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Posts Tagged ‘Supply Chain’

Book Trade Associations Publishers Should Know

It’s no secret that the best ideas and solutions are often achieved through opportunities to network and share with our peers. Having additional ways to stay informed about what’s happening in the book industry can help you keep on top of supply chain standards and best practices. Gathering information from publishers, retailers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, librarians, as well as others involved in both print and digital publishing can result in better problem solving and more successful business practices.

In an effort to provide publishers with helpful resources, Ware-Pak will be exploring a number of book trade associations we feel you should know. Let’s get started with a few of these today…

American Booksellers Association, Inc. (ABA)

The ABA is a national, not for profit trade association that exists to protect and promote the interests of independently owned bookstores, large and small. Since 1900, the ABA has offered education, services and products, advocacy and relevant business information for independent booksellers.

Visit the ABA Website | phone (914) 591-2665

American Library Association (ALA)

The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world. It is a non-profit trade association which promotes library services and librarianship.

Visit the ALA Website | phone (312) 944-6780

Book Industry Study Group

The Book Industry Study Group is non-profit trade association working to create a more informed, empowered and efficient book industry supply chain for both physical and digital products.

Visit the Book Industry Study Group Website | phone (646) 336-7141

Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

The IBPA is a trade association that serves book, audio and video publishers located in the U.S. and around the world. The IBPA strives to advance the professional interests of independent publishers and offers beneficial programs and information to all member publishers, regardless of their size or experience.

Visit the IBPA Website | phone (310) 372-2732

Eliminating Fixed Costs Key To Surviving Economic Downturn

Publishers feeling the pinch are looking for ways to cut back on costs without sacrificing quality service. Many have turned to outsourcing warehousing and fulfillment services as a way to eliminate fixed costs and increase supply chain efficiency.

Outsourcing warehousing services allows you to accomplish two main goals:

  1. Redirect your focus on your core business
  2. Convert a fixed cost into a variable cost

Today, I am focusing on the second goal – converting a fixed cost into an expense that can fluctuate with sales.

For publishers who handle their own warehousing, one of the hardest (if not impossible) things to do is to cut expenses by an amount equal to their decrease in revenue. This is because the biggest expenses are fixed expenses:

  • Rent – Landlords don’t care whether your building is running at 80% or 60% of capacity. They still want 100% of their rent.
  • Utilities, taxes, depreciation and building maintenance costs remain fixed whether the warehouse is at 50% or 60% of capacity.
  • Labor costs in the warehouse are very difficult to cut, especially if you already have a small staff.

By outsourcing, these items become variable costs, not fixed expenses, AND the responsibility for managing them is shifted to your fulfillment center. If orders drop by 10%, the charges for picking will be reduced by that amount. When you look at your inventory and decide to remainder a slow moving item, your storage costs (rent) will fall by each pallet you remove from the facility. In other words, your expense will fluctuate in a manner that corresponds to your level of activity.

Another advantage offered by Ware-Pak – Virtual Warehouse technology – helps publishers eliminate excess stock. Customers view their inventory items and orders being processed in real time. They see which items need to be replenished and which are fully stocked – eliminating excess.

Finally, because warehousing is our only business, outsourcing to Ware-Pak means more same-day shipments. Our performance records show that 90% of all files received by 5:30 PM CST will ship the same day – 98% within 24 hours.

10 Actions to Take in a Recession

In these difficult economic times, it is more apparent than ever that money doesn’t grow on trees. At Ware-Pak, we are doing whatever we can to help our supply chain partners by saving money where we can. While this will not mean saving money at the expense of quality efficient service, there are things we can do to cut back on unnecessary costs within the supply chain. Below are “10 Smart Actions to Take in a Recession” that can be implemented to allow all parties in the supply chain to reap cost saving benefits.

  1. Take cost out of your supply chain – Even the best supply chains can look for ways to reduce non-value add costs and be improved.
  2. Stop analyzing “what was” and manage “what should be” – Focus resources on managing “what should be”. Know what costs should be before making a decision. Financial and physical limitations have changed and so should your strategy.
  3. Get visibility to your physical and financial supply chain – The ability to track your products in transit along the physical chain can help reduce lead-time and inventory on hand. Visibility to the financial supply chain exposes ways to take cost out of your supply chain.
  4. Replace inventory with visibility – Uncertainty in demand and other conditions can affect inventory on-hand, on-order and in transit. Seeing where your inventory is and where it will not be on time enables you to proactively manage risk.
  5. Leverage a virtual information supply chain – The best information supply chains keep the physical and financial chains in sync with visibility. Having solutions ready when needed reduce the time and resources necessary for implementation. It also means little dependency on legacy systems and scarce resources.
  6. Pay for Performance – Spend on solutions and services that don’t require upfront capital investment in extensive deployment time frames and expensive resources.
  7. Reduce risk with positive proof of performance – Reduce overall risk by requiring proof of performance deliverables in days not months.
  8. Ensure flexibility to scale up or down – Assess the ability to quickly scale up or down the range of scope of any solution. A successful strategy should support either without incurring additional capital and resources.
  9. Make your supply chain faster, smarter and better – Make your supply chain faster by reducing lead times, smarter by using automation and intelligence, and better by reducing cost and carbon footprint.
  10. Share the Savings – Cost savings across a supply chain require a win-win collaboration. Remember, supply chain partners must also survive the recession to reduce your risk.

[As seen in Supply & Demand Chain Executive, Dec/Jan ‘09]

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