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Posts Tagged ‘Book distribution’

E-Commerce Fulfillment Services

E-commerce is hot and it’s only going to get hotter. In the last two years, during one of the country’s worst recessions, e-commerce sales have sky rocketed. 2010 saw a bump with an increase of 14.8% over 2009 – bringing total sales to $165.4 billion. Sales for 2011 are already up a staggering 15.2%. Everyone wants to get in on the action, but the real question is – what do you do after the e-commerce website is developed?

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Does Location Matter? Part 1

Does location matter when selecting an order fulfillment center for publishers?

As the old saying goes, it is location, location, location that counts. When a publisher considers a book fulfillment center, the location will have a direct impact on their business. When selecting a distribution center, publishers can expect to achieve three goals by choosing the correct location. The first objective should be to increase customer satisfaction by reducing the time required for delivery. The second should be to dramatically reduce transportation costs by locating the facility central to your customer base – for a publisher selling nationally, a Midwest location is the most economical for transportation cost. Finally, go green and reduce your carbon footprint. In addition to saving money, selecting a central location will help the environment by reducing the amount of fuel required to deliver your books to the end customer.

Today’s blog entry focuses on the first point – cutting delivery times.

In today’s environment, consumers are looking for instant gratification; when they place an order, they want it delivered to their home or business fast. People are just not willing to wait two or three weeks for their books. If they cannot receive their order within days, they are looking somewhere else to buy. The large box stores like Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears, etc. measure every vendor by fill rate, amount of time from placing the order to delivery, and error rate. The better the rating, the more they are willing to order from the vendor.

If you are a publisher with national presences, then it is very important to select a central location. Being a Chicago-based fulfillment center, Ware-Pak has two unique advantages. One, a Midwest location saves transit time, costs less to ship product to the consumer and reduces the carbon foot print for delivery. Secondly, Ware-Pak is serviced by the largest ground terminal in the UPS system, giving Ware-Pak a farther reach than other companies in the Chicagoland area not serviced by the CACH facility.

From our facility in Chicago, UPS can reach 58% of the U.S. population within a 2-day delivery radius, 81% within 3 days and 99.6% within 4 days. From west coast locations, transit times are typically 21% in 2 days, 23% in 3 days and 50% in 4 days. East coast offers 48% in 2 days, 67% in 3 days and 81% in 4 days.

Reduced transit times provided by Ware-Pak means increased customer satisfaction for publishers AND cost savings. I’ll focus on what lower costs can mean in a tough economy in later blog entry.

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