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Kyle

An Update on Shipping Delays

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5 minutes ago, Kyle said:

Hey everyone,

In light of the current and completely understandable frustrations regarding the fulfillment process of Gen Con orders, we felt that it was necessary to shine a light on a few things, such as what makes this year so different, some of the challenges we are currently facing, and the steps we are taking to alleviate some of the dissatisfaction.

Before we can get started with that, though, the first thing worth understanding is the size of our team. While we consider it a compliment to the assumptions made of Wyrd’s size in comparison to our competitors (to us, it means that we are able to accomplish big things with our games with the fantastic – if tiny - crew that we have), it can also lead to miscommunication and expectation issues within our community. But the fact of the matter is that we operate as a lean team, and up to this point, it’s worked relatively well for us.

Recently, though, the workload in the warehouse has been overwhelming. Previously, the same numbers of employees were capable of handling the flow of products without a hiccup. With only having a handful of individuals building, pulling, and packing our products during the hype storm of M3E, it has been a difficult challenge to overcome. More on that in a bit.

While we wish everyone in the office was like Viktoria Chambers and had a clone of themselves to tackle twice the work, we aren't in Malifaux, and even in our reality, bad things can still happen. Because of the size of our team, it might start to make sense as to why we don’t start fulfilling orders while we are at Gen Con. It’s because we can’t be in two places at once; we need just about everyone we have at the big convention to help run all aspects of the show. This means that there is nobody in the office to address customer service issues, let alone process, pull, or ship orders. But immediately after we get back from Indianapolis, we start tackling those projects once again.

Secondly, it’s important to note our work schedule, which is unique in comparison to a lot of other companies. Both the warehouse and office staff teams are scheduled to work Monday through Thursday (10 hour shifts). For most of the year, this is largely unimportant, but with the influx of orders this year, losing a business day for processing has become a challenge in and of itself. To remedy this, all of our staff has been coming in the last few Fridays (and some have even been helping out on the weekends) to clear the backlog.

Additionally, one of the things that have caused an issue is that our normal carriers (USPS, FedEx, and FedEx Express) do not come on Fridays as it’s not a normal business day for us.  While FedEx can normally get in here on a Friday if we ask, it’s not always guaranteed that they can or that they will be able to take a full load.  No matter how many special requests we put in, USPS will simply not come on Friday, which can cause frustration for those of you who see a shipping update late day Thursday, but then it doesn’t move till the following week.

This leads us to the next part of an often misunderstood term: “two day shipping.” We aren’t, and never will be, Amazon. “Two day shipping” does not mean that you will receive an order within two days of making the order. The term “two day shipping” is in reference to after the order has been made and is in the Postal Service’s hands, ready for delivery. This also normally accounts for business days, which may stretch the two days into four.  Once the orders are complete and boxed, we process our labels in batches. You are getting the shipping and tracking information as we are making the labels for your orders that are ready to ship.  That information is passed along to the carriers at that time, and we have to trust that they are going to pick them up as soon as possible.

Besides running a lean team and depending on our shipping carriers to take the order the rest of the way, like with any business, there are always those random little issues that pop up. Some examples include an employee’s illness, or running out of boxes to put orders in and having to wait the next day to receive more, or a simple miscommunication issue somewhere down the line. Sadly, these have all happened during this Gen Con season. Normally, these little hiccups are immediately addressed and no one needs to become aware of them, but when every other issue is heightened, it makes every little mistake or road block that much more glaring.

Next, it only seems appropriate to talk about distribution, which normally helps us gauge general interest and expectations of sales. Because of the lull between M2E’s fifth book and M3E’s launch, distributors were rightfully hesitant to order product in bulk. To us, this meant that local game stores weren’t putting in pre-orders to match their own expectations. Of course, we know now that definitely wasn’t the case. We’re working on alleviating this issue simultaneously, but this isn’t a problem that can be fixed overnight, either. Reprints take a considerable amount of time, and we are working getting them to our retailers as quickly as we are able. This is relevant to the Gen Con web sale issue as well as the big picture, as one might be able to see that all months of planning were based on a certain set of numbers that were skewed by hesitance, leading us to miscalculate the hype.

In short, we have been completely overwhelmed by the success of the game. This year’s Gen Con web sale alone has had over three times the number of orders than any previous year. This week, we have doubled our warehouse workforce, and have already seen a considerable increase in productivity. There’s still a lot of work for us to do, and we certainly aren’t out of the weeds just yet, but we are on the right track and can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

So what does this mean for your order?

We ask that you wait it out a little while longer. With the work that the team is scheduled to do over the next several days (including the weekend) and the pace they are currently working at, we believe that we will wrap up all of the orders by the middle of next week. If this is unacceptable, reach out to us and let us know. We will do our best to work with you on your request.

This letter is not meant to be a list of excuses. We know that we have fallen short of your expectations, and we are doing everything in our power to remedy these problems. We will spend the following months working with our service suppliers and our employees to review our processes to better meet the needs during our high-volume times.

From everyone here at Wyrd, thank you for your patience and understanding.

Keep up the good work Wyrd. the product you do put out is increadable and you can all be proud of your achievements and the happiness  it brings your clients.

yes having to wait on products is disapointing, but without you we wouldn't have this great game in the process!

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I never want to see anyone's employees overworked just so I can have my toys quicker. We all just appreciate some communication when things like this are coming so we know what to expect.

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Thank you so much for the update! I (and some other I suspect) have been champing at the bit to get my order, but I know y'all are a small team working 4x10s. Just as my patience was giving way to worry, wondering if my order really went through, whether there were delays in production, fear that my order was on a truck broke down somewhere on I-85, you guys reach out and give us an honest breakdown of what's happening. I cannot express how much I appreciate that you do your best to keep us in the loop and let us know what's going on. Please pass my (our?) appreciate on through the rest of the team and keep in mind that our desire for the product and the significantly increased amount of orders is a testament to all you've done in making Malifaux in general, M3E in particular, and especially Nightmare Molly so exciting and desirable.

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Kyle,

Sincerest thanks! While I can't speak for the community as a whole, this is EXACTLY the kind of response (and time-table) I was looking for. Filling all orders by next week! WOW. That's fantastic to hear!

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Thanks so much for the update, and the transparency! Amazon may run like a scarily efficient clockwork robot overlord, but Wyrd is human (and sounds like you treat your warehouse workers more reasonably too) and that's what I appreciate about you guys. We'd never get this sort of transparency from Amazon, and I'm happy to wait patiently for my goodies. You guys keep up the amazing work!

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19 minutes ago, Kyle said:

This is coming from everyone here at Wyrd. I'm just the mouthpiece. We love our games as much as you all do (except when @matt wins - never let Matt win). 

Grand Vizier @Kyle, for the record, @matt 's "Community Reputation" is "Huggable."

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It must be a good sign that you find it hard to keep up with the same number of people! :)

I would hate for the case with M3E to be: "well we only really need 1 employee now... to dust off the cobwebs in our warehouse filled with stuff we can't sell." 

Keep it up and I will keep bringing more players in here in the cold north. :)

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Thanks for the update!  Having worked in the 'industry', I totally understand all the issues at hand.  Am perfectly patient to wait for my goodies!  Keep up the great work!!!

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Good to hear the news. The most depressing part is not waiting, but waiting without know the end. Not sure others, but to me, with a exactly date, I can wait for a month delay.

So if this happen next time (hopefully not), maybe immediately make the announcement as soon as you realized there will be a delay. 

Anyway, thanks to Wyrd.

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Thank you for the update, and as stated before, I definitely prefer waiting a couple of weeks more rather than have anyone anywhere overworking, crunching or whatever you call it. 

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15 hours ago, Stonewall78 said:

So I am guessing the cloning of @Kimberly has so far only been successfully achieved once? Might have to get the good doctor to double his efforts.

Not advised. That clone has turned out to be incredibly evil. 

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I think people just don't like the unknown. I think for a lot of people a message like this much earlier into the delay would have been sufficient in alleviating the frustration. 

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Thank you for the update guys!  It may be worthwhile to start taking pre-oreders on the web to mitigate the issue of unknown demand.  I would happily put in an order for future releases well in advance, especially if it helped the company logistically.

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@Kyle

I saw another thread where someone received a response from yall saying there was an issue with the faction books, that they weren't on hand yet or something to that effect.  Is that true? 

Speaking hypothetically, if someone (like me but certainly NOT me) had ordered all the faction books as part of the sale, does that mean my order is just doomed to languish? Or was that included in your guestimate of all orders being out by middle of next week (I understand just a best/hopeful guess!)?

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7 hours ago, Fortune said:

Thank you for the update guys!  It may be worthwhile to start taking pre-oreders on the web to mitigate the issue of unknown demand.  I would happily put in an order for future releases well in advance, especially if it helped the company logistically.

I don't think they'll do this. They try to steer most of the trade through game stores, as they believe game stores carrying the game is essential for growth. That's also why they never offer monetary discounts on their web sales (only exception I'm aware of was the metal clearance sale in 2013 or something), why they have lgs promotion schemes, why they only release stuff well after release date in their own web store and why they don't offer pre releases outside of the GenCon sale...

So, it would make things easier, but I don't think it's all that likely...

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I might have misread whats been going on, but what happening with orders in Europe (i'm in the U.K.) IOrdered my Ulix core set and faction book form my LGS a couple of months ago and have not yet received my product. Is there still shipping delays?

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33 minutes ago, Kardboard Wizard said:

I might have misread whats been going on, but what happening with orders in Europe (i'm in the U.K.) IOrdered my Ulix core set and faction book form my LGS a couple of months ago and have not yet received my product. Is there still shipping delays?

I would try not to worry yet. I'm also from Europe (Norway), and I've ordered stuff from every GenCon sale since at least 2013 I think. Only once have my orders arrived before September, and at least one didn't get here until October. Sometimes you get lucky, but given how long it takes to pack everything (I think Wyrd estimate everything should be shipped from them by the next week) and longer transit times I think there's still a while till it's time to get impatient...

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