The build-to-customer-order programme (BTCO) will reduce the channel inventory of HP's OmniBook and Pavilion laptops by providing a few systems to retail outlets in the US for demonstration purposes, said Lara Kahler, product marketing manager for HP's mobile computing division.
Customers can order customised versions of the demo machines using online kiosks linked to HP's retail Web site via the Internet.
According to Kahler, the BTCO programme allows the customisation of HP's OmniBook and Pavilion Laptops with practically any available system feature, including wireless networking, a variety of CD-ROM and DVD options, a range of processor speeds and memory and a choice of operating system.
BTCO laptops will also be available through HP's own online retail sites from 17 October.
Besides encouraging consumers to explore the range of options and configurations offered by HP, the BTCO programme also reduces the number of actual units shipped to retail stores, said Jim Burns, director of worldwide supply chains for HP's mobile computing division.
BTCO will also allow HP to upgrade its portfolio of consumer laptop features more rapidly. The programme will benefit retail outlets as well by way of smaller inventory investments, Burns said.
"Nobody in the channel likes to have a lot of inventory risk," Burns said.