Hi guys, back home from 40k, good comments, wanted to respond why I mentioned certain things.
Tbh I'd be inclined towards thinking that it can make a significant difference, but only insofar as giving you visibility into pain points and showing you problems with your organization. Luckily I think GW is on the upswing and willing to make these kinds of decisions, but if you have software that can sit there on top of your systems, tightly integrated with your physical flows, telling you where you're meeting your quotas, where you aren't, and what kinds of customers are getting left out in the dust? The optimization gains could be ridiculous.
It kind of goes hand in hand with wanting to make changes. I'm not entirely sure about hard percentages or even manufacturing specifics (most of my work was on the development/testing of CRM itself, not consultant integration) but I'd be willing to say that as long as you follow what the ERP will tell you, you could double or even triple your efficiency, depending on where you were before. Have to make changes to alleviate whatever issues are holding them back though. The good thing about ERP is that you will be able to make these decisions very quickly; these numbers are just going to flow in and you're going to have some really good and quickly compiled data to tell you where you're falling short.
Great comments. I always trust the builder/tester/architect more than the consultant...because I'm more on the consultancy side. I know what you mean.
I think I also understand your point. It's a case of they might not know what they don't know, and by how much. Updating their ERP system to just what's available technologically now let's they catch up really quick, i.e. what you said about being able to SEE and make decisions quickly. They don't even have the visibility yet.
I'll tell you why I ask, as it's quite a Warhammer-specific issue, and it's obvious to anyone who had to advise a friend's spouse/significant other on what Warhammer thing to buy. GW has so many Stock Keeping Units, all these products...and you can't just substitute one for another. The result is...for example, I've been looking at Retail i.e. Warhammer Stores, they have so many boxes of things they can't sell...yet they never seem to carry that one Imperial Guard tank I want, they ran out.
So then we turn to Mail Order, or just shrug it off and not buy...which is why Mail Order grew so much more than Retail, most likely. We can see this gap is real.
It's an inventory/forecasting issue. We can call it CRM or ERP, but it's just savvy or data-driven stock-keeping. Walmart are experts at this and it's the heart of their negotiation strategies, they know customer patterns way better than vendors. The Chaos Daemons Codex is coming out tomorrow, with new models and stuff. Could they have predicted more accurately by gathering sales data worldwide of the old Chaos Indices sales and how many Death Guard people bought, so now they'll be more likely to HERE and HERE, but not THERE, where people seem completely fixated on Primaris Marines.
Why is this especially important? Because there seems to be a production issue as well. If GW knew what to stock more accurately, they'll know what to make more accurately, focus the limited production on priorities.
I was just hoping double digit improvement through optimisation. You're saying it could go well into triple digits. In a case where GW is practically the entire supply chain, with all the huge variances in between (not sure how much your ERP experience deals with supply chains, but it's "the bullwhip effect" of how even minor changes at the consumer end leads to HUGE changes at the start of the supply chain), okay, I totally see it's a no-brainer, let's just see what we can see.
I think their facebook interaction is sufficient to give anyone there a sense that they are actually having a back and forth. I also know that if the Warhammer 40,000 social media people tell you that they passed along your message to the person who needs to see it, they actually do. A friend got contacted about an issue after telling their facebook page about it in a private message.
I think it's a pretty stark contrast to the years around and following the CHS lawsuit where they held any information about future products so close to the chest it was like a state secret or something. So even if their social media interaction is actually just 95%+ one way, that's still way, way better than it used to be. And I think the customer base is responding with purchases.
Great points, thanks for your reply.
I hadn't considered like how even Facebook interaction is enough. It might just be a "light touch", a Facebook PM reply. Sad thing is, you're right, in any other industry we just call it customer support (like post-purchase support, I always found GW/FW mail order support was great because I'm directly giving them money).
I appreciated your Facebook anecdote, but I also reckon things like the FAQ "hotline" they added recently, right. All actually practical things. It's a great point.
The funny thing is, as much as people, including myself, complain about how there's too many ads and marketing in everything, what you described is basically that. I always wondered what it'd be like if companies acquiesced to those complaints and just cut off all marketing...and you put it nicely above.
<shivers at memories of that dark time when we relied on BoLS rumours for news>
Just so you know, about 2 years ago (basically just when Warhammer Community started), GW made a new hire for a marketing head. That person...doesn't get much mention, but plays an important role...is Robert Dekker. He used to work on the Microsoft's Xbox division in Europe, which was famous for basically creating their own press (because at the time, Sony Playstation and Nintendo somewhat had such close relations with the press that they controlled gaming news). They basically funded their own magazine (similar to, say, Warhammer Community) and even had their own TV channel on the console (kinda like Warhammer TV). He's bring that expertise to GW now. I think it was a very inspired hire and it's been executed well, which is why I think the CEO deliberately mentioned it (also kinda hits at he's the person who really tried to bring in this marketing manager).
That Direct Marketing isn't just great for us, the player/customer base, but it's actually really appreciated by FLGS. GW does the selling FOR them, rather than shifting that burden onto them. You're right, it was just missing that rather obvious, fundamental, but missing part.
Good comments, thx.