news the world plunged into economic crisis recently leaving forum members all over the world who don't read the paper scratching their heads about layoffs.

    Here's a few interesting points:
    - Nikon had shortages of products long before the economic crisis.
    - 1000 staff is nothing for a company this size. They could be anyone. For all we know it could be middle management disappearing, or a science division. Nikon and Canon due to their optics expertise are involved in all sorts of fields and even make optics for observatories and space telescopes. Maybe they laid off staff because the Hubble got fixed and plans for a new space telescope got scrapped. Who knows.
    - Keeping more staff is not a solution to production shortage. There's only so much output a plant can have regardless of how many people it employs.
    - Firing staff is not a cause of production shortages. Many industrial plants have a whole host of excess staff leading to inefficiencies and problems in the bottom line.

    - We actually know a lot less about a company than we think.
     
  4. I would strongly suggest not trying to read the tea leaves on management action... or at least, don't invest based on limited information.
     
  5. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I can't reply without sounding like an ass or a know-it-all so I will just have my say and leave it at that.

    I travel the world for my job so I have seen the situation in quite a few places. My parents own a small retail company and do some of their own manufacturing and have others do private manufacturing for them, as well from other open manufacturers. I worked for them for years growing up and in school. I read trade papers for several industries. Yes, Nikon's layoffs are not in photography. But it is affecting 30% of their production workers in Japan in the divisions they are realigning. So, even though they are a large company, they are giving up production capability in one division. That does affect the company as a whole and the photography divison! When companies in a recession reduce output or just not keep up with demand, even though there is a long backlog for the product. Guess what happens? Give you a hint, its not something good, and it makes things worse.

    I will try and word my posts better in the future so they may be more clearly understood, and possibly more intelligent. Just thought it was a discussion point. But I went about it the wrong way.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    if they are cutting production in one area which is not photography how does that link back to cutting photography gear production? Sure if they continue to cut production workers it could lead to a problem, but only if they keep cutting. I assume that Nikon is not intending to close one of its key lines - photography - and with their current market position I would expect them to have a strong standing - heck recently they took the market from canon in several key areas (high ISO for one) so it might just be that as canon got caught with their pants down on that score that so to nikon got caught out with the extra popularity

    Also I can't see them expanding production at all - that would require a big investment not only in money but in time as well - they might end up boosting production in the end but that demand might not be present by the time they are ready - plus costs along the way for this expansion might require them to make further cuts into other areas.
     
  7. wgp1987

    wgp1987 TPF Noob!

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    i work in a large retail company. any high end canon for us is backordered. i sold a friend a 5 mk2 and told her it would show up in 2 weeks like usual. i had just sold the last 2 in our company the week before. now it has been a month and canon is saying it might be another month .... lame. dont know if it has to do with the economy, but it sucks. we have plenty o nikon, although i do sell more canon then nikon. we got the d5000 right away, but not many? i havnt noticed any irregular quantity of supply? sucks that people keep loosin jobs, but **** is hittin the fan! and going everywhere .... :(
     
  8. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    In Nov 2008 Nikon laid off 12.5% percent of production staff in their Thailand factories. Thailand makes lenses (glass, parts, motors, assemblies) and all their DX cameras! Only the full framers are made in Japan! So, yes this did reduce production of photography gear. And yes they could increase production without major investments. And cutting production at one division directly affects the other divisions. As they made investments and expendutures into the other divisions. Most likely they have loans or notes on the facilities. Money spent and more to spend as you can't just stop all research and new design. So, when they reduce a division, the others have to make up for the losses or at minimum help pay the bills the now smaller division cannot make up. Unless they are willing to take a loss or close the underperforming divisions. The photography division (or which ever provides the most cash) will have to accomidate the losses from the others. There is a direct business corelation!

    As for the original post I had assumed (I know what that means) that maybe someone would pick up on maybe NikonUSA was at fault as they are the ones doing the importing and initial orders from Nikon. But it went the other way, and I should have been more clear. As for Canon and Nikon I never said which products are over / under stocked. Just that I know for a fact several Nikon products are out of stock at many major retailers around the world (had not noticed this with Canon). And that Canon has very generous rebates on several of theirs. I guess my generalization was too vague, and thoughts on it were incorrect?

    Again it was an observation that apparently was dumb. I don't know.
     
  9. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    People like to jump on others sometimes. Don't take it personally. I think, though, that Canon does rebates a LOT in the late spring/early summer. Like almost every year.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Nikon doesn't HAVE to do this, but is just in case. Maybe they're trimming down in case things get worse or don't get better for a long time. Maybe not.

    BTW, I thought all non gray-market stuff was in Japan. I should have known better, though. It does make me wonder what the difference is between gray market and non-gray market, other than warranty and service.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes there are actually stock shortages from Nikon, but so far none of the equipment is made in Thailand. The 70-300mm f/2.8 is somewhat constantly out of stock, the D700 and the 14-24 have too been out of stock too recently depending on where I looked. All of these are made in Japan.

    Nikon have always been turning a great profit and there has been no reports of any equipment sold at a loss. During an economic crisis if a product is popular and in demand, and generating positive cash flow you don't cut staff that are likely to affect production.

    I no doubt agree with you the fact they are laying off staff is a sign of bad times, but I doubt it's at all related to any stock shortages Nikon has had over the past year, or is likely to cause more stock shortages in the future. Heck for all we know it could be the exact opposite. They may be shutting down a production facility in Thailand completely and expanding their Japanese production of high end gear to meet demand for some of their products.

    Observations are never dumb. But you simply can't infer what a company is doing based on media coverage. The only mistake here is assuming that there are in fact losses caused by reducing the staff at a particular division. These guys may be the staff that made the SB-800 which was recently discontinued :lol:
     
  11. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Both Nikon and Canon have made large cuts in their production. There are shortages on Canon gear too. Try finding a 50L lens right now... or batteries for a 5DMkII... It took me weeks to find both, and when I got them they were the last on hand at the store where I found them. I had to resort to buying from small shops in other states where I found these items because the big retailers like B&H and Adorama were out forever. Amazon.com had the 50L as high as $3,000 at one point!!! The price has been going from $1500 to $3000 on their site depending on what day you look and which retailer has one in stock (50L).

    Once a company like Nikon lays off thousands of employees, it's not like they can decide tomorrow to bring everyone back and immediately return to the same production as they had prior to the lay-offs. It will take them a year or more to ramp back up when they decide to. The current shortage is going to last for quite some time.

    Here's a good read about the situation.

    LensRentals.com - State of the SLR Market -2009
     
  12. wgp1987

    wgp1987 TPF Noob!

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    i was just told nikon is back ordered for 3 months? :(
     

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