Home' The Channel Magazine : N-view 2016 Contents 45
Award winning distribution newsagent, Chris Pieper
from Chirn Park in Queensland shares his knowledge
about newsagent distribution hubs in 2015.
What were the reasons you think contributed to you
winning 2104 Distribution Agent of the Year and the 2015
Our commitment to management of subagents and home
deliveries are our focus in distribution. We are continuously
adjusting subagent supplies of newspapers and magazines
to reflect previous sales to avoid sell outs or over supply. We
don’t set and forget. Local knowledge, which the newspaper
publishers lack, allows us to adjust supplies for special
events, holidays and other occasions so that we can increase
sales, or reduce quantities to minimise excess handling. We
have procedures in place so that home deliveries remain
consistent regardless of which staff member is delivering.
The Connections award is partly due to our strong focus on
high quality service, staff knowledge and their commitment to
promotions and activities as set by management.
Employing staff who take a personal interest in their work, and
who treat it as their own business is essential to a happy and
harmonious environment which flows on to the customers.
How has your business grown over the years?
In the 13 years that we have had Chirn Park News we have
experienced growth every year.
In distribution we have taken on additional territories as they
became available, incorporating them into existing areas,
thereby absorbing the costs into existing structure and
getting a better return.
We relocated the retail component to new premises three
years ago, and although the shop is now smaller we were
able to diversify into gifts, streamline our magazine range,
and move newspapers to the back wall. Since the move,
overall growth has exceeded our expectations, with the last
financial year showing a 44 per cent increase.
How would you describe it now?
Retail business is still strong and continues to grow; we
identify any weakness and address these. Diversification is
the key, and whilst traditional products have an important role
in the business, new products are vital to growth.
Distribution does not show the same level of growth,
however we grab at any opportunity to expand, and
continually look at methods to improve efficiency.
How do you see the future for distribution of newspapers
and other products?
Future newspaper distribution will continue to be challenging
with slowing and declining sales and rising costs.
A review of delivery fees by the publishers needs to be
undertaken more frequently, with realistic increases, and
improved commissions for distributors to remain viable.
Communication with distribution agents is vital to be able to
analyse the true nature of our business.
Where do you see the main opportunities for 2016?
Distribution for us will see growth, with the development
and construction of infrastructure for the upcoming
Commonwealth Games, with several of the main sites and the
games village located in our distribution territory. Coupled
with a new private hospital, expansion of the light rail and its
patronage, and new opportunities being developed we are
expecting to remain busy.
Retail will continue to grow as we frequently analyse the
needs of our customers, our participation in promotions, and
offering outstanding customer service.
The continued use of social media avenues is a cost efficient
and effective way to connect with existing customers and
reach new ones.
What are the main challenges?
Main challenges are always to be in a position to act quickly
to capitalise on opportunities that present themselves.
Keeping costs down whilst maintaining the level of service
presents problems, and are routinely discussed, with staff
encouraged to participate and contribute.
Dealing with News Corp, and their centralised business
model needs to be addressed for improved communication
and better understanding of the role that distribution agents
play in getting their product into circulation.
Remaining relevant to customers and consumers in the
increasingly digitised world needs to be recognised,
understood and addressed.
What excites you about the future in 2016?
The future remains bright as we endeavour to evolve and
change the business to suit customers’ requirements.
We thrive on the challenges presented to us on so many
different levels and stay positive so that we can be at the
top of our field.
The business has been developed to the point where we
can spend minimum time driving it, and more time out of it
perusing other activities.
Amy, Dee and Chris Pieper
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