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Ideas for Streamlining Sales Management


#1

Some of what I write may already have changed, or be in the works - apologies if this is the case!

Just some suggestions to streamline the month-to-month model sales management.

  1. When I have 3 or more variants, it becomes a real hassle to set the production ratios so that the demand levels out (to get them all on 1.00:1, for example).

My suggestion is a couple of buttons;

The first button holds the markups the way you set them, but levels out the production ratios (which might not be to 1.00:1 of course!)

The second button holds the ratios the way you set them, but levels out the mark-ups (again, these might not be feasible, but would be useful to see).

  1. A problem I often have which arises from the above is that I will sometimes be left with large overstock of a particular variant, but selling out of another variant. So I will go and adjust the production ratios and markups, but to aggressively sell one variant whilst perhaps building up stock of another. This is a complete nightmare to balance! So my suggestion / question is this;

What I want to do is tell the game “build up / sell stock to X level (let’s say, 1 month overstock)” and "aim to do this within Y months (let’s say, 6 months).

If I have huge overstock of 12 months and want to get it down to 5 months within, say 3 months, this is going to tell the simulation to stall production and sell what I have at any price (most likely a huge loss).

Conversely, if I am understock and I tell it to build up 6 months of stock within 8 months, it is going to tell the simulation to raise the production to maximum and then add huge markup (maybe to the point that I’m barely selling any cars at all, and making a large loss)

Would it detract too much from the management element of the gameplay (the challenge of balancing these values) for this idea to be implemented? I think there are still the pitfalls of the above examples where if you got lazy it could still screw you over, which would be a good thing for gameplay in my opinion.

One risk would be that you simply set the model to automatically maintain 1 month of overstock, and these problems would not arise. It would be too easy.

But if you had the algorithm fixing the numbers based on sales figures / demand from a month or more ago, perhaps this would help it to be a little more chaotic (in the event of a new competitor going on sale, for instance).

Vigilance would also be rewarded. If you set it and forget it when the model goes on sale (let’s say 3 variants) you might miss that one variant is suddenly capable of attracting a higher markup than the other, whereas the algorithm will miss this and simply make more of the model, to the point where it is saturating demand, at the same markup as before (lost profits).

  1. Perhaps the two above mechanisms could be integrated at a cost, hiring a sales manager for that model, for example. These issues tend not to arise in my games until I have maybe 5 models with 2-4 variants each, at which point it would be worth it to spend the extra on a sales manager for some of those models. So that you can still make even more profit if you wish to micromanage the sales of every model and trim, and that it makes most sense to do so in the early game where it is easier to keep track.

#2

There will be a much better auto-management for stock levels and sales in general. We do want to eliminate most of the tedious micromanagement that was so prevalent in the LC V2, but want to give the player more control overall. In the next few Little Dev Updates I’m going to discuss some of the solutions we have for this.


#3

The idea to have a “sales manager” is great!

Besides skills they can have unique traits like “metal mover” (great at maximizing volume), “money maker” (maximize profits), “luxury specialist” (increase your brand prestige faster), “dealer nightmare” (increase profits decreasing dealer markup and thus decreasing dealer’s happines) and so on.

We can also have a “make to order” sale that builds an order backlog (so if there was a stockout of a model you can safely increase prodution to meet demand).

I don’t know if dealership’s inventory will be simulated, but it is an issue auto makers have to deal with nowadays. You can increase sales by pressuring the dealers to take more cars, but only to a point (if you do it too much you’ll have less dealers in the long term, they’ll go broke or just change do another brand).