Waterstones – the UK’s leading high street bookseller – has extended its long-term partnership with Unipart Logistics for an additional five years. Unipart will continue to distribute books and related products to 280 shops, and to customers at home, from their 150,000 sq ft hub in Burton-on-Trent.
This new contract builds on the strength and success of the long term relationship between Waterstones and Unipart, which saw the two companies collaboratively win four awards at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards in 2015.
Beccy Preece, Head of Supply Chain Services at Waterstones said: “We’ve extended our contract because Unipart really understands our business and provides an excellent service. Over the past 10 years our needs have changed – along with the change in the way our customers buy books – and with the introduction of a greater, non-book range Unipart have adapted to support our needs and so have helped our business to grow.”
Key to the successful partnership has been Unipart’s innovative supply chain thinking and agile delivery of change. For instance over the past 18 months, Unipart has completely reconfigured the service to the stores to deliver a next day delivery service by harnessing the power of The Unipart Way, which is the company’s proprietary business system for continuous improvement. In addition, Unipart has also helped Waterstones increase availability of new and old titles whilst still reducing the overall inventory holding.
Claire Walters, Chief Commercial Officer at Unipart Logistics said: “We are incredibly proud of our long-term partnership with Waterstones, and our contribution to the turnaround of the business over the last few years through intelligent supply chain decisions. Our team feel part of the Waterstones family, and are passionate about delivering exceptional and rapid service to Waterstones customers. We are looking forward to taking our partnership to a new level, through implementing innovative ideas and digital technology to further enhance the Waterstones supply chain.”