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Category: Fulfillment

Due to the nature of the publishing industry, publishers have multiple layers of costs associated with fulfillment (the process of picking, packing and shipping books). In its simplest form, fulfillment is the act of getting books out the warehouse door and delivered to customers in a fast, efficient and economical manner. Any additional costs incurred in fulfillment means a reduced bottom line profit for the publishing house.

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In the process of books getting to the marketplace, there are three ways that books are distributed – wholesalers, book distributors and fulfillment centers.

There are some very significant differences between these service providers. It is much easier to understand someone’s motivation when you understand where and how each of these providers generate income. So, let’s follow the money trail and see where it leads.

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When deciding which order fulfillment warehouse is the best fit, choosing a partner in the wrong location may mean an additional 4% in costs to you. Here’s how….

As the saying goes, it’s location, location, location that really counts. Your order fulfillment facility should be located near the hub (or center) of your client base. If you are selling primarily on the West Coast, then the facility you partner with should also be on the West Coast. And if you’re a regional publisher with customers in the Southeast, then you want to locate a facility in the Southeast. When you are national in scope, then finding a fulfillment partner located in the Midwest should be your focus.

Choosing the right location gives you three (3) major advantages:

  1. Saving money on transportation costs
  2. Increasing customer satisfaction with fast product delivery
  3. Reducing your carbon foot print

1. Saving Money On Transportation Costs

Have you noticed the higher prices at the gas pump lately? A gallon of regular is almost $5.00 per in Chicago it’s predicted to reach $6.00 before the end of summer! Every time I fill up, I can feel the pinch from the higher gas prices. If your order fulfillment facility is not in the right location, you are paying for extra fuel to have your merchandise delivered. These extra costs are being passed along to you by the carriers in the form of increased based rates and increased fuel surcharges.

The average publisher spends as much on transportation as they do on their warehousing services. If your business has a national reach and you are working with an order fulfillment facility that is located anywhere but the Midwest, you are paying almost 4% more for their services because of the transportation penalty. It costs between 5% and 7% more to ship to the U.S. population from the East Coast or West Coast than it does from the Midwest. And this will only increase as fuel prices continue to rise.

2. Less Transit Time Means Happier Customers

Another major benefit in choosing a fulfillment facility in the right location for your customer base is the amount of transit time merchandise to arrive at the customer. Today’s consumers want instant gratification. The days of people placing orders and waiting weeks for the product to arrive are over. Customers know what they want and they want it yesterday.

From a Midwest location, you can reach 58% of the U.S. population in 2 days and 99% within 4 days. However, when shipping from Los Angles you can only reach 21% of the U.S. population in 2 days and only 47% within 4 days. From the East Coast product will reach 48% of the U.S. population within 2 days and 81% in 4 days. A Midwest location provides the least amount of transit time and therefore, will increase your customers overall satisfaction.

3.    Reducing Carbon Footprint

Partnering with an order fulfillment warehouse that is centrally located means a reduced carbon footprint for your company. Shipping from a warehouse that is centrally located to your customers means a reduction in the miles that products will travel to reach them, and this reduces green house gases emitted. From another perspective, higher shipping costs and longer transit times are symptoms that you are burning more fossil fuels in delivering your product.

Selecting a fulfillment warehouse to partner with in the right location will make you more efficient and you will reap the benefits of saving money, increasing customer satisfaction, and reducing green house gases.

Recently I read an article in Association Now magazine, entitled “Economy Study Offers Insights on Future Expectations.” Association Now magazine is regarded as the premier publication for association executives. The article discussed reasons for the association industry to be optimistic. It also presented statistics that were a result of polling numerous executives in the association field on how the recession has affected their business and how they plan to respond in 2011. Below are some of the numbers that I found most important to share with you:

36.5 – The percentage of CEO’s planning for total revenue to increase in the coming year.

6.4 – The percentage of members who say they believe their employment situation will be worse in the coming year.

19.1 – The percentage of CEO’s expecting increased membership revenue in the coming year.

37.9 – The percentage of CEO’s who are more concerned about membership retention now than they were last year.

16.3 – The percentage of members who say they will drop their membership on the next renewal regardless of who pays their dues.

Since 1963, Ware-Pak has operated with speed, accuracy and 24/7 accessibility in order to provide associations with third party fulfillment and warehousing services so that they save on overall costs through outsourcing. With total supply chain control taken care of, associations can focus on strengthening member relationships.

Ware-Pak’s location in suburban Chicago can also help associations reach 58% of their membership within the U.S. population in 2 days, which helps lower costs and provides a key advantage as fuel costs continue to rise. Giving associations the ability to experience an overall savings of 5% to 7% on order fulfillment services can have a substantial impact on your association’s bottom line.

For fast, accurate order fulfillment, savings to your bottom line and increased member satisfaction, maybe it’s time to take a look at what Ware-Pak can do to help you have a positive 2011! Feel free to contact me, Keith Shay, at (708) 534-2600 or kshay@ware-pak.com with any questions, or to receive a free quote.


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