Hawk Wargames posts up Newsletter #4

By Polar_Bear
In News
Aug 13th, 2012

Hawk Wargames posted up another newsletter giving us an update about their production and distribution schedules.

Just posted a new newsletter (#4) in the Downloads section. This newsletter aims to give a comprehensive, black and white summary of our production and order fulfilment situation, and what we’re doing to improve it. Hopefully, this will provide an insight into why things are as they are at the moment!

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  • imagine


    Like many others, I have drooled over the stunning pictures of Dropzone Commander, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on them.

    Unfortunately, as a trade distributor, despite sending half a dozen emails to the proprietor and the Hawk Wargames email for trade inquiries some 2 months before the official launch, I have yet to receive a single reply… in fact, I just learned when reading “Newsletter #4”, that all trade inquiries WILL NOT be receiving a reply, and will only be attended to in the order of which we have made our first inquiry. Excellent way to handle trade accounts which are in essence the difference between the success and death of a business…

    Since I was getting NO REPLY, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and pay for the goodies as a regular customer. So I placed an online order with my favorite UK online miniatures store 3 weeks ago.

    After 2 weeks, and no sign of my goodies (I always receive them within 10-14 days since I am international), I checked my status online and was surprised to find it still only “processing”. I then dropped a mail to the proprietor who promptly told me that they have got nothing and won’t be expecting anything for another 3-4 weeks! Wow!

    Yes, I have read all the REASONS given by Mr Lewis on NOT REPLYING to trade inquiries AND NOT SUPPLYING products to distributors that have already signed up. Basically it can be summarized like this…
    1. We are a small company, I was not willing to risk my family’s money, manufacturing is a tough business, we were wrong on the amount of stock that would be demanded…

    We started shipping to only 2 distributors who got involved early, but could only ship “what we had” (ie. not the entire order)… as this was “unavoidable”…
    The new machines we ordered were late (but not to worry, they are now running full speed)…
    “You can’t rush resin”! I like this one, especially since the no mention was made about planning better since resin was going to be used…
    We’re expanding! We’re moving into a larger office to cope better with “email deluge”!…
    I’ve been quiet on the social media due to a mountain of work…
    And my favorite one… “If you’ve been waiting for a response to the trade email”… “we can only do so much right now”…

    8-10. Errata…

    This newsletter is signed off “I hope this goes a long way towards clarifying the situation”…

    Sadly, NOT A SINGLE APOLOGY at all. Not for ignoring all trade email inquiries; not for delays in products that customers have already paid money in full for; not for anything.

    Trying to justify every non-performance by stating that this is due to risking family money, delays in new machines, that there is a mountain of work, that one can only do so much, etc are just very poor excuses to the 2 most important people to any business – your customers and trade distributors/retailers.

    I strongly suggest Hawk Wargames reflect on these observations/comments and:
    1. Make a genuine effort to start replying EVERY SINGLE trade inquiry and apologizing to them for not communicating and making a clear statement when they will be able to start supplying (or simply say that they are not looking for any trade accounts, thank you).

    Do the same for the many customers who have paid in full but have no idea when they will be receiving their products. Perhaps a special download for these customers as a “thank you for your patience”, etc.

    In the end, please remember that customers – trade and direct – are not interested in your “insights” as to why things have not gone right, so much as are you offering any apology for not keeping to your promises and how will you make up for it…

    Business 101…

  • Veritas

    I agree they should have at least some sort of apologetic form letter they could mass mail to all the distributors, but I think you’re also being a little harsh. They got hit with STUPEFYING demand for product. Especially considering they gave out almost no previews of the rules prior to launch. Dropzone Commander is going through the whole “hot Christmas toy” issue like those stupid Furby things a decade ago. When you get hit like they did all the planning in the world couldn’t prepare for that as if they had made that kind of leap of faith in initial production and flopped they would have all been in the poor house. Like I said, a proper apology would have gone a long way, but I can understand why those delays are occurring. I just hope they don’t burn out as I’ve got my rule book and minis and I think the game has a LOT of potential.

    Although I will criticize my PHR tanks. They come in two halves and they don’t line up well at all. The one half is like a millimeter longer than the other half, which at these small scales is hugely noticeable. All the other PHR models in my mega starter are brilliant though. Little flash which is easy to clean and very crisp details.

  • imagine

    Nice to know someone got their models 😉

    Actually, I am only being harsh on their non-apology to all the trade people who wrote to them to whom they didn’t bother to acknowledge or reply, and paying customers who paid in full without being told that there were no more stocks (they could have just told stores selling their products to stop accepting money, put up sold out signs, etc, instead of continuing to collect our money when they know they cannot deliver).

    I agree with you that noone can be blamed for sales grossly exceeding supply, although better planning, especially contingency planning would have still made a difference.

    Anyway, I hope you are enjoying the game!

  • BugBug

    I to can accept the problems he is having. I was at Salute 2012 and,like many others, was knocked out by the models on his stand. Hawk Wargames was without doubt in my mind the surprise of the day from a Sci-point of view. At time during the day the crowd around his stand was deeper than those around the Forge World stand….and you don’t see that very often!

    I was very surprised that there was no stock to sell on the day…..and strange marketing move IMHO…..and I since then got really pee’d off only being able to get information before the launch date on twitter! All ‘odd’ marketing for what is a great product. I knew at Salute that I would buy into this game…..but it has taken me a while to take the plunge. I’m now awaiting a PHR starter army….and I know I’m going to have to wait and wait and wait…but it’s not like I’ve got nothing else to paint!!!!
    Under estimating demand…….yeah,I can see how that could happen…but even so, I agree it’s no way to treat customers and traders. We really need to support businesses like this…small businesses ARE the life blood of this hobby without a doubt, so he needs to keep everybody happy….even if it’s just a letter or posting to say..’.yeah we’ve had problems, due to high demand…sorry for any delays….be we you asap’. I think we been given too much detail…..family money…cooling resin…etc etc………just a simple ‘sorry’ would have done.

    Hawk Wargames…..you’ve got a great product here…….just need to spend a bit of loving on your customers and traders.

  • tomogui

    For what it’s worth, I pre-ordered a faction starter pack direct from Hawk, and my stuff arrived very quickly upon release (UK to Japan). One model was missing a part: I emailed Hawk, got a courteous and personal response within 12 hours, and the replacement piece arrived three days later.

    I don’t know much at all about the business side of things, although i can imagine that keeping distributors happy is very important, but in my dealings with Hawk, I found them impressively prompt and professional.

    And yes, the models. Wow.

  • Pre ordered, got my stuff. Had an issue with a model, taken care of quickly. My emails have been responded to without issue.
    You want free downloads? did you check the DL section? I did, lots there.
    I can understand your frustration, but you have been provided an explanation why yet that is not good enough, you need an apology?? Seriously? You received an explanation, that should be sufficient.
    Give the guy a break, he is clearly working to get everyone taken care of and is communicating.

  • imagine

    Would you “Give the guy a break” if you wrote 6 emails inquiring to distribute and sell this wonderful product, and didn’t receive a single reply?

    And, I’m not just talking about one person’s bad experience, or asking for an apology only to me – he clearly “explained” that all trade inquiries WILL NOT be receiving a reply…

    I’m happy you got a reply but unless HG have decided to sell all their products direct and not through trade distributors, I think all those who took the trouble to write to him do deserve an apology…

    I appreciate that you are a happy customer, but I also need you to appreciate that we are very unhappy trade distributors. I can also appreciate that you did receive your order and even got your issue taken care of quickly, and what he has done for you is “good enough” by your standards, but I also need you to appreciate that we are in the business of it, and if we accept anything but the highest of standards (and “explaining why one doesn’t reply or send enough stocks to cover orders is certainly non-performance) , we will fail our customers – people like you who choose to buy through our stores.