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Tamiya Championship Series

Old 11-03-2006, 07:21 PM
  #4261  
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So, would anybody posting complainng about parts availability show up for say ,the IICC or the Snow birds, and expect the "LHS" near the track to have the parts and tires waiting for them to buy at the track, only if they broke a part or only if they decided they needed an extra set of tires ? I run Tamiya only, all year long. I buy parts all year long. I know that my local source, Speedtech, will be sold out a few weeks before a TCS event so I buy them before. Planning, what a wonderful concept.
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevin CBR
So, would anybody posting complainng about parts availability show up for say ,the IICC or the Snow birds, and expect the "LHS" near the track to have the parts and tires waiting for them to buy at the track, only if they broke a part or only if they decided they needed an extra set of tires ? I run Tamiya only, all year long. I buy parts all year long. I know that my local source, Speedtech, will be sold out a few weeks before a TCS event so I buy them before. Planning, what a wonderful concept.
Yes, I plan ahead, and I rarely have a problem having what I need - just takes some work. Same for 414MPH.

But that misses the point that I'm trying to make - that holding a TCS race at a LHS is a great way to promote the hobby and Tamiya, but we need to leverage it as much as possible to maximize the outcome for all. I'd like to see Tamiya do well in RC in my area for more than just that particular weekend, I want to see the LHS make more money as a result of working with Tamiya and having a TCS race so we have a good place to race year round, and I want to see more people become active in our great hobby.

It's more than just supplying the needed parts to those who are die hard TCS'ers- it getting more and new people to come out and race with us using Tamiya products. Having a "full package" display of Tamiya RC in place would encourage new interest. People see a full lineup of the product in quanity are much more likely to buy than if they come into a shop and see a smattering of Tamiya parts. Maybe this is Marketing 101 (I didn't take the marketing courses) and I'm just restating what the manufacurer/retailer already know and just isn't happening now. Talking briefly to Scotty tonight at Trackside, he thought it was a great idea, and specifically mentioned how Futaba's full court press this summer (like I described) made Futaba now the #1 selling radio and servos in the store, pushing aside other brands, and increasing overall radio & servo sales as well.

Last edited by minidriver; 11-03-2006 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:40 PM
  #4263  
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Good points all: Dave, Marty and Kevin. I also run exclusively Tamiya, and even with a very close relationship with my LHS (hey, they're FRIENDS!), I also buy year 'round from pretty much anywhere I can find parts and supplies to ensure that I have what I need when I need it. I firmly believe that there is room for improvement, but LOVE the product!
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by larrio

Just FYI, every year a sales rep is assigned to a specific LHS running the TCS race. There is a standard issue order form collaborated by the sales team for an entire package breakdown by chassis for nearly every kit and part sent to the LHS. This happens two months in advance although at times the LHS tends not to stock up too heavily until about 4-6 weeks into the race. Then by the time sales really start moving about 1-2 weeks into it, parts start to run out and heads start to roll trying to shove parts out in time. This was the case when I was assigned to the Tennessee race @ Hobbytown USA.

We've tried to do a sell what you can and return policy before with terribly results. However I will bring up the points you mentioned when the time comes. We bulk up on fast moving items (tires, inserts, bodies, etc) about 4-6 months in advance but inventory is a tricky thing, its like trying to predict the stock market.

:
Your right, I didn't know about the sales rep practice you describe. I know that in the past the Tamiya regulars have been asked to put together for the LHS manager a list of part # likely to be needed by all - just the kind of thing that you're mentioning - maybe that isn't getting to Trackside, or maybe it isn't filtering down from owner to manager, or maybe something else.

I see the probable problems with that approach as:
1- LHS putting off to tomorrow that which should be done yesterday; but primarily
2- LHS fear of ordering in a bunch of inventory and being stuck with a s***load of unsold inventory after the race. It only take a handful of unsold "bling" to ruin an otherwise good sales event. I suspect that much of the "bling" purchases are impulse buys - offering to special order it just isn't the same as buying it and taking it home today.

That's why I mentioned the Futaba approach from this summer - it took that major inventory fear away from the LHS owner. End result, both LHS and manufacturer came away happy.

One final (?) comment - my suggestion is not intended as a criticism of TamiyaUSA - rather just my attempt at trying to promote the events, the great products, and the success of the LHSs. I'm not a LHS owner, but I know it is a tough business to stay profitable in, and just want to help all I can.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:27 PM
  #4265  
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Golly, are there other RC car kits besides Tamiya? ? ?

Many great points and proposals.

Larrio - I keep reading that if there are any tracks out there interested have them call or fax Tamiya.

What about the other way around?

Is there an effort to pinpoint and Cold Call areas like Georgia, Florida, Alabama(for example) or other states near heavy Tamiya regions or new areas?

Some RC Rags still list tracks, those tracks have websites which usually give good track info. Hearing it from Tamiya directly could turn the tides for new tracks to get involved. Tracks are a business, if Tamiya can sell themselves to the track or LHS racing program, they may make a valuable business relationship.

It does not have to be a full time job calling all the tracks in the USA. I look at it as a redevelopment program. Perhaps since there are 2 marketing guys who lets say normally have 5 tracks each, perhaps set a goal of 7 tracks each for next year. The next year add 1 more track each unless they lose a track then it would be more to replace what is lost.

I would focus mostly on the West coast or East of the Mississippi. Once those areas get stronger then maybe inbetween can get filled in more.

I enjoy the series and want it to get better. Not to say what has been done is bad, maybe its time to turn a corner to help the series get even more stronger using comments listed on this thread from the regulars within the series.

Last edited by A-Ko; 11-03-2006 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:50 AM
  #4266  
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I'd love to host a TCS here in No. Alabama. However, our local track is many miles from our LHS and we're not exactly "connected". The track is city-owned and the races are run by our club. With the disconnect between the LHS and club, I do not know how we could host a TCS.

Perhaps one day our LHS will be able to get their parking lot paved and we can move our racing activities back and reconnect. But I don't see this happening in time for next year.
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Old 11-04-2006, 06:06 AM
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I also work in a niche-type business. In order to improve sales and market penetration, our Sales & Marketing people look at our customer base as a whole, stratify it by spend/longevity/profit margin into customer types, determine other firms with "like" customer profiles, develop a Top 20 list of potential new customers for each region, and then work on concentrating to deliver new sales out of that group. Note that this account development is in addition to the regular cold calling and prospecting and add-on type business that they do every day. The head of the region regularly reports to management on their progress in developing those accounts- which often take years to become a customer if they are contracted with another vendor. So if you guys aren't doing something like that, it might be worth a try...especially considering that the initial customer analysis comes right out of your own billing system.
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevin CBR
Reading most of these issues about parts supply reminds me of an old saying. "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part". Maybe racing 1:1 scale trained me differently becuase you don't have a parts supplier sitting at the track. I can understand a newbie showing up at a track unprepared becuase they don't have the knowledge or experience to know what can or usually does break. There are very few tracks to race in my area that have a hobby shop attached. Since I don't like to go home as soon as I break something, I have the essential spares in my pit box to fix it at the track. Having spare parts is part of racing. Between the local LHS, companies like Speedtech, and even good 'ol e-bay, parts are usually available, if you plan in advance.
Dude, weve gone around on this before, most of the people on here do plan ahead and sometimes we still get left holding our d@#ks. Speedtech has a great store and is a devout Tamiyaphile, but even he is frequently out of stock on alot of stuff. We are at least 4 months from the 2007 opener and Speedtech is continually out of stock on alot of small inexspensive spares and hopups. I like doing business with Speedtech, Tamiya and the LHS, but the guys on ebay seem to always have the stuff that I am looking for and as a bonus at a very good price. I cant say where the bottleneck is, because I tried to order a 103GT bumper and bodymount tree from Tamiya and they were out of stock, however Speedtech had 1 in stock, too bad I wanted to buy 2. I ordered what he had because 1 gets me to the track this coming week. I have run Tamiya for almost 20 years, before there was a TCS and I still believe in their products, I want to see them grow so that my kids can be fanatical about this crap some day.
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:31 AM
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I just thought of a more simple way to put it. The way I see it there is one of 2 problems. Either the stores dont order enough, or there is not enough available to order. Maybe there needs to be a spares package available when a new car comes out. A spare set of arms, hinge pins and mounts, a spare belt and a couple of gears. When a dealer orders the first 3 or 4 kits he is provided with a stock of parts for those kits , etc,. Just a couple of thoughts, dont worry there will be more.
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:32 PM
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Just My 2cents worth...
I am the main organizer of the BIG Tamiya order here at Trackside. I have been running the TCS as long as it has been here, All but the first season have been here. I can NEVER predict how much of any thing we are going to need. I prepare like Kevin says and order stuff from here when I can and usually ask the Tamiya faithfuls too. The problem is that ordering from Aliso Hobbies seems to be a pain in the A$$!!! Our manager is stuck with the pages of parts to order and more often than not, half of it is out of stock. Then I talk to Fred or someone else there and they say they have the parts there. My manager hates the ordering process online also, NOT very efficient in his opinion.
I try to look at all the posible types of chassis out there and make sure we have at least one of the parts that might break. Problem is with me and with ALL the Tamiya regulars is that we heve so many different types, we may need something more obscure. It is very difficult to foresee what people want. I've ordered many regular parts and many bling hop ups and I'll tell you that we still have some high end stuff from several years ago on our shelves. Any one need a 3mm evoIII chassis?
My philosophy last year was to stock up only on the popular cars like the 415 and TA05 and also to have as many tires as I thought we needed. We run A types here indoor on carpet and I usually would like 2 sets for the weekend per class. I said the same to all the customers, but some felt that they needed a new set for every round. Therefor , our 100 sets sold out quickly. I DO NOT grab what I want ahead of time in fear of being sold out! If I know I want some thing, I make sure I order one for my self. I would rather order from here instead of some oversees company but I'll do whats needed to have my parts. Speedtech and Ebay have seen a lot of my business. We have a lot of out of towners for our TCS race and where they come from may not have hardly any thing as far as Tamiya parts go. So they clear out our supply when they come in and see what we have.
I'm just saying that no one can prepare that well for this event. I like Minidrivers idea on the parts package.
Sorry for the rambling, incoherent post.

Dear Tamiya America, PLEASE make getting your parts and hop ups easier for all of us.
Thanks.
Mike
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:23 PM
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So, am I a bad person if I buy spare Tamiya parts from Tower Hobbies?

They have them in stock, for a little less than retail.

With all the different cars Tamiya has, I don't know how any hobby shop owner could ever stock the right parts. If I owned a hobby shop, I'd stock Tamiya bodies, tires, rims, shocks (the stuff that is generic to all/most chassis's) and special order the rest. One of Tamiya's strengths is their variety of cars. But that makes it very difficult for a local shop to stock the right spares.

I do like the idea of a hobby shop stocking up before a TCS race, then being able to return unsold parts after the race.
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:01 PM
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So getting back to the TCS 2007 topic.....

We hear they have races planned for Trackside and SIR in March. Are those the only firm locations? I keep seeing requests for tracks in the SE to email Tamiya if they are interested. Does that mean Memphis isn't going to host one next year? What about Cinci? Anyone.......Bueller???
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:47 PM
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Just wondering if Tamiya was planning to have more stops this year in the schedule.Can anyone confirm this? Does this make sense?
I use to manage a store and ran a race program that also has had a TCS Regional race for the last 4 years. I am now managing a new store that is requesting a Regional from Tamiya.Our track is a nice, permanent track facility{carpet and asphalt}that is directly connected to the new store and we run the only electric program in our area now.The last shop I worked at is no longer running a regular parking lot race program due to lack of interest by the local racers.
My dilema is that it has come to my attention that Tamiya maybe offering a Regional Date to 2 local shops.Has this ever been the case in another area? The 2 shops are in a 5 mile distance from each other.Would it even make sense for one or the other to accept the offer if another shop runs a date before the other?
Unfortunately for Tamiya,the original shop I used to work with which will remain nameless, was for the 1st 2 years it ran TCS, was very poorly run.The last 2 years it was ran,it was ran by an experienced race director and support crew and were quite successful. We had lots of Southern California/Arizona participation also.
Now that the same Race director and support Crew has moved to the our new shop, Does it make sense for Tamiya to offer the prior location a date especially since it no longer has a regular race program? What I am afraid of is that the original store will attempt to run a date,have very poor participation locally because the racers are not racing there anymore.And those out of towners that have been regulars for the last 3-4 years will travel here and be very disappointed.Thus in turn the New Location will have less participation for thier date because the 1st date was a disaster. Especially from the out of town regulars who I consider friends.
Again has anyone heard of having two TCS regional event so close together in Location before?
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:46 AM
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Mike,
No apologies necessary, you described what all of us are going/have gone through. It reignites another age old discussion about 1 run tires. IMO if you dont soak your tires in motor spray, one set will last a whole race weekend. I ran 1 set last year at Trackside and finished 3rd in GT3 and I dont think tires were the reason. I would suggest if you dont already, limiting each racer to 2 sets to limit the hoarding. If after everyone has bought there are sets over, then its open season. Also, I would probably double your order next time, knowing that you will probably sell all that you order.
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BP SHADOW
Mike,
No apologies necessary, you described what all of us are going/have gone through. It reignites another age old discussion about 1 run tires. IMO if you dont soak your tires in motor spray, one set will last a whole race weekend. I ran 1 set last year at Trackside and finished 3rd in GT3 and I dont think tires were the reason. I would suggest if you dont already, limiting each racer to 2 sets to limit the hoarding. If after everyone has bought there are sets over, then its open season. Also, I would probably double your order next time, knowing that you will probably sell all that you order.
Good plan on the limits. I think that is a VERY good idea. And yes , I believe the order will be a little bit bigger this year.

I'l say it now, If you plan on attending the Trackside race 07, and want special things there or have ideas to have there, Let me know!
Thanks, Mike
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