Oxford University Press


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Real progress

“In our business, we have to be nimble, and warehouse management gives us the flexibility to respond to changes in customer orders, even if they come in at the very last minute.” – Systems and Compliance Manager, Oxford University Press (OUP)


  • Founded in 1478, OUP publishes around 7,000 new titles every year, in a variety of formats and up to 40 languages. As the largest university press in the world, it has annual sales of 110 million units.
  • OUP operates its own distribution centre, making it one of the few publishers worldwide to not rely on a third-party distributor. From its warehouse in Kettering, the organization dispatches 36,000 orders every month, 70 percent of which are destined for addresses outside of the U.K.
  • To keep up with growth, OUP sought a scalable warehouse control system to replace their outdated technology which severely restricted how the organisation operated and made it reliant on a conveyoring system that was complex and costly to maintain.

Proven solution

The success of the warehouse management solution has helped OUP improve its distribution operation, elevating it to one of the best in the world. In fact, for nine of the last 10 years, the organization has received the Booksellers Association’s Distributor of the Year award.

“Part of that success comes down to our customer service, but a huge contributor is our ability to manage distribution effectively to deliver on time and meet customer expectations,” said Systems and Compliance Manager, OUP. “We couldn’t do that without a flexible warehouse management solution.”

Solution Benefits

  • For more than 14 years, OUP has relied on Blue Yonder’s warehouse management capabilities to facilitate and control its extensive distribution operation. The solution plays a pivotal role in the organization’s warehouse, optimizing almost all its business processes from picking and packing to dispatch.
  • Leveraging Blue Yonder’s warehouse management capabilities give OUP full control and visibility into its detailed distribution processes. As a result, employees can respond to issues quickly and effectively.
  • Paired with warehouse management, labor management encourages best practices in the warehouse. For example, it directs employees on the quickest routes around the 35,851m2 warehouse, so they can pick products for orders as efficiently as possible.
  • Now, able to leverage detailed performance statistics, managers can provide accurate, personal feedback to all warehouse personnel during monthly reviews.

Tangible ROI

“The 20 percent increase in productivity that we have achieved naturally equates to a 20 percent reduction in manpower costs. It is difficult to quantify this cost saving in monetary terms, but over the last 13 years business has increased, which we have managed to absorb without any increase to our headcount,” said Systems and Compliance Manager, OUP.

Blue Yonder’s labor management also enables OUP to plan ahead and reduce the number of contractors hired when quiet periods are anticipated in order to minimize its agency expenditure. “From a workforce planning perspective, the solution is incredibly useful. It enables us to more accurately adjust our headcount according to the needs of our business,” stated Systems and Compliance Manager, OUP.

Why Blue Yonder

For OUP, another key advantage of Blue Yonder solutions is their ease of use. “In the past, we were reliant on external consultants who all used their own systems,” recalled Systems and Compliance Manager, OUP. “One of the benefits of using Blue Yonder’s solutions is that we have the skills to manage these consultants in-house.”

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