Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mantic's Biggest Problem

Mantic has done wonders for the wargaming community, easily able to claim the rights to savings thousands of hobbyists. Fans praise their involvement with the community, willingness to listen, adapt, and produce affordable miniatures. Unfortunately, that attention has come with some significant growing pains as well.

The one complaint I see consistently is: customer service and shipping. There are those out there who have expressed a deep concern for lacking products they've ordered or the length of time it has taken for them to arrive. This is a legitimate issue.  Customers have made Kickstarter pledges or ordered from Mantic direct and in some cases weeks pass beyond the expected arrival of their package with no explanation at all. I've even heard of customers sending emails and such with no response. The prevalence of, "Look I've got my shiny new widget!" on forums and Facebook drives this to an extent. Why are some customers getting their items before others?

Happily, most customers have retained a sense of patience. There is a valued understanding within the community that I perceive to be as a wonderful thing. That being said...that patience is starting to run thin.

Mantic has already addressed the problem and is taking steps to correct it. In mid October, Ronnie did the BEST POSSIBLE THING and spoke out about their shortcomings. The first step to correcting any problem is admitting that you have one and Mantic hit a home run here.

See the blog post here if you haven't. They're looking to hire the right people to fill these gaps. This process isn't a short one. It is critical though, because Mantic is doing so much right.

My top 5 reasons a company will fail:
  1. Not in touch with customers (great community, great involvement)
  2. No variety in products offered (KoW, Warpath, Dreadball, Mars Attacks, Dungeon..)
  3. Failure to market products (they're everywhere getting the word out)
  4. Leadership Breakdown (Ronnie is our lord and savior)
  5. Not having the right team X
The wildly popular Kings of War 2nd Edition and influx of other failed game systems working their way into Mantic's games is a good thing. A company that experiences that kind of growth is going to find itself falling short in some areas. I do not envy Ronnie and the staff at Mantic for having to address inadequate internal systems, mounting costs, finding the right talent to improve, and maintaining the culture your success is founded on.

But I sure as hell want to help them.

The majority of my professional career has been in customer service, sales, design, and marketing. I'm not trying to toot my own horn (honestly) but I know I could help them in so many instances and it can be frustrating looking from the outside in.

I think I finally have my faith in the right company.

I trust they're going to find the right people. I trust they're going to find the ways to make their systems work in a fast and efficient manner. I have tremendous patience with them but trust that not everyone else does...Until this team is in place we'll continue to see issues.

I think they need a US based customer experience/warehouse/distribution center. Being a Yank myself, I may be biased towards this. I think they have tremendous growth potential over here however and eliminating the shipping times would be critical. I hardly ordered from Forge World with GW from the US because it was obnoxious waiting for things to come across on the boat. Keeping US customers happy starts with decreased shipping times. If/when this opportunity arises I'll jump on the chance to be a part of the crew.

I know the US is a critical audience based on our YouTube channel analytics. These are the percentage of views broken down by the country they come from:

  • USA 41%
  • UK 23%
  • GER 8%
  • CAN 6%
  • AUS 6%

Rest of the world: 16%

I'll continue to produce videos with Caleb and more friends. We'll introduce new armies, factions, tactics, scenarios, and do our best to draw players into this wonderful community. This is my part in the play for now. Until I get a call from Ronnie saying he wants me on board, I'll be looking from the outside in...cheering Mantic on.


  1. I think the Mantic team has some strong people - Mark Wallace who heads uk retail is great. Accounts are efficient. All we have here is some growing pains, a KS orientated model which inevitably leads to complicated orders. Mantic will get there. My advice - buy from FLGs - at least in the uk, mantic make sure they give retailers what they need ASAP.

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  3. Could not have said it better myself. A US presence is vital if they are going to slip into the role that GW has held for decades. Kings of War is in a fantastic position, ready for it they were not. There is some room for growing pains, but that will not be an excuse for long. I really hope they don't screw this up.

  4. I agree with your assessment but personally I feel they have another problem that has plagued them since the beginning: ugly miniatures. A few are pretty good, of course, but most of them are kinda awful. If they had higher quality sculpts to match all the great things you listed in your article, I think their business would skyrocket.