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The Book People

Since it was established in 1988, The Book People’s business has always involved getting books into the hands of people who don’t have time to go to the high street.

TBP 9

Since it was established in 1988, The Book People’s business has always involved getting books into the hands of people who don’t have time to go to the high street.

However, with an ever-expanding customer base and a growing inventory, the bookseller’s range of packaging materials seemed to be growing almost as fast as its business. So when Antalis Packaging proposed a solution that would simplify its packaging, speed up the time it takes to dispatch customers’ books and optimise space in the warehouse, the company immediately recognised the potential benefits.
Read our guide to automated packaging systems

The Solution

Savings on labour, materials, storage and transpot

"We estimated that the savings the machine would deliver would enable it to pay for itself within 15 months. Most of that will come from savings on labour."
says Wayne.
Within just two months of installation, the machine is already yielding many of the benefits Wayne and Antalis Packaging anticipated. According to Wayne: “We estimated that the savings the machine would deliver would enable it to pay for itself within 15 months. Most of that will come from savings on labour.”

He explains that the machine can now handle as much as 70% of orders that were previously processed manually, which amounts to around 45% of all The Book People’s orders. In fact, the only manual intervention now needed for orders being processed through the machine is when operatives place items into the box.

Time and labour aside, Wayne says that the introduction of the I-Pack has also enabled considerable savings on packaging materials, storage space and even transport. “We continue to use sleeved envelopes for some small individual items and we also need to retain some boxes for packaging over-sized orders, but overall the machine has eliminated 50% of the packaging materials we were using before. As a result, we’ve been able to reduce packaging storage by as much as 100 pallets because all of the material we use for the I-Pack machine is flat-packed. Even more impressive is the time that has been saved on monitoring our inventory of packaging materials!”

In addition, because the machine folds any void away, it has completely eliminated the need for void-fill in packages processed through the I-Pack. Aside from the material savings, this has also enabled considerable savings on transport. ”We’re not paying to transport fresh air anymore,” says Wayne. “We can now fit about 17% more packages in a container, which amounts to a saving of around one container every week."

The Results

A supportive partnership

Wayne is very complimentary about the support The Book People received from Antalis Packaging, both in proactively recommending the solution and throughout its implementation. He says that help from Antalis Packaging was also instrumental in ironing out any operational ‘teething problems’ during installation and trials, illustrating this with the example of a challenge encountered with The Book People’s original boxes.

“We found that the red ink on our standard red-and-white branded boxes was making the cardboard too weak to seal properly,” he says. “Increasing the thickness of the boxes would have made them more expensive, but by working together with Antalis Packaging we found the right solution. Reversing the colours on our existing boxes so that they’re now white with red writing helped us solve the problem without incurring any extra costs.”

This example perfectly sums up Antalis Packaging’s approach. By working in close partnership with its customers, the company is able to recognise opportunities to streamline their processes and identify solutions that will optimise efficiency and warehouse space, ultimately delivering savings and improving profitability.
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