Rangefinder

Views on the photographic universe by Erwin Puts

Industry 4.0



The fourth industrial revolution is imminent. The two main points? Flexibility in production and closeness to customer wishes! The times are over that a company produced a number of different products that were dedicated for a certain market segment. The future is for companies that have a modular production strategy that is able to react very precisely and timely to volatile consumer wishes and whims.
The Leica a-la-carte program is a primitive version as is the long list of options that car manufacturers offer as options to choose from. The really modern company allows the user to create and assemble his product completely from scratch from the several product ranges that the manufacturer offers and will even allow the customer to change his order during the production time.
For Leica this would imply that the user starts with a M-model but can add components from the Q or T or SL and can change his wish for a certain type of rangefinder just before it will be assembled.
The current strategy to upgrade the software with new features is old-fashioned. This approach still limits the user to select one specific product range. Within the Leica product range there is now so much overlap that a dedicated webpage is needed to give the user information about what product is suited to what goals. Why is it not possible to include in the M a touchscreen as seen in the T or a Q with a rangefinder like the M.Why can I not order a M-A with a .85 finder or with the hi-res finder of the SL. I know that engineers will protest and claim that this is not possible.
When and if the Leica product managers will work together to create one platform from which all products can be assembled, this will be daydreaming.
The company however cannot continue in the current fashion