Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts


The Hornby marketing manager, Simon Kohler, pictured above with Pat Hammond at a recent Train Collectors Society event, kindly agreed to meet up with Model Rail Forum reporter Gary Leigh. Many of you may know Simon as the Hornby representative that sits by the computer in the Hornby Roadshow Trailer at model railway exhibitions. For those that do know him, you will know that he always takes an interest in what visitors to the roadshow have to say.

During our interview, Simon provided Model Rail Forum with a revealing insight into some of the thinking that goes into producing the new models that Hornby will be revealing on their website on 1st January.

It really is too late now to influence Simon (and Hornby) for 2006. However we are now only 15 months away from 2007 and Simon is still looking for ideas. So you are all invited to read the interview and enjoy, have think, and if you pencil in your ideas here at Model Rail Forum, then you never know. It could be your idea that is a winner! (Hornby =
)

Simon and Hornby may be watching we suspect!


Click here to read the Simon Kohler Interview

And don't forget to keep those ideas coming!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Simon,

Here is my wish list:

1. Class 52 Westerns similar in detail to the class 50's, 08's and 31's.
2. Class 37's similar in detail to the class 50's, 08's and 31's.
3. BR 9F "Evening Star" in green with loco drive.
4. MORE LNER A4's in garter blue.
5. LNER P2/1.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
Whilst I was chatting with Simon he did say that a lot of the Hornby product enhancements were down to customers.

Modellers would come up to him and say "why don't you fit NEM coupler pockets?"

After a while Simon would say "yes, we can do that!" and Hornby organised it.

And modellers would come up to him and say "why don't you make your locomotives DCC ready?"

After a while Simon would say "yes, we can do that!" and Hornby organised it.

And modellers would come up to him and say "why don't you modify the size of the coupler hook?"

After a while Simon would say "yes, we can do that!" and Hornby organised it.

It may not be practical to apply every enhancement retrospectively, but going forward ideas such as these are easy to incorporate into new models.

As Simon said, ideas are not just about which products customers would like to see on the shelves, its also about enhancements that Hornby could make to their range for the benefit of all modellers.

I suggested to Simon that it must be getting very difficult to think of new ideas as Hornby have covered a lot of ground recently.

Simon grinned and said that "the next five years are going to be the best ever for railway modellers. Wait and see!"

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
DT
Joined
·
4,794 Posts
Ideas for Hornby:

There are local modellers everywhere in the world looking for local models. Help them out with some basic models.

South Africa: Class 19D and Garratt steam locos, Class GM26C Class 34 diesel electric locomotives, Class 5M2A electric multiple units

Australia: Garratt steam and Clyde/GM Diesel Electric Locomotive, Alco Diesel-Electric Locomotive etc. I'm sure that LisaP4 can add some here.

India (Darjeeling railway), China, Russia, the rest of Africa... the list goes on.

Sure these are not mass market like the British outline, but few people are making them and even short runs would be snapped up be collectors world wide. Hornby have the ability and the experience and now with the 2004 acquisitions, a bit of a head-start.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
If we are thinking 5 years I want to download train sound noises into my loco from the Hornby website.

Put an ipod (or low cost equivalent) in every Hornby loco!

Have different sounds for different locations. New Street Station, Kings Cross, Waverley, Temple Meads.

And then we have LNER announcers, GWR announcers, BR announcers.

And the random "leaves on the line announcement" which subsequently affects loco performance and time management on the model layout.

And the sounds of the seasons.

Different steam locos with different sounds. The 4 cylinder beat of a Lord Nelson (yes I know) compared with the sound of 3 cylinders of the Merchant Navy.

And Branch line and main line sounds.

This sort of idea is a bit different to the run of the mill "Blue Pullman" (30% at the last count) toping the Model Rail Forum poll at the moment!


Happy modelling
Gary

PS its amazing how a little bit of Bordeaux gets the brain cells functioning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
QUOTE (Gary @ 13 Oct 2005, 12:03)I suggested to Simon that it must be getting very difficult to think of new ideas as Hornby have covered a lot of ground recently.

Simon grinned and said that "the next five years are going to be the best ever for railway modellers. Wait and see!"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No pun intended but I hope Hornby does not run out of steam on the 6th year.

One thing I would like to see from Hornby are touch-up paint kits for their models.

Another point is that there are many people in the hobby (British outline) who do not live in the UK, like me. Hornby should try where possible to accomodate them with products that have been adjusted for there countries. For example in the US our power supply is 110V instead of 220V. Why not supply HM 2000/4000 controllers for 110V, the cost cannot be that much more. If these were available I would purchase several right now. I know Scalextrix offer 110V power supplies for their racing cars, why not Hornby?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
QUOTE a CD Rom version of the catalogue
I totally empathise with the view that many wants and desires expressed by customers do not translate into hard sales. To a very large degree, opinion polls of any kind are a useless and misleading reflection of what people will actually spend their money on. It doesn't cost them one penny to casually state the sort of things they think they might like to see, but actually spending their cash is a completely different matter!

In my view, train catalogues are far too expensive and, in addition to the enormous cost of producing them, the cost of shipping, whether in bulk to dealers or direct to individual customers, is prohibitive in itself. Paper is heavy!

This is where the desire for a CD has come from - the savings on shipping alone are not to be sneezed at.

Additionally, it is every bit as impossible to know what the demand for catalogues will be as it is to forecast the demand for CDs and there is a permanent and ongoing risk of superseded catalogues (or CDs) being left in stock, at zero value to anyone, and taking up valuable storage space. The opposite extreme is where a catalogue is simply not available when a customer wants one, if at all. The chances of forecasting demand, 'just right', are next to nothing.

The answer is not a CD, but to make the complete catalogue directly downloadable from the web site. It should be of the highest possible quality, at least on a par with the paper version. Customers should enjoy the option of downloading only the section(s) they want, WHEN they want it. They should have an option to print if they want to, but I would imagine that most wouldn't bother with the time and expense, though of course some would. So offer the option. Enterprising retailers might well see an opportunity to print high quality paper copies, on demand, for customers who don't have a computer and printer or for those who do, but not the time, desire or expertise to do the job themselves.

Bang up to date, retail price lists should be similarly available to download. These could be updated just as immediately and frequently as the supplier desired, with very little additional cost in their setting up and virtually none in their distribution. Each page would be clearly dated so as to avoid any possible misunderstanding of what was the current price or when it applied.

This electronic approach would have substantial, obvious cost saving benefits for both producer and customer, but with several other significant advantages.

Shipping cost, removed.
Delays, removed.
Waste, removed.
Shelf/storage space requirement, removed.
"Catalogue not available",would never again be a possibility.
Old catalogues could be reliable stored, ad infinitum.
Updates and improvements, whether to product or price, almost immediate.
Updating of catalogues would be hugely more efficient.
Extra or improved 'pages' could be inserted with ease.
'New' catalogues could be issued more frequently.
Careful design could enable much more detailed views of all products, with additional angles and zoomed close-ups added over time.
Hot links to appropriate spare parts could be inserted.
Hot links to handy hints and tips could be inserted.
The list is almost unending.

As Nike said, "Just do it!"
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was wondering if the new Hornby International range would make the new Hornby catalogue, or whether it will have a seperate 2006 catalogue for the UK?

It could make it a very thick volume indeed if the entire 2006 Hornby International range is included.

Different division of the company though and Simon could not talk about Hornby International apart from advising that he had attended the marketing plan meeting and came away very impressed indeed!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
I'm quite sure there will be much variance in views on this!

Printed catalogues are such expensive items that it seems to me most unlikely that died-in-the-wool British Hornby lovers will be very interested in paying extra for the non-UK content and, of course, vice versa.

No doubt some people would like to see it all in one place, but I think relatively few and that at least two separate publications would be in most people's interest. I think it inevitable.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hornby might be thinking that it would be good to get the international products in the minds of UK customers and conversely UK products in the minds of overseas customers.

What better way of doing this than featuring both products in one catalogue?

However, that is not to say that there won't be two seperate catalogues with a different weighting of each of the product ranges for the different markets.

After all Marklin do one catalogue for the whole world all be it in different languages!

Now different languages enter the equation! Could we have 4 or 5 catalogues?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
I do not think that the Hornby catalogue is expensive. I read it more often then any other book and spend a lot of time watching these most inspiring model fotos. I hope the international catalogue will be of the same high quality. I would be very dissapointed if Hornby produced only a CD and not a printed version as I like to sit in my favorite armchair with a glass of single malt and my favorit book - the Hornby catalogue.
There is a publication that hornby could improve: The Collector Plus - could we please have a weekly edition?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It appears that Bachmann, Dapol and Heljan and others have all read this interview!

I mentioned this to Simon at the Warley show and in the typical understated style Simon indicated that he was gratified that fellow manufacturers still felt that it was worth reading what he had to say!


What I would say is that in due course Simon will be able to read what other fellow manufacturers have to say about the hobby and their ambitions!


Happy modelling
Gary
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top