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Hornby Financial Update.

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1 hour ago, GWR-fan said:

As regards technology a couple of years ago when Bachmann released a proprietary bluetooth method of train control I thought that DCC,  like the Sony Beta VCR,  would die out.  No longer would we need a command control centre.  All we needed was a phone and a fixed power supply to the track.  Locomotives would come with either a bluetooth enabled decoder or for pre-fitted DCC chips a piggyback bluetooth device would be connected by the consumer.  All control would be from our mobile phone.  What happened to that method of control?  From memory the brandname was something like "Bluestreak".

 

BlueRail - it is still around, Bachmann still sells a small number of trains with it, and it is available as boards to put into your own equipment.  Being Bluetooth meant it avoided a lot of the problems with WiFi, but it really hasn't caught on in part because (whether it isn't an open standard or other reasons) it doesn't have the required features.  It doesn't do sound in loco, it doesn't have non-app based controllers(*), and given that DCC is much more established in North America than the UK it has struggled against an extensive installed base.  Sort of like attempts at dead rail, a great idea in theory but not good enough to overturn the established system.

 

http://bluerailtrains.com/

 

* - on of the hottest controllers amongst diesel operators is this replica of a real control stand - https://www.iascaled.com/store/ModelRailroad/ProtoThrottle although given it's price it's still a niche product.

 

1 hour ago, GWR-fan said:

Lastly, pricing.  Previous firesales and the current Rails and Model Railways Direct sales exemplifies what our models are really worth.  Yes, some stock is older stock but in many cases the items are recently announced models and yet the pricing is well below the nominal 15% that manufacturers place on new sales.  Are we being price gouged simply because it is assumed that we can afford it?  Wholesale is priced up to enable stores to recoup costs plus a margin for profit,  However, in this current sale and the previous firesales, prices are being slashed.  One store that was selling a Bachmann model locomotive "onsale" for GBP58.00 earlier this year,  is currently selling the same unsold stock on a "bargain" price of GBP129.99.  If there is a profit margin in a sale then how much profit is there in full retail?  Stores are not charities and recouping costs and profitability obviously ensures that the store is viable,  but how much is too much?  No matter where Hornby sources its current production retail prices continue to soar, not just for locomotives but rolling stock as well.

 

Selling at a loss with the hope of making it up on volume doesn't really work.

 

One of the keys to surviving, something Hornby an Bachmann are likely having to learn, is that you can't carry large amounts of inventory in a hobby world where you are getting 20 to 30 new tooled items a year.  There is simply too much new stuff grabbing the attention and £'s on an almost monthly basis for consumers to be interested in several hundred items stored in a warehouse.  Thus the need to clear those items out, sometimes at below cost, because a slight loss is better than paying the monthly costs to store the item in a warehouse and the interest costs on the tied up capital.

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On 01/01/2020 at 08:17, adb968008 said:

dont mention AR... ive been touting it for 2 years on here.. at best your laughed at.. at worst insulted, discredited, rubbished..

 

AR is potentially interesting, but given that Apple, Google, and Microsoft have all spent a lot of money and resources on AR and still haven't found a market doesn't make one hopeful.

 

Then there is the unanswered question of what happens to ones eyesight if staring at a screen in some goggles for hours a day - we already have eyesight issues with staring at standard monitors.  I certainly on that basis wouldn't touch AR, and don't know if I had kids if I would allow them to use it.

 

On 01/01/2020 at 08:17, adb968008 said:

I personally think thaf AR, and ditching DCC replacing it with wifi... and even rechargable battery operated... some industry shift away from DCC will happen but I doubt the UK will be the market trailblazer, there's too many who prefer status quo.

 

WiFi has issues, it really isn't plug-n-play enough.  Bluetooth sounded better, designed for easy connections, but has gone nowhere (perhaps because it appears to not be an open standard).  Dead rail is so far just plain dead outside of small handful of enthusiasts, in part because too many models in OO, HO or N simply don't have the space for a decent sized battery.

 

What is likely really needed is for a group, under the umbrella of a NMRA standard, to come up with an open standard that all interested companies can make products for but there is no indication of that happening.

 

It is possible the UK could be the market trailblazer if something does come along that is better simply because of the relatively low market share DCC has compared to North America.  In North America DCC is simply too entrenched given that more obvious benefits it offers over DC (multiple unit consists being the most obvious and common one).

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44 minutes ago, mdvle said:

 

BlueRail - it is still around, Bachmann still sells a small number of trains with it, and it is available as boards to put into your own equipment.  Being Bluetooth meant it avoided a lot of the problems with WiFi, but it really hasn't caught on in part because (whether it isn't an open standard or other reasons) it doesn't have the required features.  It doesn't do sound in loco, it doesn't have non-app based controllers(*), and given that DCC is much more established in North America than the UK it has struggled against an extensive installed base.  Sort of like attempts at dead rail, a great idea in theory but not good enough to overturn the established system.

 

http://bluerailtrains.com/

 


Note my previous post.

BlueRail has been revised and is relaunching in its 2nd generation guise. 
Now fully  compatible with DCC. 
Sound is now from existing on-board DCC sound decoders, or the soon to be launched Bluetooth equipped DCC sound decoders.

Note, sound from on board the trains and not as with the 1st iteration.

 

I agree about dead rail. It will remain an obscure niche for quite some time yet.

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, mdvle said:

What is likely really needed is for a group, under the umbrella of a NMRA standard, to come up with an open standard that all interested companies can make products for but there is no indication of that happening.

In the software industry its common to develop an intellectual property framework, that you as owner can guide your interfaces, but as designer can chose to expose (for free) certain aspects that promote adoption by competitors and 3rd parties and thus allow you to be a dominant player in setting the standard, be very profitable and grow the market.

 

This indeed is Apples model and why the “app store” is so dominant in Apples success.. they freely gave away the SDK to allow individuals to write their own apps.. whilst Apple set the standard and controlled the store.. which in turn made device sales so lucrative.

If Apple charged people to use the SDK many fewer apps would have been written and its appeal to the public will have been much slower..ultimately leading to more people holding on to their Nokia/Motorola  phones for longer.

 

There is no NMRA standard to Apple.., its Apples, but its framework is developed globally by millions, and creators get incentives to do it, by a share of its revenues on the App store...

in this sense Loksound is very similar... 3rd parties extend their product for them, but the difference being only Apple sells Apple hardware, where as manufacturers have to buy Loksounds hardware (and sometimes a 3rd parties extension of loksoubds chips) for their own models... thats a cost & technical barrier to manufacturers, that affects the end consumer on the high street.

 

An example Where it fails is when a solution becomes a high price heavily licenced throughout.. it might make revenue for the IP owner but invariably it ends up challenged by competing standards and fails to “own” the market, at some point people move on and it stalls.. even if it was technically very good.

 

HPs own tablet and WebOS was an example of this... (anyone even remember it ?). To develop an app on HPs platform required financial input by developers, lack of clarity on revenue stream, something few were willing to do in a competitive market with many options and no certainty of success...so they didnt... <60 days and $2bn later HPs product was dead.

 

Sometimes giving a little can gain you much more.

 

Edited by adb968008
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As regards new item sales I have given up on purchasing new items unless heavily discounted.  My latest purchase of an LMS Suburban train pack cost me GBP126.00 including shipping cost (Hattons current price GBP225.00 plus shipping cost, around GBP11.00).  Given that new LMS suburban coaches currently retail between GBP34.95 and GBP38.95,  the cost of buying three coaches makes the LMS Fowler 4P almost zero upfront cost and this is a new set.   From an operating perspective I see no realistic advantage in ditching a perfectly good Duchess or Princess or King class locomotive simply to have the latest and greatest.  Similarly for coaches.  I look for mint pre-owned train packs perhaps with a dud loco primarily to purchase the coaches themselves.  If the loco is repairable then it can be onsold after repairs carried out to recoup some cost.  I purchased five 1938 Suburban train packs as firstly,  the coaches were not available separately at the time and secondly when available the price of three coaches exceeded what I was paying for the complete train pack.  Similarly for the LMS high detail coaches in the "Going Home" pack, although with these the packs were purchased new and the locomotives (Black 5's) did not have inherent defects.   At my age having individual coach numbers is superfluous.   While the pre-owned market will be impacted by constantly rising retail pricing,  the pre-owned market will have an adverse impact on new sales.

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Posted (edited)

Hornby used to sing the commercial praises of its in store concessions.

As we know these mostly dried up and the route back to the High St. has largely become quite difficult, with the demise of many toy stores and the fading British retail landscape.

The pop up stand recently seen at St. Pancras International may have been a foretaste of next weeks announcement.

Direct sales back in play?

 

 

 

Ron

Edited by Ron Ron Ron

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Posted (edited)

Everyone should remember that Hornby is not just a UK company and works in many scales outside of British Islands outline line of trains.  All the European train lines are N or HO (or does Rivarossi still produce O scale products?).  Scalextric scales, Airfix with 1/72 and 1/35 and many other scales.

Edited by autocoach
clarity

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17 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

Hornby used to sing the commercial praises of its in store concessions.

As we know these mostly dried up and the route back to the High St. has largely become quite difficult, with the demise of many toy stores and the fading British retail landscape.

The pop up stand recently seen at St. Pancras International may have been a foretaste of next weeks announcement.

Direct sales back in play?

 

Old news.  A month or so Phil(?) posted a video about Hornby's retail presence at the gift shop of one of the preserved railways (I think?), and the success of it.  Wall of shelves stocked by Hornby with appropriate selection from their various product lines.

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31 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

Note my previous post.

 

Yep, you posted as I was slowly composing my message.

 

31 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

BlueRail has been revised and is relaunching in its 2nd generation guise. 
Now fully  compatible with DCC. 
Sound is now from existing on-board DCC sound decoders, or the soon to be launched Bluetooth equipped DCC sound decoders.

Note, sound from on board the trains and not as with the 1st iteration.

 

And even deader than the first generation.

 

Now you have to find space for 2 decoder boards (one BlueRail, one DCC sound decoder), the wiring to connect the two, it's not plug-n-play, and the BlueRailDCC board courtesy of Tam Valley is an additional $100 to $150 over the cost of your DCC sound decoder.

 

Not going to happen.

 

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39 minutes ago, adb968008 said:

 

This indeed is Apples model and why the “app store” is so dominant in Apples success.. they freely gave away the SDK to allow individuals to write their own apps.. whilst Apple set the standard and controlled the store.. which in turn made device sales so lucrative.

If Apple charged people to use the SDK many fewer apps would have been written

 

Apple effectively charges people to use the SDK - in order to release an app you have to pay Apple $100 / year to access the app store (the fact that you can download the SDK / Xcode for free is irrelevant when you essentially can't use it to make an app for others without paying the app store fee).

 

39 minutes ago, adb968008 said:

and its appeal to the public will have been much slower..ultimately leading to more people holding on to their Nokia/Motorola  phones for longer.

 

Android, and its availability on multiple cheap devices, killed the dumb phone.

 

39 minutes ago, adb968008 said:

 

There is no NMRA standard to Apple.., its Apples, but its framework is developed globally by millions, and creators get incentives to do it, by a share of its revenues on the App store...

 

Nope.  The iOS framework/sdk is entirely developed by Apple.  Even the nominally open source Android is entirely developed by Google.

 

But it isn't really relevant, because the model train hobby wouldn't even amount to a rounding error in the $80 billion dollar a year app store ecosystem.

 

The only way we move past DCC is if somebody donates a standard (I doubt the NMRA these days has the funds to license a standard as they did from Lenz for DCC), or if an open groups develops an open standard like the new LCC (Layout Command Control) - https://www.nmra.org/lcc

 

39 minutes ago, adb968008 said:

HPs own tablet and WebOS was an example of this... (anyone even remember it ?). To develop an app on HPs platform required financial input by developers, lack of clarity on revenue stream, something few were willing to do in a competitive market with many options and no certainty of success...so they didnt... <60 days and $2bn later HPs product was dead.

 

You mean the failed Palm WebOS, which was already dead when HP bought it.  Much like the similarly fated Windows Phone and Blackberry 10 OSs, doomed to failure by being late entrants to the smartphone game when the market has already decided they only wanted iOS and Android.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, mdvle said:


The only way we move past DCC is if somebody donates a standard (I

 

Boorish response but the only Noteworthy line is that one...

 

Theres always options, theres never 1 only option in life, no matter what it is and the same applies here.

 

Theres hundreds of other ways in IT to license and make money, I just chose a big company that everyone knows, I could quote several you (or wikipedia) have never heard of, but then you couldnt go off topic on an anti-apple rant...

 

none if this is about Hornbys finances.. but I will note Clearwaters point of £500k..

 

tbh if they have built an effective interface for £500k in one year theyve done well. Tbh I would expect it to cost a lot more, though if this was to develop a basic concept in year one, with further investment to a minimum viable product in year 2 and more in year 3 then its more likely.

 

in my career however Ive found hardware companies generally have difficulty adopting software (Apple did it well, Android is not a hardware company) .. but even big names do it poorly.. Mercedes Benz I feel is one, HP was the example I called out.

 

The key thing would be an adoption framework at the outset.

if building closed bespoke systems then its chances slim down a lot. But that framework in order to succeed needs to attract co-developers (no-cost promoters) that you can manage and add revenue to the business, whilst growing the demand and establishing it in the market. Done right the cost would remain relatively static but its market wouldnt just be UK or OO..and thats where the ROI is.

 

in short in my opinion, in software when you have limited budgets and want a standard thats your own, and take market share quickly, you need friends, a community as well as customers.


 

 

Edited by adb968008

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19 hours ago, adb968008 said:

Well making wooden trains really would be going to their 1920’s roots...

 

i’m not sure serious modellers want wooden trains

 

And in the kids space..

theres high street market stalls literally swamped with wooden models, that run onwooden tracks, where they stick together with magnets... i even saw these on a market stall in Poland.. 4 models for £10... uses same track gauge as the plastic TTT / Brio ones sold here.

I think this is highly competitive heres a 3 carriage train and loco shipped free fro. China for £3.06.. you can even get different colours..

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Cartoon-Wooden-Train-Toys-Split-Desktop-Gifts-Favor-Kids-Children-3D-J/333463321399?hash=item4da3f67b37%3Am%3Am6W-2z-k-0DaG6CDXh28m2A&LH_BIN=1
 

kids dont care if its a Black 5 allocated to 10A, by the time they do, they will be into Railroad at the very least.

 

They could try a tie up with Mothercare.. their share-prices have much in common.

 


Hornby has extensive experience in wood cutting ?

Perhaps they could offer a range of garden sheds suitable for modellers too.

Maybe also a limited edition of wooden spoons for critical forum posters.

The wood would also have to be treated to make it froth proof!

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Trouble is Hornby really don't have a great track record at Innovation

 

Zero 1  Ultimately it failed , had a life of about 5 years .   Yes I know it went onto be DCC etc , but it didn't do Hornby any good

Live Steam . Technically brilliant but also failed, possibly through lack of compatibility with other control systems

Remember there was one year when Simon Kohler announced everything would supplied DCC Fitted (can't remember when , but I think it was the same year they brought out Royal Scot)

 

So not terribly brilliant.

 

You could argue that TTS is there one success , and why might that be ?  It delivers sound at a much lower cost than anyone else .

 

I think that's the key . Keep It Simple , keep it reasonable cost and expand the range . If they got their manufacturing capacity on line then they could make more money.   I get worried as I'm starting to pick up hints of new innovations and thinking outside the box . They could be betting the company on this!

 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Legend said:

I get worried as I'm starting to pick up hints of new innovations and thinking outside the box . They could be betting the company on this!

 

We dont know what it is yet. It could be marketing fluff and words.

I doubt they would bet the company on anything,  But I think they might be betting the share price on it.. a company with promising new intellectual property is always exciting to investors and a great way to lift share price.

 

i once worked in a small IT start up in the US, we had a new concept no one had. We came up with a “research institute” within our company.. lots of press releases, waffle of the new tech, it was used as both the contact point and source in all trade publications It was ultimately 1 person... but it added 30% to our share price and sounded better than The usual [email protected] It certainly played its part in the valuation when the company was sold.

Edited by adb968008

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13 hours ago, AY Mod said:

Originally the announcements were embargoed until 10.00 on Monday, this has been brought forward to 09.00.


How accommodating of them. My shift starts at 10:00am, I’d have otherwise had to wait until early afternoon to read the announcements, and ensuing pantomime of mardy comments.

 

I won’t hear a word of Hornby being out of touch with their customers, this is excellent! 

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Simon Kohler in the teaser video linked to on the previous page.

 

"I want you to clear your minds.

I want you to forget any preconceptions of what model railways is all about.

I want you to think outside the box."

 

So, not what we would normally expect?

A completely different interpretation of what model railways should look like, or be about?

It doesn't come in a box?

...or it does still come in a box, but it's not the usual format of plastic and metal toy that runs around a loop of track?

Maybe it's no longer a scale model that is just supposed to look good....and run around a loop of track?

 

What are those preconceptions, that Simon is referring to, of what model railways are all about?

 

 

 

 

.

 

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12 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

 

What are those preconceptions, that Simon is referring to, of what model railways are all about?

 

That model trains need to be something physical you hold - Bachmann tried this with the 158 but in the end they accepted the inevitable and delivered a physical model.

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7 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

What are those preconceptions, that Simon is referring to, of what model railways are all about?

 

 

 

 

.

 


Financially draining??

 

Maybe you’ll be able to lease your locos and stock as in the privatised real world now.

 

I’m sure whatever it is will be innovative and overall ‘good’ for the hobby, even if it isn’t to individual tastes or desires. Finescale modelling represents only a part of the broader hobby, and the healthier and more appealing that is as a whole will only benefit all corners of interest in the long term.

 

Although I do feel this is drifting more to ramblings suitable for the 2020 thread, sorry.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

Simon Kohler in the teaser video linked to on the previous page.

 

"I want you to clear your minds.

I want you to forget any preconceptions of what model railways is all about.

I want you to think outside the box."

 

So, not what we would normally expect?

A completely different interpretation of what model railways should look like, or be about?

It doesn't come in a box?

...or it does still come in a box, but it's not the usual format of plastic and metal toy that runs around a loop of track?

Maybe it's no longer a scale model that is just supposed to look good....and run around a loop of track?

 

What are those preconceptions, that Simon is referring to, of what model railways are all about?

 

 

 

 

.

 

The $64,000 question is surely 'whose preconceptions?'.  Yours, or mine, or SK's, or trainset market, hi-fi model market, or the 'fact' that trains run on track.  In effect it's a piece of marketing jargon which could be right for a very small segment of their market or applies to a market which they barely serve at present - some sort of 'silver bullet?'  

 

In the context of this thread it surely would have to be something which will fully repay its investment cost quickly and add clear profit on top of that within a year or two at the very most.  Which would be very different from some shareholders' current preconceptions.

Edited by The Stationmaster
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My impression of Simon is that he is not particularly interested in the finescale end of the market - his lack of knowledge/preparation on the Bulleid shorty interview on the Engine shed confirmed this to me.

 

He is interested in the wider Hornby market and I am sure whatever he is referring to will appear to the trainset market even if it is not a trainset per se.

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42 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

My impression of Simon is that he is not particularly interested in the finescale end of the market - his lack of knowledge/preparation on the Bulleid shorty interview on the Engine shed confirmed this to me.

 

He is interested in the wider Hornby market and I am sure whatever he is referring to will appear to the trainset market even if it is not a trainset per se.


I’m not sure that’s true. Having been in the gentleman’s audience it’s quite clear to me he has a great passion and understanding of many areas of the hobby. Very true he has a job to do, and that includes I imagine prioritising the most profitable areas for investment, but finescale models continue to be an area of profitability, and Simon’s a smart guy, I’m sure he would realise that alienating one side of the market to pool all the eggs in another basket isn’t the ideal long term strategy.

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2 minutes ago, Foden said:


I’m not sure that’s true. Having been in the gentleman’s audience it’s quite clear to me he has a great passion and understanding of many areas of the hobby. Very true he has a job to do, and that includes I imagine prioritising the most profitable areas for investment, but finescale models continue to be an area of profitability, and Simon’s a smart guy, I’m sure he would realise that alienating one side of the market to pool all the eggs in another basket isn’t the ideal long term strategy.

I don't feel he ignores the finescale side but it is not his priority and he doesn't have the in-depth knowledge of the prototypes that people might imagine he had, but probably doesn't need other than to know what will sell and what wont.

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4 hours ago, adb968008 said:

Theres hundreds of other ways in IT to license and make money, I just chose a big company that everyone knows, I could quote several you (or wikipedia) have never heard of, but then you couldnt go off topic on an anti-apple rant...

 

Shame that you chose to read into what I said something that wasn't there.

 

It certainly wasn't an anti-Apple rant given that I own an iPhone and Mac, and am planning on getting an iPad at some point, as well as developing some software for iOS.

 

The key point I was trying to make is that any replacement for DCC needs wide industry buy-in, that the customers will still want the option to buy it from their current favourite brand (ie. Digitrax, NCE, TCS, ESU, etc.) while some others will be happy to deal with a new company that is created.  The key point being choice and interoperability.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Legend said:

Trouble is Hornby really don't have a great track record at Innovation

 

Zero 1  Ultimately it failed , had a life of about 5 years .   Yes I know it went onto be DCC etc , but it didn't do Hornby any good

Live Steam . Technically brilliant but also failed, possibly through lack of compatibility with other control systems

Remember there was one year when Simon Kohler announced everything would supplied DCC Fitted (can't remember when , but I think it was the same year they brought out Royal Scot)

 

So not terribly brilliant.

 

You could argue that TTS is there one success , and why might that be ?  It delivers sound at a much lower cost than anyone else .

 

I think that's the key . Keep It Simple , keep it reasonable cost and expand the range . If they got their manufacturing capacity on line then they could make more money.   I get worried as I'm starting to pick up hints of new innovations and thinking outside the box . They could be betting the company on this!

 

But that is how business and innovation works - remember 95% of all products across all sectors fail within a year. Yet for businesses to keep going forward they need to keep trying new things, even if only a few or even none of which replace the existing products. Hornby has consistently been innovative and often ahead of the curve.

 

Failure is the pre-cursor to success. All the things you list are successes - despite its travails Hornby is still going (and despite the last management's best efforts). More 'innovation', even if it turns out not to be the next big thing is a positive sign for Hornby as long as they don't bet the farm on it. No innovation means getting left behind and stagnating. Failed innovations provide huge insight into what will work. Other than Steve Jobs and the people running 3M, very few businesses can turn out successful innovation time after time. But even Apple's walled garden is at risk of being old hat as it is too closed, so can't react to new competition. Bachmann tried putting people in coaches etc and raising prices. An innovation but not a successful one. But they had to try to things. They've also tried super-detailed £200 cranes and DCC operated pantographs - probably more successful. Doesn't matter, if you don't try you don't succeed and you don't learn. Look at the catalogues from foreign model makers like Roco and they are are way ahead of the British manufacturers in terms of innovation.

 

Kohler said DCC in everything, entirely logical at the time and a reasonable prediction. Shows he was thinking ahead, and looking at trends in other sectors. My car has a mid-range spec but many of the top line features are embedded in it to save on manufacturing cost on the production line. Perfectly reasonable to anticipate this in model train production too.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ruggedpeak said:

But that is how business and innovation works - remember 95% of all products across all sectors fail within a year. Yet for businesses to keep going forward they need to keep trying new things, even if only a few or even none of which replace the existing products. Hornby has consistently been innovative and often ahead of the curve.

 

Failure is the pre-cursor to success. All the things you list are successes - despite its travails Hornby is still going (and despite the last management's best efforts). More 'innovation', even if it turns out not to be the next big thing is a positive sign for Hornby as long as they don't bet the farm on it. No innovation means getting left behind and stagnating. Failed innovations provide huge insight into what will work. Other than Steve Jobs and the people running 3M, very few businesses can turn out successful innovation time after time. But even Apple's walled garden is at risk of being old hat as it is too closed, so can't react to new competition. Bachmann tried putting people in coaches etc and raising prices. An innovation but not a successful one. But they had to try to things. They've also tried super-detailed £200 cranes and DCC operated pantographs - probably more successful. Doesn't matter, if you don't try you don't succeed and you don't learn. Look at the catalogues from foreign model makers like Roco and they are are way ahead of the British manufacturers in terms of innovation.

 

Kohler said DCC in everything, entirely logical at the time and a reasonable prediction. Shows he was thinking ahead, and looking at trends in other sectors. My car has a mid-range spec but many of the top line features are embedded in it to save on manufacturing cost on the production line. Perfectly reasonable to anticipate this in model train production too.

 

But what is it that roco are offering that you think British manufacturers should be offering, serious question

 

Like others said though Bachmann experimented with passengers and did it work? 

 

Trouble is innovation comes at a cost... And higher costs lead to consumer issues.... Ok people complain prices are too high.... 

 

But at the same time cost wise how much do roco models compare to the uk equivalent? 

Edited by pheaton
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