Kickstarter Fulfillment Explained in One Simple Infographic

6 May 2019 | 18 Comments

I’ve coordinated the shipping and fulfillment of products since 2013, yet every time I do it, I’m daunted by the complexity of the process. I can only imagine how intimidating it would be for a new creator.

Sure, I have a number of articles about the fulfillment process, but just like on Kickstarter project page, sometimes an infographic is easier to grok than a wall of text. So I asked the fine folks at Fulfillrite if they would be open to creating a graphic to share with you. The graphic can also be used to share with backers to help them understand why manufacturing and shipping their game doesn’t happen overnight.

Keep in mind that if you’re using different fulfillment centers worldwide (like Spiral Galaxy in Europe, Starlit Citadel in Canada, and Aetherworks in Australia), the August 19 step requires multiple shipments, not just one. It can save you a lot of time and money to ship from the manufacturer directly to those fulfillment centers.

Big thanks to Fulfillrite and Brandon for putting this together! Brandon also writes an excellent blog about creators, Kickstarter, game design, and entrepreneurship–I highly recommend it.

If you gain value from the 100 articles Jamey publishes on his blog each year, please consider championing this content!

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18 Comments on “Kickstarter Fulfillment Explained in One Simple Infographic

  1. Very interesting, thanks!
    A question arose, I inquired some time ago with fulfillment companies and they have a minimum number of orders.
    Since we don’t know the exact distribution of backers before starting the campaign, should we organize with a company in Europe and one in the US or are there different options?
    It occurs to me that products could also be purchased in Asia or Oceania but could be a very low number that would not allow the use of a fulfilment company in those areas. However, shipping costs are very high from the US and Europe if you want to reach distant areas.

  2. How do you think the proposed 25% tariff on board games will affect prices in countries outside the US? We already experience the “Australia tax” down under so I can only imagine things getting even more expensive if games travel the China -> US -> Other countries path as they do currently.

  3. First of all i will say thanks to jamey. This is a nice infographic. Here full process of board game is showing in a single infographics. It is a nice joruney of board game how to prepare & deliver to you. Thanks !!!

  4. Not what I expected to see from the title. The information is great and really interesting, but is this actually an infographic? It seems more like a list with pictures. Remove the images and you lose little or no information. Still it’s a great way to break things up into nice visual chunks I just expected something more chartlike.

  5. A good, simple document to share. Thanks Jamie, at least newer creators can get an idea from this, then dig in further for the details others have mentioned.

  6. We’re glad to hear that many of you have found this infographic useful!

    Just so we’ve got it in one place, some of the things not explicitly mentioned in this infographic are:
    – The design approval process (between the manufacturer and publisher)
    – Pre-production proofing
    – CAD design for custom components
    – The delay between a campaign closing and receiving funds

    As for the order fulfillment process itself, does anybody have any questions?

    We’ll be monitoring the comments on this post over the next few days so that we can answer any ones you may have.

    1. Great Display! Kudos!
      Any leads on sources for Cad design, prototypes , the molding process and experienced graphic layout designers? To ease the process and avoiding pitfalls?

  7. Jamey: for sure it’s much more complicated than that. I just thought that was a major portion of the time in between the campaign closing and being delivered. This infographic makes it seem like it happens on the same day as the kickstarter ends which would be amazing.

  8. Also, the tooling takes 4-6 weeks. That’s if the CAD designs are accurate. Many factories have to design the tools that mould the plastic components. This takes a minimum of 4-6 weeks, before you can start manufacturing those components ready to be packed into game boxes. LX

    1. Kudos to Jamey and Fullfillrite!

      Lyndsay, can you perhaps help and elaborate on your experience on 3D design, prototypes and plastic molding process and perhaps some recommendations on sources? I am researching this for a game would love to gets some figures for the spreadsheets.
      Fritz Bronner

  9. Michel and Don: Sure, there are plenty of specific steps missing from this infographic. My spreadsheet for everything I do between when I send the files for a game to the manufacturer to the release date is over 100 steps long. This is just a general overview. Michel, the steps you’re talking about should happen before you send the 100% final files to the printer.

  10. This is great, though it leaves out details like getting a pre-production proof from the manufacturer. Based on Kickstarter updates from several of the campaigns I’ve backed, I gathered that was a pretty important step in the process.

  11. It seems like it’s missing the back and forth between the manufacturer and the designer to get the final design approve. It seems like this part often takes months until the designer is happy with the manufacturer’s work and then it’s ready to get fully manufactured.

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