Ware-Pak Still Adapting After 50 Years
Chicago, Illinois – If the Chicago-based fulfillment and distribution company were going to select a famous quote to characterize its 50 years of service to book publishers and associations, it would certainly have to give serious consideration to the phrase “the only thing constant in life is change.”
When founder Robert Plechaty’s employer, Cuneo Press, asked if he would use a corner of their printing facility to accommodate their fulfillment service in 1963, little did they know that Ware-Pak would still be responding to changing needs 50 years later. “Adapting to industry changes has become a way of life for every member of the Ware-Pak team,” stated Keith Shay, President and CEO of Ware-Pak. “Their focus and dedication and the loyal support of our customers have made Ware-Pak the company it is today.”
When Keith Shay joined the company in 1998, he quickly directed a transition from a homegrown computer system to fully integrated, real-time, warehouse management technology capable of meeting the diverse needs of the publishing industry. The conversion has enabled Ware-Pak to offer a wide variety of cost efficient solutions to publishers and associations while dramatically improving quality. “Any company can put books into a box and ship them. What separates a leader from the pack is the ability to provide critical information and superior customer service,” said Keith.
“Like so many industries, technology has reinvented ours. As a warehousing company, it was critical to stay current. We chose to adapt early on by partnering with best-in-class software providers. When we found that certain systems lacked the tools to provide our publishing clients with everything they needed, we implemented specialized software for each major function,” Shay added.
Ware-Pak utilizes sophisticated, turnkey systems for account management, call center clients and in the warehouse, as well as very robust software at all shipping stations. As the publishing industry changes, so have the needs of publishers, which has made it necessary for Ware-Pak to offer services and capabilities they would have never dreamed of 50 years ago.
“We partner with companies that develop the tools needed to serve customers who prefer e-books to printed books. Today we offer publishers a variety of e-book solutions, including complete e-book conversion, e-commerce shopping cart integration, Nook or Kindle-compatibility and efficient e-book fulfillment. In addition to e-book conversions, we offer clients complete website development and shopping cart management,” added Keith Shay.
With consumer demands changing so rapidly, publishers who maintain warehouses are finding it increasingly difficult to effectively manage their warehousing costs. Warehousing is a business with high fixed costs. As the market shifts from print to e-books, it is getting tougher to reduce fixed costs as rapidly as the industry changes.
“When even a portion of a publisher’s warehouse becomes empty, it is not possible to reduce their costs by a corresponding percentage. The top three expenses for a warehouse – rent, utilities and labor – all remain unchanged. Many publishers are choosing to dispose of their warehouses and outsource to Ware-Pak because they obtain the expertise, skills and technology they need to compete, while often realizing a savings of 20% to 25%. That has a big impact on a publisher’s bottom line,” explained Keith Shay.
Ware-Pak team members work around the clock to fulfill orders quickly and accurately. Year after year, performance records show that 90% of all orders received before 4:00 pm are shipped the same day and 98% of all orders are shipped within 24 hours of receipt.
As one Ware-Pak client put it, “Since we retained Ware-Pak, the communication between our teams has been excellent, orders are filled quickly and there are few, if any, mistakes. I am grateful for their service and look forward to a long relationship.”
With 50 years in third party fulfillment, publishers depend on Ware-Pak for state-of-the-art virtual warehousing technology, proven customer service and outsourced solutions that are custom tailored to meet their needs. Ware-Pak looks forward to serving new and existing clients for another 50 years.