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 product reconfiguration on the customers in a particular channel and/or region?"
Yes, you can focus a reconfiguration on a particular set of customers. However, please remember that each of your products has a single configuration across all channels and regions. By focusing your product reconfiguration on some customers, you may be providing a less desirable product configuration to other customers in other channels or regions. Each product has one and only one configuration; products do NOT have separate configurations for different channels and 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.
"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.