As you are all aware of, Privateer has had some supply problems since the roll in of MKII. This has been a sore spot for lots of players. There's an interesting thread on the PiP page. you can find it here: http://privateerpressforums.com/showthread.php?50438-Retailers-no-longer-stocking-PP-!/page1
. In it Matt Wilson (creator of Warmachine and head hancho of the whole she-bang) address the issue: I'll try to shed some light on this:
The 'distribution problems' are really 'manufacturing delays' that have occurred as a result of the great influx of new players that we've seen over the past year. So, as one poster summed it up earlier in the thread, the problem is a result of success. We know that no matter what the issue is, it's inconvenient for our players, and don't take that lightly and are doing everything we possibly can (within reason) to accelerate production and meet demand. It doesn't serve us at all to have unfulfilled customers and it's our goal to make sure everyone is satisfied as quickly as possible.
This isn't as easy as it sounds. Our miniatures are made by hand, as are all pewter hobby minis. A human being has to our molten metal into a mold, spin it, remove it, do a quality check and then send it on to packing. The bottle neck in our production pipeline comes from the limited number of human beings we have to do this. Our metal casters, I believe, are the best in the world. But it takes training and it takes a certain level of commitment to the craft that is difficult to find. Casting isn't something that just anyone to do -- maybe they could go through the motions, but speed and accuracy are huge factors here because if the person casting can't produce a certain level of quality product in a given amount of time, then they become a liability for the company. Finding these great people isn't easy, but we're constantly searching for new people to add to our staff.
The other side of this is that we have always been and will always be cautious not to over hire staff just so that we can push product out the door. As with any good organization, we care very much for everyone who is a part of our crew, and we never want to be in a situation where we must dismiss someone because their job has been made redundant. I take a great deal of personal pride in the fact that Privateer Press has never in its entire history had to lay anyone off because of financial considerations. While the rest of the world have been downsizing through the terrible economic crisis of the past few years, Privateer has retained every role. Most recently, we're even expanding. But we do this cautiously, and the truth is, right now demand on the product is simply outpacing our ability and willingness to increase staff. Some companies are happy to staff up, get a job done, and then cut people loose. That's not Privateer and it never will be, even if it means our customers, whom we care for very much, have to wait a little longer to get product.
There's some good news in all of this too:
First, the fulfillment issues aren't economically motivated. In other words, this isn't a sign of Privateer having financial problems. 2010 was our best year ever in the history of the company. It's also not an indication of a flagging industry. The game industry is healthy and strong and we know this because we're moving a lot of product through the same channels we always have.
Second, we have made a great deal of headway over the last couple months in fulfilling the orders. I keep tabs on production and where we're at and the report last week was that we had cut our restock orders down by more than half. Of course, we received a deluge of more orders last week as well, but we're making a lot of progress! The progress has come from expanding our production with ore equipment as well as having located some great new staff and getting them trained up. Balancing this is tricky, as I explained, but confidence is high in production right now as they're seeing the light at the end of this tunnel of huge restock orders.
I can't say specifically what this means for any individuals wait on an order, but I did want to chime in and let anyone concerned know that this is our top priority right now, and that if anything, this difficulty in getting your hands on stock is an indication of the popularity and health of WARMACHINE and HORDES. The community is growing in leaps and bounds, and that more than anything is going to be what ensures the longevity of our favorite games into the future.
Thank you for your patience, your understanding, and your support.
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Not hiring and firing people at will is something I respect. As well as the fact that the president of the company has come out and addressed this directly. Kudos.
Subtlety is a word for strategy; brutality, for tactics. Even the most complex battle plans eventually require the application of brute force. ~ Irusk