Picked this up to doodle with because, well, as title says, this is sort of what I do. Like a lot of what’s done here, but I want to get straight to what I feel is missing.
(1) Better Financials- Right now they are terrible. Expenses aren’t even being properly categorized - capital investment is NOT an expense. Minimal breakdown at LEAST of COGS, Operational, SG&A, other Fixed, as well as a proper balance sheet. A basic P&L with a fractional breakdown of the line items, based off of total revenues, would be great. Using actual, real world financial categorization and terminology would be GREAT.
(2) Financials, again - Pricing control is just too arbitrary right now. What are my margin dollars for the sedan model I just produced? I want to be able to evaluate market demand against margin dollars, and margin %, to better manage the company. On the Income tab for example you could put individual unit margins as well as net margin dollars for the volume being done. Being able to see demand and margin figures side by side would be awesome.
(3) Production efficiencies- How long are the various units taking to produce? For a single unit, I should be able to know the expected (or even better, an actual average) time to run it through the production line. This information can be combined with demand figures and margin dollars to help evaluate product mix in order to maximize revenues. This would also help me determine which models deserve production line expansion/upgrades in order to make them more profitable.
(4) Product recalls/warranty settings - I’m not sure how defects are currently being punished, but an extra layer of management could be added if they result in product recalls or warranty service and repair. Balancing defect management with cost of service/repair, market perception of brand quality, etc etc.
(5) Prices of components - The graph on this page is worthless right now. It’s basically always flat. There is no marker on the vertical axis to even indicate units… what am I supposed to do with this? Better than this, enable us to analyze the COGS of already designed models vs their anticipated market value.
(6) Labor - Management of labor is completely missing from the game. Management of benefits, reducing employee turnover, recruiting research/sales/operational talent etc etc all could add some much needed dimensionality to the game.
(7) Inventory management/ordering of components - Right now, apparently, components just come flying in through these portals. What ratios? How many of each? Who knows! Although if you zoom out you are treated to a rapidly changing view of what’s coming in (useless). Allow player management of inventory. Manual control of inventory reorder set points, how much to order. Be able to monitor stock levels and actively act accordingly. This applies both to our raw goods inventory as well as finished goods. If we order more, gain of economy on value purchase but lose out partly because we have to dedicate more floor space to storage. Allowing players to fine tune the critical inventory management component of any manufacturing business will really open this game up a lot more. Give guidance perhaps on striving towards JIT inventory management outcomes, and stress players by fluctuating demand through unexpected surges in purchase of finished goods stock.
(8) The sales and marketing aspects - Pretty limited right now. I don’t think you need to do much here, but expanding options on how players can market and perhaps even sell the cars (mfg as dealer? or sell via distribution network?) would be great. Balance the costs and rewards of either externalizing your sales force, or attempting full vertical integration. Could we target marketing efforts towards certain tech we’ve researched? Eg, I want to create and expand the market of electric vehicles. Allow us to focus marketing on the technologies we’ve decided to pursue. Adjust amount of dollars spent on marketing a little more. And print/tv/movie? Come on. Online marketing is a BIG space these days.
Those are just my initial impressions after playing the game for a few hours. Started with the Small Factory, now producing 20 cars/hr on the original floor space, big range of bells and whistles (although still haven’t unlocked over half the vehicle tech). Haven’t dabbled with the on site manufacturing of components yet either. Look forward to trying that.
But to recap, my biggest frustration so far is the poor quality of the financials and lack of control over inventory management. So much more info that could be delivered to players isn’t being presented that really could make this game so much more fun to geek out with.