Michael Wolff wrote an exposé of the first 9 months of the Donald Trump administration called “Fire & Fury”. The newly elected president tried to stop the book from being published. Due to the media storm surrounding the book, Waterstones’ 500 copies sold out immediately. They turned to Unipart to help…
Trump was tweeting daily ‘Do not buy this book!’ This only fueled demand amongst eager customers. In order to stay one step ahead of Trump’s legal teams, the publishers opted to publish 2 days early. Of course this had an immediate impact on distributors’ plans and schedules.
Waterstones were one step ahead of their rivals. A further 20,000 books were ordered. It became critical for the Unipart Internet team to receive the books in and turn the orders around on the same day. The team got planning for the sudden increase in volume. They started prepping all those activities that could be done in advance to speed things up on the day.
However, the books that were meant to arrive at 10:30 were 3 hours late. This made the operational window very tight. This was just what the team didn’t need! If the additional volume had arrived on time, things would have been a challenge. As it was, the books didn’t arrive until early afternoon. So now they were not only short of time, they were short of physical space to pack the orders.
The team had to adapt quickly to ensure service was met. Once the books eventually arrived, an additional team created an extended internet area, made the space available and physically packed the product, with all the relevant labels and were ready to go out the door on time.
This was an incredible response to a very unusual set of circumstances in the publishing world. The internet team rose to the challenge, they demonstrated a “can do” attitude and found solutions to unexpected problems. They worked very closely with the Waterstones client team at Burton, giving them the confidence that, even when the unexpected happens, Unipart will pull out all the stops to help them achieve their goals.