Originally Posted by goots
I notice the most important things are always on backorder. Don't they just learn to make more?
See above. It's not that simple. Believe me they try and guess which parts are the "Most Important Things" but even then you have to factor in popularity of the kit and how that affects demand and then figure out what those "MIT"s may be.
Some think, "Well, just order more than you need." Problem is the company has to pay for all those parts and it's not good business to have a few thousand dollars tied up in 300 parts that never move off your shelf. Multiply that but the 100 or so parts in a kit and the total number of kits HPI/HB has and you can see this can add up fast. Nevermind the rent on the floor space to store all those parts, the cost of the packaging that you put those parts in, the labor costs incurred with the shipping/receiving/sorting/packaging/shelving of those parts. Keep in mind too that the parts HPI/HB bring in to sell as spare parts are in addition to the parts they order for the kits and it's not like you can say "Well, those parts aren't selling so we'll just ship them back to where they put the kits together and let them use them" because now you're paying for double shipping, throwing away the money that you spent on receiving/sorting/packaging/shelving the parts as well as the packaging materials themselves and you'll incure more labor costs to unshelf, unpack, handling to ship these items back to where the kits are made effectively increasing the pricer per part by a factor of 4 or more.
It seems easy sometimes to us when we can't get the parts we need to get frustrated and start bitching about why a company can't get it right and the frustration is completely understandable. I'm just trying to shed some light on the business side of the process that can lead to these issues. Knowledge and understanding, for me, has always helped ease my frustration with such things.
And you should see the mess when companies DON'T have good parts purchasing practices. For instance, HPI bought an R/C helicopter manufacturer once and all their inventory. Their parts system was a nightmare. Here's an example. Lets say they had four helicopters that all used the EXACT same part and that the parts number structure they used was based on 1000s. (For example, all the parts for Helicopter 1 were like 1001, 1002, 1003, etc. For Heli 2, 2001, 2002, 2003...Heli 3 would be 3000s and Heli 4 would be 4000s). Now lets say they all use the exact same part, a 3x10mm cap head screw.
HPI will number that screw Z700 (All screws use to start with Z) and in every kit HPI uses that part, it has that same part number. This Heli company didn't do that. So that same 3x10mm screw would be 1123 for Heli 1, 2344 for Heli 2, 3211 for Heli 3 and 4500 for Heli 4. If Heli 2 was a popular kit they would run out of part 2344 and the hobby shop would tell the customers they'd have to wait until they ordered more not knowing 1123, 3211, and 4500 would all also work. HPI tried to sort out that mess for about a year and I think finally gave up on it. It was a nightmare.