Logistical Challenges on the Fulfillment of Physical Goods

This week’s cast is all about what it means to provide fulfillment of physical goods; everything from simple USB drives to figurines and more. With the rise of crowdfunding and rewards, not understanding what goes into getting them designed, manufactured and ship, can lead to big problems. I was joined by returning guest Anthony Conta from Urban Island Games, who has had a lot of experience on the matter.


After a brief catch-up and reintroduction for Anthony, we got to our main topic. For the cast, we split it into three sections relating to the three main parts of physical goods: Coming up with the design, getting them manufactured and then actually getting them into your consumers’ hands.

First up: the design of the good. I asked Anthony about his creative process when he decides to come up with the actual physical good. A very important point Anthony talked about was waiting until the design process or the mechanics have been figured out before thinking about the physical good side of things, because he doesn’t want that to factor into the actual game. When deciding on what to design, we talked about how even what you produce to get your tabletop or card game playable can factor into pricing; with different figurines, dice and stuff like that.

Anthony also talked about how he balanced the allure of kickstarter rewards with the actual physical limitations that go into making physical goods; both with his own games and some examples he really liked. We also talked about some tips for designers thinking about coming up with physical goods and the design that goes into them.

Next point was talking about the manufacturing side. This was very interesting for me, because this is something that I have no experience in. Anthony talked about everything that goes into it: From finding a manufacturer, dealing with them and of course what you should be asking them during the negotiation side of things.

For our final topic, we talked about what it means to provide fulfillment of your goods and get them to the consumers. There are a lot of details here that can impact both the cost and speed of getting them out, which Anthony was able to talk about. With fulfillment, you can either go one of two ways: Working with a fulfillment center to handle processing or do it yourself, and Anthony talked about the pros and cons of both. There was also the topic of what happens if something goes wrong in the shipping and products get damaged.

This was an amazing cast and I think a must listen for anyone who wants to go into physical good production. As always, if you enjoyed the cast, be sure to check out the Patreon campaign for Game-Wisdom; to help get monthly funding and allow me to keep creating them.

As for links, we’ve got a lot of them this week: