Quartermaster Logistics is the new fulfillment arm of CoolStuffInc.com, and we are happy to announce that we will be working with them to ship and fulfill the rewards for our Kickstarter campaign for our newest game, Savage Planet: The Fate of Fantos! We, as creators, are always interested in learning more about our partners, and we know backers are always eager to find out all they can about every company involved in the process..so, we are happy to present this Q&A with Quartermaster’s Vice President, Seth Grier, as a way to introduce you to our chosen fulfillment company:
Imp House Games (IHG): Cool Stuff Inc. has been around for awhile, but Quartermaster Logistics is a fairly new fulfillment company. When did you guys decide to begin offering your fulfillment services to the public? What triggered that decision?
Seth Grier, VP of Quartermaster Logistics (QML): We got started in December of 2016, and we’re a sister company of CoolStuffInc.com. One of the biggest reasons for offering fulfillment services was that we saw an opportunity to bring customer fanaticism to the fulfillment industry. We love customers, we love making things simple and easy for them, and with CSI’s shared resources, we already have the capacity and know-how to very quickly fulfill Kickstarters and bring that superior level of service to fulfillment for tabletop games. All of those factors seemed to come out to a winning combination for QML, so we saw a need, and an opportunity for us to fill that need with our unique passion for customers and CSI’s ability to do these kinds of fulfillment very efficiently.
IHG: Awesome; that definitely sounds great to us! So, what sets Quartermaster apart from all the other fulfillment companies out there?
QML: Well, a big part is how we treat and view our customers. But, I mentioned that previously, so let me explain how I think that customer fanaticism plays out in a few different ways at QML. We aim to be fast at turning around fulfillment, easy to use, and reliable. In other words, once we get your product in, it’s going to be shipped to your backers within days, not weeks or even months. Our pricing structure is greatly simplified, so it’s easy to understand and easy to calculate for your business. A 3-pound package is going to cost the same whether it’s going to Georgia or California, and whether there are 2 items to pick for it or 10 items to pick. Finally, we’re reliable; we have processes in place where your products are matched to an order and scanned multiple times before finally being packed. This greatly cuts down on error rate. Even more so, when we say we’ll fulfill something, we will; and we won’t make promises that we know we can’t fulfill.
IHG: As project creators, we are so happy to hear that! Fulfillment and shipping are some of the most unknown factors when it comes to crowdfunding. So, which Kickstarter projects have you fulfilled so far?
QML: We’ve done “Vikings Gone Wild” from Lucky Duck Games; “Colosseum” and “Yokohama” for Tasty Minstrel Games; we’re currently in the process of fulfilling the “Man vs. Meeple” campaign and “Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave” for VanRyder Games. We also have several other upcoming in the next months, including Tom Vasel’s “Dice Tower” campaign; “Feudum” from Odd Bird Games; and “Dragon Brew” by August Games.
IHG: Wow, you’ve been busy in your first 6 months! What would you say is the greatest challenge when fulfilling Kickstarter projects? Are there any projects in particular that turned out to be especially difficult? Why? (No need to name names; just general cautionary tales!)
QML: The greatest challenges when fulfilling Kickstarter projects seem to be the things that are out of our control. For instance, one campaign got flagged by customs for an intensive scan and inspection. Customs doesn’t really tell you why certain containers are flagged, sometimes it can be the product name; other times it could be that the ISF (Importer’s Security Filing) wasn’t done correctly. Either way it can costs weeks and thousands in storage fees, so that is definitely something to watch out for. So, as a cautionary tale, always ALWAYS make sure ISF has been properly filed BEFORE your goods leave the port of origin. It could literally save you thousands of dollars!
IHG: Wow, good to know! There are so many little things that creators have to keep in mind before starting the process. How can creators better help you do your job?
QML: Creators can help us by being organized. Little things like making sure they send enough extra to deal with problem orders (typically 5-10%) and making sure they send out their final backer update (address update) as close to shipping as they can. It really can help cut down on having to re-send product. Also, and it may be obvious, but the fewer SKUs to pick/pack the easier a project is to fulfill. Creating a project with tons of SKUs might be get customers very excited, but it also might end up being more trouble than it’s worth. There’s a judgment call to weigh the benefits and drawbacks there.
IHG: Understood. We do see a lot of otherwise great games being bogged down by extras and add-ons, which then derails the process of getting the rewards into backers’ hands, and can even cause the entire project to go into the red. Our goal as creators is to make every game be as great as it can be, with as little stress as possible to everyone involved! And, what about backers? Is there anything our backers can do to make your job easier?
QML: Backers can can help by making sure their shipping info is up to date and letting us know if there are any problems with their shipments.
IHG: Thanks for sharing some of your time with us, Seth, and we can’t wait to begin our fulfillment process with you very soon!
Interested in learning more about our Savage Planet? Click the photo below!