Gen-An wrote:For some retarded reason Maxell has decided to switch to Ritek for supplying the bulk of its 8x media in the US/Canada/European markets instead of the Hitachi-Maxell media it was using before. It seems if you want true Maxell media you have to buy the inkjet printable discs. However no such plans have been made for the Japanese market. Hmm, Maxell hogging the good media for its home country...
It's easy to call it a "retarded reason" when you know absolutely nothing behind WHY it's happening
So, I'll fill in a few blanks for you, and then perhaps you can decide whether or not it's truely "retarded" as you put it
The number one thing causing problems right now is a lack of stock. Maxell has 1 plant, and it's relatively small compared to many other plants. The biggest seller in North America right now is 8x DVDR media for Maxell, but actually most of Maxell's production has switched to 16x (like many plants have been slowly making the switch to). So not only is there a VERY high demend for 8x media, but there is almost no supply of it left from Maxell's own manufacturing plant. This makes North American, and even European supply impossible. Also, even if there was more production happening, the pricing in North America (specifically Canada) is *SO* low, that it's far below Maxell's own cost to manufacture it! So they are stuck with having to outsource production of Maxell 8x DVDR brand media.
Now, regarding the quality of Maxell's newly outsourced 8x DVDRs... I've been aware of the problem for at least a month now, if not maybe even 2. I made a full report of this problem to Maxell directly, and they promised to look into it (although I heard nothing back). Now, in the last few weeks, I've been *VERY* lucky to be able to meet with a good portion of Maxell Canada's staff, including the head of Western Sales, the General Manager of Maxell Canada, and the head of Maxell's marketing department (among others). The meetings took quite some time and popsicles, but once all the main issues had been discussed, I took the time to pull the most important members aside, and bring up my results to them again, and ask for an update. What they told me, includes both my above stock issues comments, and the following:
Due to Maxell's inability to create a large enough volume of media for sale in North America (among other places), Maxell has had to outsource production to another plant. Maxell specifically qualifies the media from the plants it outsources to, to make sure they meet a minimum standard for their brand. They even went so far as to admit to me it was not as good quality as their own Japanese media, but should be still quite good. At this time, they also told me that Ritek was currently the only plant qualified for their media, but that Taiyo Yuden, and another plant have already been tapped, and are on the way to receiving their qualifications.
I then asked about the quality problems with their current outsourcing to Ritek, and asked how it was possible that Ritek could have beaten Taiyo Yuden when it came to qualifying media quality? I didn't get a great answer on this one, it basically came down to "I don't know, I don't have all the details". One thing I *was* told is that the problems I reported way back when, were sent to head office in Japan, and Maxell is NOT happy with Ritek sending one quality of media for their tests, and saturating the finished product with lower grade Ritek then most other brands receive (according to reports on the media). I don't know what Maxell said to Ritek, but I got the distinct impression that it was not very pleasent... something similar to rubbing a dog's nose in it's own urine when it makes a mistake on the rug, or something like that. A was also told that my report on the quality issues pushed Maxell to begin seriously thinking about replacing Ritek, and significantly hastened the search for new OEM's.
So, while nothing happens immediately in a large company like Maxell, I'm happy to say that new things are in the works... and if we are VERY lucky, we may even see Taiyo Yuden media replace Ritek at later dates.
Furthermore, I'll keep track of all the negative comments, and make sure to mention it to Maxell next time the oppurtunity comes up.
Punch Cards -> Paper Tape -> Tape Drive -> 8" Floppy Diskette -> 5 1/4" Floppy Diskette -> 3 1/2" "Flippy" Diskette -> CD-R -> DVD±R -> BD-R
The Progression of Computer Media