Asia Express - East Asian ICT
Computing - NEC Switches to Daily PC Shipments
January 07, 2005
NEC announced plans this week to rework its PC shipment strategy, shifting from weekly to daily shipments of PCs to volume retailers. The change in shipment scheduling is expected to cut inventories by more than half and reduce related expenses by at least 10 billion yen (US$95.6 million; 1 USD = 104.647 JPY) per annum.

Japan's largest PC manufacturer hopes that the inventory reductions allowed by the change in shipment schedule will help prevent a plunge in prices on older PC models when new machines hit the market. NEC estimates that the new shipment system will ease price declines on older PCs by at least 50%.

NEC first tested the new shipment system on a trial basis working in cooperation with about 10 volume retailers offering selected PCs. The scope of the system will be expanded to include all PC models by the end of January, and will cover 80% of Japan. Officials indicated that roughly 50% of the company's PC sales volume will be shipped under the new system.

NEC expects that the daily shipment system will cover virtually all of Japan's large-scale consumer electronics retailers by March 2006. Officials stressed that the daily shipment schedule was made possible through bypassing retail chain operators and instead working directly with each individual outlet. NEC will take orders directly from each outlet and monitor order projections by location. PCs will be shipped to retailers a day after orders are placed.