Westminster Report

Loose Picking: How the Westminster Reorder Process Works

reordersIn our ongoing effort to offer insights into “How Our Books Get to Market,” we present Tina Ruppert, Director, Westminster Operations.  As part of the warehouse supply chain process, Tina says that using an efficient and productive system, on average, “We pick 8,000 to 10,000 cartons containing 160,000 to 200,000

units/loose books each day across 3 shifts. We have three systems FORTE (conveyor system), Dematic (voice picking system) and FKI Intelligrated (loose pick unit system) that are communicating with our MARC system during the loose pick and pack process. “Every title stored in the warehouse has a loose pick location. Our loose pick operations consist of three different sized locations based on a 90-day rate of movement for each title. Books are picked using a voice picking system, Dematic. Each user has a template that is set up in Dematic to recognize their voice responses.” distribution1Sharon Lookingbill, Manager, Warehouse, Reorder-Loose Picking, notes, “One thing that is unique to this (voice) system is that the unit will recognize a user’s response based on the way the user trains it and each unit is unique to the user.  When picking, the voice unit gives the voice picker that location to pick from. A user must scan the book to verify picking accuracy before the system will give them the quantity of books to pick from that location.” Tina adds, “All rush, foreign, dated, consumer, Xmemo or large freight orders are picked into a carton at the flow rack and shelving locations directly into a carton.  All other order types are picked into totes and are sent to our unit sorter.  At the unit sorter the books in each tote are inducted onto a conveyor. The unit sorter will send the books down a sorter chute where the books are packed into a carton designated for each order. For optimum efficiency we either pack into a carton or pick into a tote that would go to the unit sorter based on order types and volumes.” 15-inch shelf locations, which can hold up to one carton each, are for the slowest moving titles. 24-inch shelf locations are for titles whose rate of movement falls between being a slow and fast moving title. These locations can hold up to two cartons of books. Flow rack locations, which can hold up to 9 cartons of books, are for storing our fastest moving titles. distribution2The Reorder Loose Picking area contains 16,132 flow rack positons, and 79,298 shelving locations. Tina explains, “All cartons, once picked into a carton at the loose pick mods, shelves or unit sorter, travel on our conveyor system known as FORTE across a scale for a weight check verification.  Any cartons not passing the weight check will be sent to our quality assurance area to be inspected and 100% checked. “Cartons that pass the weight check, or once they are finished in the quality assurance area, travel via conveyor to our Case Seal area. Case seal will have any necessary packing invoices inserted into the carton and will also insert bubble wrap into any void areas. The cartons will then be sealed and sent to our shipping department via the conveyor to be prepared for shipping to the customer.”

Report from Westminster: Another Spelling Bee Win for Our Colleagues

spelling bee tnailThe 18th Annual Spelling Bee benefiting the Literacy Council of Carroll County, Inc. recently took place in Westminster and Penguin Random House was well represented with three teams of spellers.

The “Spine Crackers,” featuring Esther-Marie

Emslee, Sandy Hartman, and Bill Gill from customer service, and Erin DiNello from DMS, spelled their way to a third place win! The “Alpha Betties” were represented by Rosie Korzie and Holly Little from Credit and Terry DeFelice and Mary Coe from General Ledger Accounting. “Err in Spelling,” our third team, consisted of Sylvia Shoemaker, Michelle Sadler, Debbie Lockwood, all from Customer service, along with Debbie’s daughter Meghan Lockwood. Although these teams did not place in the top 3, their participation helped with the fundraising efforts to benefit literacy needs in Carroll County. We are proud of and thank all the teams and spectators who took their time and efforts to help with the needs of others. Report by Terri Balzanna

Westminster Report: Penguin Random House Book Fair Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Book fairThe Penguin Random House Book Fair reached a significant milestone in 2017 as we celebrate twenty years of partnership to raise money to benefit the students of Carroll Community College. This favorite community event, which took place on Saturday, March 4, promotes reading, literacy and learning and has raised over $600,000 since its inception. 

This year, the Fair featured Penguin Random House author Stacey Ballis and illustrator Chris Eliopoulos. [caption id="attachment_5415" align="alignright" width="225"]Stacey Ballis and Chris Eliopoulos Stacey Ballis and Chris Eliopoulos[/caption] Stacey is known for her foodie novels which include Room for Improvement, Good Enough to Eat, and Wedding Girl. Her next book, HOW TO CHANGE A LIFE, will be published by Berkley in August. Stacey is a home improvement junkie and has also written some eBook cookbooks. Christopher began his illustrator career as a lecturer for Marvel, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, Pet Avengers, and Cow Boy, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He is the illustrator of the New York Times Bestselling Ordinary People Change the World series picture book biographies. In 2016, the Foundation awarded over $235,000 in student IMG_0041scholarships, provided over $17,000 for equipment for the new Cyber Security Lab, and granted a $2 tuition offset per credit hour (for a total of $166,000) easing the impact of planned tuition increases for students. Penguin Random House employees volunteer many hours, including soliciting and gathering items for the Silent Auction, helping unload books and set up the sales floor, guiding the Costumed characters around the buildings, escorting authors, and working in many other various areas on the day of the event. We expect 3,500-4,000 people to come through the college doors in March, as we welcome book lovers of all ages. – Barbara Harden, Manager, Executive Office & Community Affairs, Distribution Management, Westminster Stacey Ballis with_Erin DiNello_PRH Book Fair_March 2017 copy  IMG_0064IMG_7750  IMG_7818 copy2IMG_0054  Book Fair 2017