Games Workshop CEO Kevin Rountree has acknowledged the “significant patience” of customers impacted by ongoing upgrades to Games Workshop’s IT, warehousing, and fulfilment infrastructure. Writing in the firm’s half-year report for 2023-24, published on Tuesday January 9, also gives thanks to the “resilience” of staff during a period in which the firm has seen “the highest [sales] volumes ever” through its UK Warhammer warehouse.
Games Workshop saw record sales during the first-half of financial year 2023-24, driven in large part by the launch of Warhammer 40k 10th edition. At the same time, the company has been upgrading the IT infrastructure underpinning its business. It also launched a new Warhammer webstore. These projects have affected the quality of service offered to consumers and trade customers, though Rountree states that “less than 5%” of customers have been impacted.
The report doesn’t specify exactly how customers have been impacted. In the first part of 2023 we reported on third-party retailers not receiving stock orders from Games Workshop in time for important release dates, or in sufficient volume to meet customer pre-orders. Games Workshop also notes in the annual report that customer service response times currently average three days, missing the firm’s target of 24 hours.
Games Workshop has completed project work installing software and robotics to manage the East Midlands Gateway warehouse, which processes all orders for the UK and continental Europe, and directs products to GW’s other warehouses globally. However, “there are still some systems integration problems”, as these new systems must interface with “twenty year old legacy systems”.
The internal “Systems Improvement Programme” (SIP) to rip out and replace those legacy systems has been a focus in the last several Games Workshop financial reports. Rountree states that he hopes to sign off the SIP, along with two to three years of IT investment, in 2024.
Make sure you check out our break-down of Games Workshop’s profits for the first half of the current financial year, to see just how much money the firm has to back up this improvement project.