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Valley Games, Inc.» Forums » General

Subject: The perils of manufacturing in China rss

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Elijah Lau
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By now, Valley Games has come to understand the problems of manufacturing in China, and that small companies are not immune, and probably even more susceptible, to the problems suffered by big companies.

We've seen or read the news - lead toys, melamine in milk etc. We know QC is not a top priority over there, because it gets in the way of profitability. China is the land of unfettered capitalism and we are now seeing in China the sort of stuff that industrial moguls in Britain during the Industrial Revolution were doing (nasty stuff).

But there are companies who do succeed in outsourcing production to China. A lot of that success has to do with oversight. They have their representatives watching those factories like a hawk and are empowered to make the necessary decisions to get their product right, because they know that the reputation of their brand is at stake and they won't let it go down the toilet.

Valley Games cannot afford to have a permanent representative at the manufacturing facility. So what is the solution for Valley Games?

Well, I don't know but I hope they find a solution soon. They've published some pretty neat games and it'll be a shame for their reputation to take any more hits on this.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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elijah234 wrote:
it'll be a shame for their reputation to take any more hits on this.


Like what? I have no clue what you're referring to.
 
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Ryan Newell
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I think claims that Valley Games is ruining their reputation are grossly exaggerated.

The people who take part in on-line social communities make up a small portion of the gamers out there. (In my case, of the 15-20 people I've gamed with in the last few years, I'm the only one who pays any attention at all to the business side of games or takes part in on-line gaming communities.) And only a small portion of that small portion would pay attention to what's been going on with Valley Games. And only a small portion of that small portion of that small portion would opt to not buy VG games because of their production problems / delays. (For example, I'm aware of all the complaints but I still plan on buying Titan.)

If they've "ruined their reputation," it's only to a very select group. I'd be surprised if it costs them more than a few dozen sales. And, I hate to say it because I'm no fan of industry in China, but the savings of producing there is probably worth the loss of those sales (though maybe not the stress of all the screw-ups).
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Dave Kudzma
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Anything Valley has been as high quality as Z-Man or Days of Wonder...and they're using China.

On a side note, do you know Michelle Sim ?
 
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Elijah Lau
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You post the thread about manufacturing in China and it gets misunderstood.

Folks, I'm not referring to the eventual end-product of Valley Games. I have Die Macher and Hannibal and I'm very impressed by the high quality of the product.

What I'm referring to is the painful process before they got there:

The generals were bad quality and delayed.

The initial production of Titan had major problems and had to be redone.

These are not minor issues. What I'm asking is how Valley Games can avoid these things short of having a permanent representative overseeing production in China.

Again, to reiterate, the thrust of the post above is about oversight, and not anything else.
 
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Elijah Lau
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locusshifter wrote:


On a side note, do you know Michelle Sim ?


Nope.
 
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J C Lawrence
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elijah234 wrote:
These are not minor issues. What I'm asking is how Valley Games can avoid these things short of having a permanent representative overseeing production in China.


I'm not clear that we can usefully contribute to that discussion. It is an operational problem for Valley Games and other publishers to resolve, and this sort of specific problem solving is a significant aspect of the core competency that their individual business models are built on. They get to pick their answers. We all get to see if they work.
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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Oh Poo Poo to this. I've seen this happen in American and European made games. People mix things up. IT HAPPENS. Don't think it's limited to just china. I've seen bad prototypes from other countries. Even if they do watch it like a hawk, things can slip by. Communication is a tricky thing. At least Valley Games is willing to put effort into catching these errors and doing something about it. People live and learn. Have they learned their lesson? Most likely. Do you think that every company has the ability to send someone down to China? That's hella expensive. A lot of the times, the producer will send some prototype copies to look it over and do another quality control check before producing the batch. The Titan, under the impression I got, was the prototypes that the producer sent before the batch was to be printed. Why aren't you ripping FFG for the Battle Star Galactica prototypes that were sold at Gencon as there were some printing errors with that. I'm rather tired of seeing people rip one company. If your going to do it, rip the entire industry. ALL companies have to go through this.
 
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Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
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Once they've made clear to the factory what it is they want, and the factory understands that, it shouldn't be too hard (I hope) to keep that same quality going. So it's a learning process which takes a few games, but they should be fine after that.
 
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Jeff
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BrenoK wrote:
Hannibal has a mistake on the attrition table on the map.


... and a mispelling of Macedonia, and an error in the reinforcement section of the player aid.

It's little stuff, but it adds up.
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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ExcitingJeff wrote:
and an error in the reinforcement section of the player aid.


What error is that?
 
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Jeff S
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Why is everyone picking on Valley Games and not the industry as a whole? Well, I didn't pay the industry for Titan over a year ago. I paid Valley Games and guess what...I still don't have a game.
 
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Has anyone gotten one of the new Titan game sets yet?


 
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Anthony
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You'll know when someone does...trust me you will know. (Hint: look for numerous "I got Titan, today!!11" threads to appear).
 
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