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I have been avidly awaiting the release of the first British sound on board digital loco from Bachmann. It is a Class 66 Diesel and was due in September. This got put back to November and looking at their site yesterday it has now been put back to Jan/Feb 2007. This seems to be an ongoing thing with Bachmann. I can see from other threads that this is not the only item subject to delays.

Have forum members found other companies similarly underestimating release dates and having severe delays with their product?


Is it a marketing ploy to maintain interest and divert attention from rival companies releases?


Is it purely that they are subject to low priority in Bachmanns Chinese production facility?


Or are they just plain crap at running a business?


Any ideas?
 

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Bachmann release dates are a cause of anguish among their customers.

It may simply be a case of not wanting to release a product until Barwell are happy that it is right.

This ground has been covered before and the conclusion normally is that Bachmann make announcements at an earlier stage in the production cycle than Hornby.

Maybe Bachmann should consider making public announcements later in the production cycle however...

....its a tricky area though because the last thing we the customer wants is a situation where the 2 major British outline producers offer identical new models. And what if Bachmann are half way through the development of a model and Hornby suddenly announce they are going to produce an identical model and they are half way through production too!

This would not do anybody any favours whatsoever.

Forget the Hornby Class 08 as an example of duplication because Bachmann's version was already on the shelves at the time Hornby made their decision to upgrade their own version and the fact is there are an enourmous number of liveries and variations to cover with this model so the two versions compliment each other very well.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I asked a very similar question on Tuesday in the Model Railway Express forum. Pat Hammond very kindly thought it would be worthwhile to give his own reply to me. As this was a direct reply to a question I raised over the continuing delay of the GWR railcar, I thought his viewpoint would be interesting, as well as posing no copyright problems. I therefore include it below:-

"One apparently simple solution would be to quote delivery dates well beyond the official ones the factory is working to. However, this might complicate matters for retailers.

Both Hornby and Bachmann work to an 18 month production programme and yet programme announcements are still made on a 12 month cycle. If they both extended advertised release programme to 18 months it would relieve the pressure they get from the public over what appear to be late releases.

Unfortunately, our demand for perfect models means that they are a lot more complicated to develop than in the past and more time may have to be taken up in getting them just right. This is not always something that can be accurately measured or estimated and release dates are just that - estimates. They are based on a factory plan and cannot predict things upsetting progress. The full range of models cannot be developed or upgraded all at the same time and so there is a queue which, in the case of Hornby, includes former Lima, Jouef, Arnold and Rivarossi models, as well as Electrotren, being produced for the overseas markets. There are over 300 releases by Hornby each year in just their general British range, plus a number of mail order and commissioned models. A delay in sorting out one model can have a knock-on effect with others. "

Reasonable?
or are delays in issuing new models still a pain?
and who are the biggest culprits?
 

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>the first British sound on board digital loco from Bachmann
^^^
It is quite likely that they are having teething problems with the sound side. This could be anything from "can't get sufficient quantities of some components" to "can't get enough of the sound production version to work".

I think we came to the conclusion earlier this year that it takes 6 to 8 weeks for shipments to travel from China to the UK. So it looks like the 66's have literally missed the boat.

David
 

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Its poor business management and failure to allocate resources at the factory.

Suspect UK modellers currently taking a back seat because of Underground Ernie!

The thing that annoys me is that Bachmann never learn- this has been going on for years. They seem to publish a catalogue before negotiating time slots at the factory and so are constantly disappointed when they find resources not there. Thing is after several years it is still coming as a surprise to them! Thats just stupid!

Russell
 

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I remember when Lima models used to do the same, the annual catalogue with "available from Spring 1990"
Then we had sectorisation and Lima went potty trying to catch up!
They also introduced an extensive range of Class 60s at the same time
Ironically, they probably sold slightly more models, but the costs must have been higher as the range was so varied
Eventually Lima stopped putting deadlines on their range and simply launched them when available, with a few back page adverts in the more popular railway-related magazines, I consider to be the best way to date!

On the plus side, this kept you on your seat wondering what was coming next, although Model Rail (EMAP) usually covered the pre-launch as soon as they received the advert details!
 

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Dennis Lovett at Bachmann offered this snippet of information during our meeting:-

QUOTE Bachmann wish to make it clear that the toy division of Kader will be producing the Underground Ernie range and this part of the company has an entirely seperate dedicated factory to that enjoyed by the scale model division. Bachmann stress that Underground Ernie has no impact on any planned delivery dates for their scale models.

Bachmann have a worldwide licence for Underground Ernie and the products produced will look very similar to the characters in the series. They will not be based around products of the scale model division.

The Bachmann toy division produce the Thomas the Tank Engine range for the USA where they have the licence and the models are HO scale. The American toy regulations are even more restrictive than those of Europe and the appearance of the Bachmann Thomas the Tank Engine range reflects this. However it has occured to me that for those who are considering British HO outline and who are happy to do their own detailing then American Thomas kit might be worth considering!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE they have a very good chassis too that has found its way under a couple of my loco's.

Shhhh! Don't let the cat out of the bag!

Underground Ernie could be very popular with adults for similar reasons (the chassis is a good one according to those in the know).

What I am surprised about is that more resin and white metal loco kit companies don't think about creating kits around these chassis units to make kit building a bit more attractive to the "average" modeller and also to enable the building of kits that actualy run as well as the mass produced models.

Lets start a seperate topic on this as its an interesting one!

A slight digression here folks however a few of you may like digressions of this type!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Thanks for that snippet Peter, as you will probably guess i model British HO ( I think I must be mad). The thing is where do I find out what models they do in the range?
 

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A well known American (not the British version) auction site is as good a place as any to have sneeky peek.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I have just visited the American site. Spotted QUOTE Ask the Bach Man



Its sounds a bit flower power and the character looks a bit Barnum and Bailey but maybe many railway modellers in the USA have roots in that scene (the flower power one not the circus!
) from the 1960's.

Not too sure how staff at Bachmann UK would take to such a title or representation!

Happy modelling
Gary

PS I do like that "Cranky Crane" with working crane action! Come on Bachmann UK you are missing a trick here!
 

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"PS I do like that "Cranky Crane" with working crane action! Come on Bachmann UK you are missing a trick here! "

Yup, I agree on the crane, I reckon that would work well with any era/country once the face is removed! The other thing is is that a stirling single I spotted

Regards

John
 

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Ultimately there has to be an element of Bachmann UK not entirely being masters of their own destiny and historically not factoring this into their relationship with their customers. Hornby are probably in the same boat (although not on the same boat! There has been lot of boat talk recently. Maybe we should set up a new forum?)

Maybe there is an argument for the Lima way (the Hornby way?) of only announcing the product to the public when the product has actually arrived on our shores or is on the boat out of China. It does seem slightly extravagent to spend big money on advertising 6 months or more before the product is available to the consumer. And this would create a bit of buzz throughout the year and not just in January.

On the other hand by announcing a product very early in the production cycle Bachmann can finetune the product during the production process based on customer feedback received and eventually offer a high quality product exactly as the consumer wants.

So it is a bit of a balancing act when you think about it.

Should Bachmann give priority to providing accurate delivery dates to customers at the expense of getting it right, or should they get it right at the expense of delivery dates?


And lets face it. The new Fairburn is definitely a sign that Bachmann give priority to the latter.

Our call Mr customer!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I think Bachman should rethink their policies on information in the light of the class 108 situation. How many catalogues has it appeared in ?
I currently have the modelzone limited edition on order and it is now looking unlikely that I will be receiving it before christmas doubly anoying because i ordered the peak at the same time and they debited my credit card for that 5 weeks ago but because I ordered them together I will have to wait for the 108 to arrive before I will receive the peak

The thing is with all the hype and discussion and argument about the delays to the 108 which must now be over 2 years behind schedule if it isn't the best rtr dmu ever produced they are going to get the biggest broadside of criticism that the modelling fraternity has ever fired at them and largely because they have been promising and promising and promising and promising etc etc

Bachman must learn to manage information better I think they should list "future projects" but not put them in their catalogues until they are ready to put them into production
 
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