Author Topic: Geobra redundancies and outsourcing, restructuring Playmobil (Autumn 2023)  (Read 7135 times)

Offline Eplay

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Interesting how fast things can go wrong with a company

Offline Janilew

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Thanks to JLMatterer and Playmobil in the News, this comes from Leadersnet Deutschland (translation by Google);

"Playmobil is in crisis
NEWS, TRADE, INDUSTRY
| editorial staff | November 27, 2023
The toy manufacturer has been in trouble since a former secretary of the late owner took over the management role.

Playmobil has been in a deep crisis since Marianne Albert, former secretary of the late owner Horst Brandstätter, took over the reins. Sales and profits collapse, 17 percent of the workforce has to leave. Before its 50th anniversary, the once successful company is in the shadow of the question of how this crash came about.

Brandstätter, who expanded the company into a global corporation thanks to the success of the Playmobil figures, left a complex will that reorganized the balance of power. Marianne Albert, once his secretary, became a loyal helper and gained more and more influence after his death.

Marianne Albert has led the company for the last eight years, characterized by opaque decisions and a questionable management style, as manager magazin reports. The once highly profitable company's profits plummeted and sales fell, while its main competitor Lego grew. A lack of modernization, a lack of management methods and an unsuccessful search for strategic solutions by external consultants contributed to the misery. Even big plans, like producing Netflix series, were never implemented.

Realignment with massive cuts

The current leadership announced massive cuts, including the loss of 700 jobs by 2025. Former CEO Steffen Höpfner resigned, criticizing the slow transformation and emphasizing the need for change. Marianne Albert, on the other hand, is relying on her CFO René Feser to realign the group.

A shadow hangs over the question of how the former formula for success, which was based on the wishes of the children, was lost. The introduction of modern management methods and the recruitment of a top manager from Disney were intended to turn things around, but so far these efforts have been unsuccessful. The move away from tried-and-tested products towards new, less successful items resulted in a massive loss of capital.

Inhumane and condescending form of leadership

The situation is exacerbated by the tension between Marianne Albert and the employees. The allegations of “inhumane behavior” and a “condescending” attitude on the part of management cast a shadow on the corporate culture. A former advisory board member complains about the lack of modern management approaches and a lack of trust in external experts.

The question remains whether the upcoming anniversary celebration with a Playmobil stamp can bring the brand back into the spotlight. At a time when the best minds are leaving the company, the challenges are not only economic, but also in terms of restoring trust and innovative strength. The outcome remains uncertain and the future of Playmobil is facing a decisive turning point."

Welp, it was fun while it lasted. We had a good run guys....

I know it's incredibly pessimistic, but I think it's hard to deny that this beloved brand is going down the crapper-- and it has been for some time. I think the only way for the spirit to live on are through sets circulating through collectors and 3D printing/molding from talented fans. Still, sad to see it go. Nothing lasts forever though. :(

Offline playmofire

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Interesting how fast things can go wrong with a company

In part, it's due to the company structure at Playmobil which is privately owned, as are many companies in Germany.  Think of German industry and you think of the big names, VW, Mercedes Benz, Seimens, but much of German production comes from medium sized firms, often family owned and run and success then depends on the succession principle - how good will the next generation be?  In fact, this was the case in Great Britain during the Victorian and Edwardian period and there was a saying "Clogs to clogs in three generations", meaning that the founder of the business starts off poor but is successful, the next generation build on this success but the third generation oversee the decline of the company, e.g. through incompotence or by wasteful living.  It's just that in Playmobil's case there was no real family as such to follow Horst Brandstatter and he maybe didn't make sound decisions on the organisation of the company for after his death.
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Offline GrahamB

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"external consultants" - people who know nothing about your company you bring in to tell you how to run it

Including Ofsted.
At that moment the ship suddenly stopped rocking and swaying, the engine pitch settled down to a gentle hum. 'Hey Ford.' said Zaphod, 'that sounds good. Have you worked out the controls on this boat?' 'No,' said Ford, 'I just stopped fiddling with them.' (With thanks to Douglas Adams)

Offline Klickteryx

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I'm not sure how much of the reader base would be into Playmobil,
That's what marketing is supposed to fix. If you're going to chase pop culture then find out where your audience is because in a world where you have entire sub-franchises based on oversized heads (chibi) there is more than enough room for playmobil. I don't get that look and I don't get the minecraft look either but they exist and seem to be popular.

I think the festival idea is good too, maybe not the guy's in rope underwear beating drums but a general fair theme would be great.

Offline Rasputin

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 “The move away from tried-and-tested products towards new, less successful items resulted in a massive loss of capital.”

It’s a business that needs to earn $$$$

Seems so many in German leadership roles are quite ignorant these days

Next move for Geobra will be to cut off its plastic wholesale suppliers, have prices skyrocket and then beg Mattel to help

Barbie ! Where are you ? Send Gi-Joe to the rescue .

If you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigori has been killed, if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in the family will remain alive. They will be killed by the Russian people. :prays:

Offline Rasputin

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Just watched this again

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm9OXeJUZvo&pp=ygUbSG93IGFyZSBwbGF5bW9iaWwgdG95cyBtYWRl

Perhaps due to the self inflicted energy crisis Geobra can start to make micro-playmobil

We could all wear magnifying glasses and use teasers to play and arrange the sets

Call it “Playmicro”
If you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigori has been killed, if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in the family will remain alive. They will be killed by the Russian people. :prays:

Offline Macruran

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Offline collectobart

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Perhaps due to the self inflicted energy crisis Geobra can start to make micro-playmobil

Call it “Playmicro”

The scary thing is: This has actually been discussed. Even explored. But then the realization came that having a smaller figure that needs less material pretty much makes the precious archive of tens of thousands of molds useless too... as everything is out of scale with that figure.

Offline collectobart

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I still can't wrap my head around it. "Making moulds is not a core competence of Playmobil", geobra says. Do they think sales will drop that badly that they can 3d-print their products? Made to order? Or will all future "novelties" just be re-releases of older sets? I could live with a return of the 80s and 90s, but would the company survive it? What does this press announcement actually mean? The end of Playmobil?

It's the equivalent of a Naval Patrol Vessel throwing its cannons overboard as they are not a core competence of the ship, even though its mission is obviously to defend the waters.