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Welcome to the thoughts, news and insights of Air Business.

thursday, 17 january, 2019

PPA selects Air Business as Strategic Partner for the 10th consecutive year

Air Business, the UK’s market-leader in global mail, fulfilment, distribution and subscription management confirms its loyalty to the UK publishing industry as it is selected as Strategic Partner of the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) for the 10th consecutive year.

The renewal of this long-standing partnership with the PPA demonstrates Air Business’ unwavering loyalty to the publishing industry and shows it is keeping the publishing sector at its core.

 

Air Business has proactively invested in the growth of the publishing sector by evolving their subscription service model and investing in new technologies, as well as investing in a new Head Office and main distribution centre in Hatfield to enable long-term support of their clients.

 

The 10th year of the partnership will see Air Business as key Strategic Partner of the PPA Festival and PPA Awards, which this year undergo exciting changes to their content and format, affirming its support and dedication to the growth of this sector. Air Business will once again be supporting the New Talent Awards in March and the Independent Publisher Awards in November.

 

Barry McIlheney, CEO of the PPA, commented:

 

“I am delighted to be entering into our 10th year with Adam Sherman and his team at Air Business, their role as Strategic Partner is extremely valued. Over the past nine years of our partnership, they have demonstrated great passion for the industry and are always proactively investing in and supporting the growth of the publishing sector. As publishers seek to grow their presence in new sectors, Air Business has ensured they meet their evolving needs.”

 

Adam Sherman, Air Business’ Group Managing Director, adds:

 

“A lot has changed in publishing since we first became Strategic Partner in 2010 and we are excited to be supporting publishers as they move into new markets and of course we are thrilled to be continuing our strong partnership with the Barry and his team at the PPA. Over the past year the Group has created some very positive changes including moving our Head Office and main distribution centre to Hatfield and continuing to invest in and develop our subscriptions service model and systems. What has not changed is our passion and loyalty for the publishing industry, which stays at the heart of everything we do at Air Business.”

 

thursday, 13 december, 2018

Air Business introduces its new Customer Experience Director

Air Business, the UK’s market-leader in global mail, fulfilment, distribution and subscription management, has appointed Lenka Booker as its new Customer Experience Director to ensure customers remain at the heart of all processes and future planning.

Air Business introduces its new Customer Experience Director

As part of this brand new role for the company, Lenka will be responsible for directing Air Business’ Client Relationship Group and Data Bureau departments as well as all the internal processes and customer touchpoints within the business. Lenka will thoroughly review and oversee the implementation of improvements and changes to Air Business’ service chain to ensure that its customers receive the best experience possible. Lenka will report directly into the Group’s Managing Director, Adam Sherman, with close support from Philip Ions, the Group Finance Director.

 

Through managing the move of Air Business’ Head Office and main distribution centre earlier this year, Lenka acquired an extensive knowledge of the company’s processes and customer touchpoints, designing its new building around these. Having worked at Air Business for a total of 10 years, Lenka also has first-hand experience of working in the company’s Customer Relationship Group department; serving and liaising with its customers on a daily basis at the beginning of her career. From her previous experience of setting up the company’s Marketing department and serving as its Head of Marketing and Strategic Planning, Lenka’s customer-centric focus also made her the ideal candidate for the role.

 

To support Lenka, Kevin Lamb has been appointed to the other new role of Head of Client Relations and Insights where he will be responsible for heading up Air Business’ Client Relationship Group. Kevin joined the company in 2016, with over 25 years’ worth of experience working in a variety of production, subscription and postal distribution roles at TI Media. As a regular member of various PPA industry groups over the years, Kevin has an extensive knowledge of the UK publishing market.

 

Alongside Kevin, Lenka will also be supported by Air Business’ Data Bureau Manager, Sarah Melton. As a long-standing member of Air Business, Sarah has over 10 years’ worth of experience in leading its Data Bureau department; devising and implementing bespoke data management solutions for the company’s clients.

 

Lenka Booker, Customer Experience Director, comments:

“As the publishing landscape continues to change and evolve I want to ensure that there is a perfect synergy between Air Business and the future needs of our customers so we continue to deliver to the very highest standards. I am really looking forward to meeting our customers to discuss their challenges and requirements.”

 

Adam Sherman, Group Managing Director, comments:

“Throughout her career at Air Business, Lenka has consistently demonstrated her strong ability to deliver results.  Lenka has played an instrumental part in the company’s brand and strategic direction to date. I believe she will bring great experience and a customer-centric insight to this new role, which is intrinsically about keeping the customer at the forefront of everything we do.”

wednesday, 28 november, 2018

Air Business wins international magazine distribution deal for Immediate Media Co

Air Business, the global distribution, fulfilment and subscriptions management company, has won the contract to provide international distribution for Immediate Media Co’s market-leading special interest magazine titles.

Radio Times, Top Gear and BBC Good Food are among the 37 of Immediate’s titles being sent worldwide. Following a comprehensive process of selection, Immediate concluded that Air Business is the best partner for handling its international distribution.

 

The first magazine distribution went live just over a week after the contract was awarded. This was followed by the seamless transfer of all Immediate’s titles to Air Business from its previous suppliers in under one month.

 

Air Business devised a bespoke operational process for each of Immediate’s individual titles to meet stringent service level agreements. Radio Times, for example, required a swift turnaround process in order to reach expatriate markets in countries such as France and Switzerland on time. Air Business’ tailored solution has enabled the magazine to be collected from its printers, fulfilled and mailed within a short nine-hour window.

 

Helen Ward, Subscriptions Director for Immediate, comments:

 

“Our transition to Air Business was noticeably smooth and we are very pleased with the service. We are incredibly proud of our magazine portfolio so are delighted to be able to get our titles to our subscribers not just on time but actually ahead of their expectations. I look forward to developing our partnership with Air Business into the future.”

 

Adam Sherman, Air Business Group Managing Director, comments:

 

“By working closely with Immediate and using our innovative processes and routing systems we have been able to deliver instant improvements for the publisher. The timescales were certainly challenging, but a robust transition plan and detailed data testing meant that everything has gone very smoothly.”

 

ENDS

monday, 19 november, 2018

Last Posting Dates and Air Business Festive Operational Hours

Please see the last recommended posting dates for international services and Air Business Operational Hours for this year’s Festive Season.

Please note, there is a limited pallet collection service on the 24th December to 31st December, local collections will be made up to midday, with items collected being despatched soon after.

Excluding the 25th and 26th, despatches will be made early from the 24th through to 31st December to ensure all items/pallets reach suppliers on schedule.

If you require any more information during this period, please advise your Client Relationship Executive, on 01727 890 620, who will be able to assist you.

thursday, 8 november, 2018

Air Business Partners With Illustrated London News

Air Business, who supports the publishing industry with a unique end-to-end service spanning fulfilment, distribution and subscriptions management, has joined forces with Illustrated London News, the publisher behind the first illustrated newspaper, to ensure timely domestic and international delivery of their printed matter.

Known for publishing the first illustrated newspaper in 1842, and later the first colour newspaper in 1855, the Illustrated London News brand is well versed in the art of story-telling. Currently telling the story for numerous heritage brands, they’ve teamed up with Air Business to boost the delivery services of their members-only publication.

 

David Gyseman, Production & Distribution Director, Illustrated London News comments:

“We’re really excited to be working with Air Business as we’ve always had a great impression of their service and people. It’s really important for us to have a pro-active Account Manager, who’s always accessible, teamed with the option of daily contact which we get from the client relationship team.”

 

Adam Sherman, Group Managing Director, Air Business adds:

“We’re really pleased to welcome on board such an iconic and pioneering brand to our client list. Having a history of 175 years of storytelling, Illustrated London News are constantly evolving. They are exactly the type of publisher Air Business are looking to support long-term as the publishing industry continues to adapt to changing times.”

 

tuesday, 9 october, 2018

Top tips for optimising your E-commerce winter peak season

It’s the time of the year when e-tailers are gearing up for their busiest time of the year. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the horizon, not to mention the Christmas shopping rush, we chatted to Harry Wheelhouse, Business Development Manager here at Air Business. He gave us his top tips for optimising E-commerce during the peak winter season.

Check your web hosting package

Can your existing web hosting platform cater for all those extra visitors and maintain a quick response? If customers have to wait for pages to load, for more than two seconds, they are far more likely to abandon their shopping baskets so checking the performance of your website is a great place to start.

 

Review and improve your checkout process

Go through and test your checkout process – are there any amendments or improvements you can make to increase the ease, speed and available delivery options during checkout? An improved checkout process will help to reduce basket abandonment and maximise sales.

 

Keep your delivery options open

Whilst most parcel carriers offer similar delivery services, they all have their own unique selling points. At this critical point of the year it’s best not to keep all your eggs in one basket by only using a single carrier partner. By working with multiple carriers your customers will have access to the best delivery options available. Offering your customers multi-carrier delivery options will also help reduce basket abandonment due to price or timing concerns.

 

Check delivery promises and revise if necessary

It is always best practice to under promise and over deliver during the winter peak season. It is really important to check last posting dates, for each of your parcel carrier partners, and work to these including a small contingency margin for processing.

 

Keep your customers in the loop

By working with a delivery partner who can integrate with your orders and send your customers pro-active email and SMS updates, on their shipments, you’re likely to receive less delivery enquiries and have more happy and informed customers.

 

Consider upgrading shipping services at no extra cost to your customers (where feasible to do so)

Consider upgrading untracked shipments to tracked services – this may be a big help to your customer service team over this busy period as consumers can check the progress of their parcels without having to get in touch. Over the peak season this will, in general, improve customer feedback, promote brand loyalty and improve online rankings all of which will help to drive traffic back to your site during and after peak.

 

Use suitable high quality packaging materials

Using the cheapest available packaging is often a false economy. To ensure your goods arrive in perfect condition, use packaging that reflects the size and nature of the items being sent with suitable void fill. The cost of orders arriving damaged, the subsequent returns and resending process, teamed with poor customer service implications is likely to be considerably more costly than investment in better packaging.

 

Prep for post-peak

A good way to encourage post-peak season sales may be to include incentives with the outbound orders during the winter peak. Both email and paper-based campaigns can help to increase sales in quieter months. Another option could be to upgrade delivery services for returning, loyal, customers free of charge and make them aware of this value-added extra.

 

Ask an expert…

Don’t struggle through the winter peak season ‘out in the cold’, at Air Business we have the experience and technology to integrate with your orders and ensure your items are delivered securely in a timely manner. As soon as we know all of the international ‘last posting dates’ before Christmas we’ll be posting them on our Service Update page and emailing our contacts. To sign up for our weekly Service Alert emails please click the ‘subscribe’ button in the top right hand corner of the Service Update page. You can read more about our E-commerce services here.

Harry's top tips for E-commerce winter peak

Get in touch and see how Air Business can take your business from A to Beyond, during and beyond the winter peak. Call us on 01727 890600 or email hello@airbusiness.com.

monday, 24 september, 2018

Air Business Moves to The Beacon

Air Business’ new Head Office and main distribution centre, based at Hatfield Business Park in Hertfordshire, is now officially open for business.

The name of the new building, The Beacon, is in honour of the site’s local history. Previously part of Hatfield Aerodrome, the premises used to be the home of the Hatfield Beacon, which was used to alert pilots testing planes on the airfield during World War II.

 

Air Business, in partnership with Arlington who own the Business Park and SEC Interiors, has been working around the clock over the past few months in order to ensure that the purpose-built site was live and ready for all staff to relocate to by Monday 17th September. The move from Air Business’ old St Albans premises – just five minutes down the road – took place in stages. Operations staff were the last part of the business to transfer, following a tightly run schedule, to ensure no disruption to customers.

 

Tuesday 18th September saw Adam Sherman, Air Business Group Managing Director, officially welcome all employees to The Beacon during a welcome breakfast. Adam commented:

 

“It’s been a lot of hard work and a long journey of over two years of planning and execution but I’m so proud to welcome everyone to our new home, The Beacon. This building marks the start of a new chapter for Air Business and will help us to become more efficient and collaborative than ever before; keeping our customer’s needs and delivering them an exceptional service at the core of everything we do here.”

 

Lenka Booker, Customer Experience Director, who has lead this ambitious project, added:

 

“I am so proud of what we’ve all achieved and it’s so rewarding to see everyone excited about The Beacon. Throughout the build, we have kept our core values in mind, one of which is accessibility. We really look forward to welcoming all our customers to visit the new Head Office in the near future.”

 

The new Head Office will continue to act as the main hub for Air Business’ distribution services for clients. Meanwhile, Air Business Subscriptions, in Haywards Heath, continues to drive the subscriptions and digital services offering for the Air Business Group.

tuesday, 4 september, 2018

Polythene and Publishing: where should we stand?

The fight against plastic is on. Published this January, the UK government’s 25-year Environmental Plan sets out to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging, make all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable and increase recycled plastic content by 2043.

Currently, the vast majority of publishers still use polythene to wrap their subscription copies. However, more and more subscribers are now exerting pressure on publishers to change this practice. For many publishing houses, the instinct reaction to this is to switch wrapping material to a biodegradable alternative. But is this the right response?
To address this question, Gary Charlton, Head of Procurement for Haymarket Media Group, Jane Mortimore, Head of Corporate Responsibility at TI Media and Air Business’ Head of Client Relations and Insights Kevin Lamb discussed whether polythene still has a place in publishing.

 

Why do you think the process of wrapping publications in polythene has become such a hot topic for debate in the publishing sector?

 

Gary: I think it has become such a hot topic due to the disturbing images customers are now being presented by the media of the pollution caused by plastic – particularly images from countries with developing economies.

 

Kevin: David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II was the real catalyst to bring this to the forefront of consumers’ attention when the series aired at the end of last year. This really exposed how plastic waste is rapidly destroying our oceans and forced many individuals to start thinking about what happened to the plastic they are using.

 

Jane: Over the past year we have media companies such as Sky News and the BBC as well as organisations such as the Plastic Pollution Coalition launch campaigns against plastic waste, sending single-use plastics to the top of the agenda.

 

 

 

Do you anticipate the government to introduce a tax on polythene in the near future?

 

Jane: I think it is highly probable that the government will respond to public opinion and bring in some legislation. The Treasury have now held a consultation around single-use plastics, and it look likely that a levy will be introduced for business around plastic use that could be early as this autumn.

 

Gary: I don’t anticipate taxation being imminent but it certainly can’t be discounted in the longer term. I don’t think that the issue is solely one of regulation or legislation though as though as moral imperative for media companies to improve the sustainability of the products they produce. I think that consumers will continue to look for products that have low environmental impact.

 

Kevin: The effectiveness of the supermarket carrier bag charge scheme (which resulted in an 80% reduction in the use of plastic bags in England) may encourage the government to introduce some legislation.

 

 

 

 

Do you think the problem could be solved if publishers switched their wrapping to a biodegradable material?

 

Jane: There is a lot of scientific debate as to whether biodegradable plastic is truly biodegradable. There is still a lot of research going on around this, but I don’t think it has been proven that biodegradable is necessarily a better solution at the moment, although it is interesting to see that some publications are starting to use this kind of wrap.

 

Gary: There seems to be a load of confusion over the use of both biodegradable and oxo-degradable products. The advice from the Professional Publishers Association is that the use of clearly marked recyclable products, rather than biodegradable, is better for the environment and clearer for consumers.

 

Kevin: I agree with Gary. A key issue is that consumers have limited ways of recycling polythene. It cannot be placed in kerbside recycling and many supermarkets have removed their polythene recycling bins. Biodegradable material could potentially have a worse effect on the environment as there is growing evidence that degrading plastic is being consumed by wildlife. I had hoped that using compostable polythene might be the way forward but once again, if this is placed in kerbside garden waste, there is confusion as to whether this will be removed the local authorities and end up in landfill.

tuesday, 4 september, 2018

We’re moving on Monday 17th September!

Our head office and chief distribution center will be relocating over the next couple of weeks. We will be moving just a couple of miles down the road from our current St Albans facility to our brand new premises at Hatfield Business Park.

The move is to accommodate our business growth, allowing us to streamline our operations even further and also enable us to become more energy efficient.

 

Monday 17th September 2018 will be the first day of full business operations at our new Hatfield site. We therefore ask that you please ensure that all deliveries which previously would have been sent to our St Albans site are directed to our new address as of this date.

Our new address will be:

 

Air Business Ltd

The Beacon

Mosquito Way

Hatfield

AL10 9WN

 

 

If you have any questions regarding any of the above then please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

tuesday, 12 june, 2018

Air Business on track to move to new Head Office by the end of Summer

We are delighted to announce that significant progress has been made at the site of our new Head Office, and we are on track to complete by the end of summer.

Take a look at some of the latest images from the site here or follow the link and press the play button to watch a video of the buildings progress.

 

Our vast operations space will give us the room to continue growing our business.

 

As you can see the progress has been fast and we look forward to welcoming all customers and partners to our new Head Office at the end of summer. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at hello@airbusiness.com.