Newsletter Archive - Production
The Final Frontier - Delivering a Clean, Dry, Shiny New Book
10/05/2005 - Sales have been closed for some time. The ads have been created, and the final pages rushed to the printer. The printer is working feverishly to print your books. Your CFO is patiently waiting for the start of distribution so he can begin billing the advertisers for the book. Everyone is on a heightened edge waiting to get their new directory.
For the some 10,000+ books published worldwide every year, the same scenario plays out each and every day in the Yellow Pages industry. But that final step, the process of putting that new, shiny, dry, clean new book in the hands of the user can still be a critical last step especially when Murphy's Law happens and extreme outdoor conditions such rain, snow, high winds, dust, dirt or even lawn sprinklers can adversely affect book distribution. Conventional open top Poly bags are widely used to package phone directories but they only offer partial protection. So we went in search of possible solutions publishers can look at to prevent book spoilage right at that final critical point in each new books life cycle.
Defining the Problem
David Parks of DirectoryDistribution.com confirmed that some of their recent publisher studies have verified the major publisher concerns about delivery:
At this year's YPA and ADP industry conferences we noticed a relatively new supplier to the industry that may just have the answer -- Discovery Packaging. The company offers a new concept called Rapid CloseTM bags. The Rapid CloseTM Self-Seal bag feature an integrated adhesive seal at the mouth of the bag, which provides total protection against unpredictable outdoor conditions.
But as Mom always told you, be careful of advertising and always check out a new product yourself. So we did. And the reviews were stunning.
Who's using Rapid Bags??
Jason Stelmachovich is an independent distributor in the North West (areas such as Vancouver, Washington, etc.) that delivers directories for publishers such as Phone Directories. He indicated that since moving to the Rapid Close bags in July, they have never been more confident that the new books they deliver are going to be clean and dry when the user gets them:
"We've had constant rain over the past few weeks and these bags have kept all our books totally protected. We have noticed that even when competitor's books use the traditional fold over plastic bag, the air and humidity can still get in. I've seen situations where every 3rd book or so is ruined or damaged, while ours are still in perfect condition. I'm not sure we'd even consider a job that didn't use these, especially in these more rural areas.."Another strong supporter is Larry Bernethy from Savannah Publishing. While Larry did admit that the Rapid Close bags may be about twice as expensive as traditional bags (using thin lower grade Poly films) he has found it to be well worth the cost as it has significantly reduced the number of calls about damaged books:
"The previous two years we used to get hundreds of calls about damaged books, and those are only ones we know about. Rapid Close has been a great idea in our area where we always seem to encounter the rainy season just as we start delivery of our main book. Since going to these bags the complaints have totally stopped."John Oorebeck the Distribution Manager for YP One's Canadian markets was Discovery Packaging's first client. After a year and a half of using the Rapid Close bags for distributions of up to 20,000 books in each their 12 markets, he couldn't envision not using the bags:
"Weather is often an issue in our markets when we are delivering the books. Before we needed to bring each book to the door and carefully position it to prevent in from getting spoiled. Now with the Rapid Close bags we can quickly toss it and feel confident that the book will be ready when the user opens it. Nothing is worse than a big advertiser that finds their copy of the book on the door step all wet and ruined. So the bags have definitely helped us speed up the delivery process without sacrificing on the quality of the delivered book."These comments were also echoed by Bill Ballard, the Distribution Manager for Gordon Publications. Bill indicated they are on their ninth order of bags. He started using the bags after a really bad storm in their Texas markets ruined several thousand books requiring a major redistribution:
"We use the Rapid Close bags year round now. Weather changes quickly here and it gets expensive to be replacing these books. Since moving to the new bags we get virtually no calls about spoiled books. They have been great."Bill also noted that they use the bags in secondary distribution as well.
Ok, so who are these guys??
First a little about the company: Discovery Packaging is a full service provider of flexible packaging products with proven manufacturing, sales/marketing, product research, creative, and customer service expertise. The creation of new and effective forms of Flexible Packaging as well as the filling/handling logistics are front and center in their business focus. The Patent pending Rapid CloseTM bags were first introduced into the North American market about 18 months ago.
The Rapid CloseTM bags that everyone is talking about are currently available in two bag styles (standard and handle bags) in eight stock sizes to fit most every size of directory. Bags are grouped using a staple pack Header Card that provides an effective means to assist in the fast, easy and accurate filling.
While we could go on and on, I think you get the point - this is good stuff. It is rare that you will find third party research that verifies the importance of delivering books with few or no complaints, combined with unwavering testimonials about a new product from publishers - they hate to share anything that could be considered a competitive edge. But clearly, those using these bags already have one!!!!
For additional information on Rapid CloseTM bags go to www.discoverypackaging.com
To contact Discovery Packaging Inc. for prices, samples and info:
Toll Free: 866-584-9082
Announcing the Climate Fighter bag from Rapid Close®. Finally... a cost effective bag designed to take on the elements; rain, snow, slush, dirt and dust! No one can control the weather - at least not yet anyway. Items being delivered to home or business can now travel in a highly secure bag utilizing a strong adhesive closure built into a puncture resistant film with a Tamper Evident seal.
Uses for Rapid Close® Climate Fighter bags:
- Directories, Newspapers, Magazines, Catalogs, Courier Shipments / Mail, Coupons / Advertising Materials / Product Samples
- A fast, secure and liquid resistant seal can be made in mere seconds - using a whole new method!
- Bags can be closed virtually anywhere with no special heat seal equipment or expensive mechanical systems.
- We offer 8 standard items in the Directory bag line with four items available with a die cut handle. Custom bag sizes are readily available using plain or printed films (Flexographic printing from 1-8 colors)
- Quality puncture resistant film is the only film we use for the Climate Fighter bag.
- STOP the damaging effects of rain, snow, heavy winds, dust/dirt and lawn sprinklers!
- Eliminate customer complaints, service callbacks/re-delivery costs and book replacement expense.
- Scheduled distribution dates can remain unaffected by the weather. Delivery directories on time with no added unplanned costs associated with re-scheduling distribution logistics.
- Rapid Close® bags are available on new staple pack header cards or in twist tie groupings (100 bags/grouping).