Multiple Reconfiguration Requests
Why Reconfigure More Than Once?
“Are there first-mover advantages in LINKS?”
Many people talk about first-mover advantages as if they are the answer to everything in life. Being first certainly has some advantages if you're better than what's out there already (i.e., if your have differential advantage over existing offerings on the market) and if you continue to innovate. If there's any customer loyalty in LINKS, then early entrants continue to benefit from their earlier customer acceptance. Followers must "buy their way" into markets, to overcome the market presence and the customer acceptance of early entrants. But, first-mover advantages can be overcome with meaningful innovation that's valued by customers. Being first is good, but being better is best.
“Can we focus a service reconfiguration on the customers in a region?”
Yes, you can focus a reconfiguration on a particular set of customers. However, please remember that each of your services has a single configuration across all regions. By focusing a service reconfiguration on some customers, you may be providing a less desirable service configuration to other customers in other regions. Each service has one and only one configuration; services do NOT have separate configurations for different regions at the same time.
“Is it wise to configure in the late stage of LINKS?”
Your perspective should be long-term, continuously trying to improve the overall state of your firm. If it’s appropriate to reconfigure for business/competitive reasons, do so regardless of how "late" it seems to be in LINKS. Manage your business for the long run. Besides, you probably will be making a final presentation at the end of LINKS, and it’s always appropriate to be able to discuss how you’ve continued to improve the competitive position of your firm even in later simulation rounds.
“We requested two reconfigurations in the last simulation round but only one of the reconfigurations was successful. Why weren't we successful with both of our reconfiguration requests?”
Each firm is limited to a maximum of one reconfiguration per simulation round. With multiple reconfiguration requests by a firm, only the first one will be successful.
“When do reconfigurations occur?”
Reconfiguration requests are processed at the beginning of a simulation round, so reconfigurations occur "immediately" (i.e., before the beginning of the next simulation round).
“Is it possible to have a region-specific configuration?”
No, a configuration is the same in all regions. Each of your brands may have only one configuration at a time. With varying customer preferences across regions, the implication is that trade-offs may be required in meeting customers' heterogeneous preferences. It is, of course, possible to target a brand's configuration toward the preferences of particular customers. But, that might be to the detriment of other customers in other regions who prefer alternate configurations.
With varying customer preferences across regions, the implication is that trade-offs may be required in meeting customers' heterogeneous preferences. It is, of course, possible to target a brand's configuration toward the preferences of particular customers. But, that might be to the detriment of other customers in other regions who prefer alternate configurations.
“What happens to retailers’ inventory (in channel 1) when a manufacturer reconfigures a set-top box product?”
Retailers purchase set-top box products from manufacturers to sell to their final end-user customers. Ownership of the set-top box products transfers to the retailers with the purchase transaction. Since retailers own the set-top box products that they purchase from manufacturers, retailers are fully responsible for selling the set-top box products to final end-user customers. When a manufacturer reconfigures a product, retailers dispose of the “old”/”dated” (now reconfigured) product by whatever means they wish (e.g., by drastically reducing prices or by dumping the residual inventory into discount or gray-market channels).
“Why would we ever want to reconfigure more than once? After all, once we've locked into an 'optimal' configuration, wouldn't we want to keep it forever?”
Don't assume that everything stays the same forever. Customer preferences may change through time. In addition, cost-structure changes that occur from time to time might require adjustments in lots of decisions, including configurations. And, what about competitors' actions? Could/would competitors' reconfigurations influence your interest is reconfiguring something that had previously been reconfigured.