Random House, Inc.  

TIlt tray sortation
TIlt tray sortation

Random House, Inc, the world’s largest English language trade book publisher, places a priority emphasis on its supply chain to ensure that its customers, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Books-a-Million and thousands of independent booksellers, get their orders correctly and on time. Named Amazon.com’s “Distributor of the Year” for the past two years for its efforts on behalf of its third-party publishing clients, Random House prides itself on having the “finest distribution in book publishing” for both its widely admired core imprint publishing programs, which issue more than 9,000 new adult and children’s hardcover and trade and mass-market paperbacks annually, and for more than two dozen third-party clients, who are overseen by its Random House Publisher Services group.

When the company’s third-party publishing distribution service began to expand at a rapid pace, the Random House supply chain team recognized a potential logjam in its fulfillment process. The company’s Westminster, Md., distribution center, the book publishing industry’s largest at 1.3 million square feet, operated manual split-case picking fulfillment.

With more than 40,000 titles located across 26 manually picked aisles, a typical order could go between seven and 10 pick aisles. The loose picking area was a bottleneck for the facility, resulting in low throughput rates, slow order turnaround times and high labor costs.

To learn how Random House improved their order turnaround time by 50 percent with the help of a sortation system from Honeywell Intelligrated, read the full case study.