High inventory holding time and damages due to multiple handovers
One of the world’s largest general interest paperback and digital publisher of books had a wide network of authors and printers delivering hundreds of new releases every year. The company had a pan-India footprint of printers for printing of books including new releases. Printing orders were placed 2-3 months ahead of scheduled release/requirements. Once the books are printed, they were brought to the central warehouse. Company was holding inventory at the warehouse for up to 45 days and sending to distributors across the country 3-4 days before the launch. Movement of books from printers to warehouse and then to distributors were done through multiple local logistics partners.
This layered distribution of books had various challenges, specifically
Logistic partner with national footprint, technology integration and express delivery
The company with its experience of working with a reliable logistics partner with faster TAT and capability to pick up and deliver anywhere in the country decided to reimagine its supply chain by fundamentally questioning the need holding inventory at company warehouse. It also saw the opportunity to reduce working capital requirement and reduce damages by moving books directly from printer to distributors
Flexible pick up and on time delivery to distributors
The company changed the distribution model by reducing the mandatory layer holding inventory at warehouse. Consolidated its logistic requirement with single logistic partner and integrated the inventory management system. Printing orders were placed with much lesser lead time. Once the books were ready at printers, it was picked up by the logistics partner and delivered on appointment delivery basis to distributors across the country. It tested the new model on an exclusive book launch, where the TAT from pick up location in north to delivery across India took less than 3 days, ensuring just in time delivery to retailers before launch of the book. It later enabled the printers to raise pick up request on their integrated technology platform. This reduced the time of moving of the books from the printer to the distributors thereby drastically reducing inventory cost and damages due to prolonged holding of material.
Lasting business impact
The company was now able to deliver to all its distributors faster by eliminating need to bring entire inventory to company warehouse. The business impact brought by this partnership was,
Now the company and the partner manage all nationwide book launches seamlessly while providing an enhanced customer experience.