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Here are some notes from the WMS Analyst Day

 

General:

  • Harrah's is looking to have a facility in Vegas with all the newest products
  • Speed to market is a key advantage for WMS - makes it easier to do business with WMS.  Bluebird 1 + 2 have a 2 week lead time for delivery; xD has a 6 week lead time.
  • Their sales people cover fewer accounts which allows them to cover clients more thoroughly. Recently increased salesforce by 50%.
  • In the past, customers didn't have to justify ROI of new machines; now they do. Two weeks ago, Ho-Chunk was visiting - haven't bought machines for 2.5 yrs and just ordered machines from WMS.
  • xD took 18 months from conception to market.  They are spending a lot of time to continuously improve their supply chain. Goal is to reach 60% gross margin and 30% operating margin.  60/40 product sales vs participation - once replacement ramps - running at 30% capacity for manufacturing.  Combine that with continued product improvements.
  • xD should get to BB2 gross margins or better by 4Q2011.  xD margins were weaker at launch - multiple new suppliers and new product (not BB1 evolution) - so there is some ramp time. Beginning to see some improvement already in the Sept quarter; should continue through 4Q. Will show QoQ improvement. They shipped a decent # of units this Q.

Strategy & Development:

  • Lean Sigma: started in manufacturing and now headed into product development
  • Strategy Deployment:- focusing efforts and priorities on a critical few. 3-5 year strategic initiatives.

Supply Chain & why speed is so important:

  • Now that they are a bigger supplier, there are a lot more suppliers that will deal with them.
  • 85% of their inventory is replenished based on consumption; replenished within 2 hrs
  • They closed 3 outside warehouses because they consolidated their inventory so well.  Midwest is a hotbed of supplier activity. 65% of their suppliers are located within a 100 mile radius.
  • Inventory was 30% of revenues 5 yrs ago - now 4.5%
  • Goal is to get to $25mm of inventory balance - spent $18mm on chips for their BB2s recently - which they will work through.
  • Have a little bit of finished goods from Barcelona, in Waukegan, and some in Vegas (where they keep the product that comes back (participation) and repurposed).
  • Working on putting USB technology into the cabinets - i.e. simplifying what goes in the box.
  • 90% of their games are built out with only 10% to be customized
  • They doubled their manufacturing capacity without additional money or people; have industry leading supply times
  • Feel like they still have lots of room for improvement

Factory tour:

  • BB2 just looks slimmer. Can make 100 games per day per line. Track production goals hourly. Can build reels and videos on same lines now - 80 reels per hour. Have constant employee cross training.
  • xD not cannibalizing their other products.  Lots of the margin improvement will come from training their workers, redesigning, negotiating, working better with suppliers. xD also has a different finish.

Participation refurbishment:

  • Strip them down, clean them up and then repurpose them.  Will remove a lot of components for testing and cleaning (bill validator/cpu)

Supplies/receiving:

  • 5 yrs ago, it used to take days to get supplies from the dock to the factory - now it's 5 hours - goal is 2hrs
  • Cut inventory space needed in half
  • Everything is barcoded now
  • Takes them 2 days to do a physical inventory count

Inventory mgmt:

  • Inventory reduced from $72mm in June 05 to just $31mm last quarter
  • Scan out empty bin - and they get replenished
  • Super core : 90% complete - can be turned into video or reel.  80% of their customers take games that are pretty plain vanilla.  Margin on the custom games are even better. Only impacts lead times (so 4-5 weeks).