At the beginning of December, we started an emergency print-run for Zombie Kidz Evolution, which was selling faster than we had expected. Our manufacturer promised to have them done by January 10th, at the latest, which would allow our shipper to pick them up in time to be able to catch the boat leaving for France on January 18th. That would be the last boat until Chinese New Year, at which point EVERYTHING stops in China for a month (and a bit more this year, due to a certain... illness...).
On January 7th, 3 days before pick-up by our shipper, we wrote to the manufacturer to make sure that everything was still on schedule. Oh. No. He answered that they wouldn't be ready until January 14th... too late for the boat! In the face of this disaster, our logistics team had to find a new way to get 12,000 games directly to the Shanghai Port. Missing this boat would mean being out of stock on our most exciting game for a good month. That would mean nearly 3,000 lost sales, and for us, that is huge. Luckily, Hélène and Carl were able to find a solution, and our games made it to the port, and to France at the beginning of March!
This 'loss' wouldn't have ruined us, but it represents thousands of dollars that would have been just out of our reach! The difference between a good and a great Christmas party, as I like to say. I can't help but think that even as we allocate more and more budget and resources to marketing, not even this would bring us the 3,000 sales that were saved by a simple production follow-up email. It's crazy to think that this one gesture will generate more profit for our company than the regular sales of some of our most popular games!!
We often talk, with good reason, about publishing successes, prizes won, etc., but I find that we don't highlight enough the work that is done by team members who work in the shadows, but whose efforts are no less essential to the success of the company. It's a lot less glamorous to talk about trucks and containers than playtests and galas, but it's just as important. Good games can't sell if they're not on store shelves!
So today: High Five to my Logistics Team!
Once a month Scorpion Masqué's Grand Poobah shares his thoughts with you. From how the market has evolved, to writing rules that make sense, with detours into game mechanisms, you will get a glimpse at the board game industry from the point of view of a publisher.
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