SBS Worldwide starts HarperCollins Supply Chain Project
London, 22 September 2011: HarperCollins UK has entered into a long term freight agreement with SBS Worldwide, leading logistics supplier to the publishing industry, to implement a radical digital interface across its supply chain.
Virtualized Logistics, SBS Worldwide’s consultancy arm, worked with HarperCollins to conduct a thorough assessment of their supply chain requirements and designed a tailored solution which not only adds freight visibility at ISBN level and significantly reduces shipping costs, but cuts lead times as well.
The project includes radical changes to everything from PO management and freight services to the distribution of a wide range of books.
James Graves, Global Production Sourcing Director for HarperCollins, said: “We made the choice of partnering with SBS based upon what we perceive as an industry leading software solution, this coupled with a highly integrated approach to understanding our business, then creating a solution for both our current and future needs.”
Tony Leach, Director and Chief Sales Officer at Virtualized Logistics said: “Many publishers made the decision to move their printing to China in an effort to control costs. But they have failed to take the next logical step of reorganising their logistics to suit this new business model.”
In the past, HarperCollins has been reluctant to change its logistics because no system could offer the degree of inventory control and management reporting that the company needed.
The eDC (electronic distribution centre) supply chain software has been developed by Virtualized Logistics (VL) in close collaboration with the book industry, including HarperCollins, offering a far greater degree of freight visibility and control – down to ISBN level – than ever seen before.
Tony Leach said: “eDC is all about achieving end-to-end visibility throughout the extended supply chain and translating top level supply chain strategy into operational best practice. The positive impacts clients can immediately see include speed-to-market, cost efficiency, customer satisfaction and bottom-line results.”
VL also proposed that HarperCollins could save costs by printing high volume runs in the traditional ‘off-season’ of late November to April and store the books in China.
“Using a warehouse in China is cheaper than using one in the UK, and the visibility we provide through eDC means they can simply call off the books as needed and ship directly to where they are needed,” Steve Walker, Chairman of SBS Worldwide explains.
“Creating a warehouse in Asia is easy,” James Graves explains. “Coming up with the electronic solution to allow easy visibility is hard. That led us to decide to use SBS Worldwide. Their eDC system, with live data and stock levels, gives a level of reassurance that we could not get with any other system.”
SBS manages freight purchase order management, air and ocean freight, as well as inventory management in China. The eDC system provides monitoring and performance throughout the supply chain even providing proactive alerts if there are unexpected delays in the shipment.
Shipments can be tracked through each milestone within the freight process, giving HarperCollins the highest level of visibility, improved customer service and more control over resource allocation and forecasting for inbound goods.
Deliveries are made to HarperCollins’ Glasgow NDC and also direct to New Zealand, US and Canada.
SBS Worldwide has specialist knowledge of the book publishing industry and the company can use the same consultancy process to design supply chains for importers and exporters in a wide range of industries.
HarperCollins UK publishes a wide range of books, from cutting-edge contemporary fiction, to block-busting thrillers, from fantasy literature and children’s stories to enduring classics. It also publishes a great selection of non-fiction titles, including history, celebrity memoirs, biographies, popular science, dictionaries, maps, reference titles and education books, and its digital business is thriving. With nearly 200 years of history HarperCollins publishes some of the world’s foremost authors, from Nobel prize winners to worldwide bestsellers. In addition it publishes the works of Agatha Christie, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. It was the first major UK trade publisher to go carbon neutral in December 2007.
HC UK and International is responsible for the UK and Ireland, India, Australia and New Zealand and is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English-language book publishers in the world, with operations in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. HarperCollins Publishers is a wholly-owned division of News Corporation, the diversified global media company.
About SBS Worldwide
SBS Worldwide offers global freight forwarding and supply chain solutions to clients around the world. It has an established reputation for reliability, innovation and leading-edge solutions, helping to drive costs out of its customers' international supply chains. SBS’s consultancy division, Virtualized Logistics, offers clients an in-depth review of their supply chains as well as state of the art visibility systems and management information. A privately-owned British company set up nearly 30 years ago, SBS Worldwide is headquartered in the UK, has offices across the US and China and has partners throughout the world. SBS Worldwide was named Freight Forwarder of the Year at IFW’s Freight Industry Awards 2010 and won the BIFA Ocean Freight Award in the same year.
‘SBS Worldwide’s central tenet is to ensure that its operations provide the highest quality of Freight and Supply Chain services throughout our privately owned company.
We will ensure that our customers’ expectations will be delivered by providing the highest quality of service appropriate for each market segment served through our focused business units.
We will develop mutually rewarding relationships with our employees, partners and suppliers beyond their expectations.
Safety and compliance is the first consideration in all our operations.
All of our corporate activities will be conducted to the highest ethical and professional standards.’
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