Harper Collins Book Returns
With a heritage stretching back nearly 200 years, Harper Collins is one of the world’s foremost English-language publishers, offering the best quality content right across the spectrum, from cutting-edge contemporary fiction to digital hymnbooks and pretty much everything in between.

The Requirement

The customer's requirements were very concise. They needed a...
  • logistics partner who is a market leader in progressive technology and provision of management information
  • consolidated returns processing and stock disposal operation
  • full visibility of stock movements throughout the returns process
  • secure, auditable and transparent processes
  • variable cost model allowing for minimal fixed costs and overheads
  • simplified process to enable 'Green Laning' of stock back into their supply chain
All of which will support a simplified credit authorisation process for customers.

The Solution & Approach

Key aspects of the implementation project included...
  • understanding the mix of products, the range of disposition rules and the mix ratio of those ‘exit routes’
  • designing specific operational processes, and a bespoke returns processing system
  • a returns process that scans the barcode of each individual unit, resulting in high data accuracy
  • full digital CCTV coverage of the entire operation
  • developing a barcoded returns label application with easy online access for all Harper Collins’ 23,000 UK customers
  • a seamless transition during implementation, whilst also managing a historic backlog of returns
  • building in the operational capacity to manage the peak period
  • the complete visibility of all daily returns activity using a streamlined data exchange
In summary the solution provided to Harper Collins...
  • has processed over 40 million units to date
  • produces daily ‘snapshot’ management reporting, detailing the ‘work in progress’ position
  • gives full visibility of all processing data down to individual unit level
  • includes the ability to set disposition rules at an ISBN level with the facility to make a distinction between loose copy and binders pack and set rules accordingly
  • operates within their existing ISO 14001 accreditation framework
  • allows for a high degree of flexibility around resources, processing volumes and storage capacity
  • is fully scalable and as such the annual peak processing period presents no issues
ISO 14001