The Air Business website uses cookies to give you the best possible experience when using our site. You can click here to read our cookie policy. You may set your browser to reject cookies, otherwise we shall assume you're happy to continue.

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

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 chief 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 fly 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 of 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.

thursday, 3 may, 2018

Air Business welcomes Clarks Cycle Systems to its e-commerce client portfolio

Manufacturer and distributor of bicycle components, Clarks Cycle Systems, reports of reduced overheads and improved customer delivery service after selecting Air Business to handle its UK distribution.

 

Air Business began working with Clarks Cycle Systems in January this year, providing it with its UK tracked courier distribution service. Through this service, all of the company’s shipments are managed and monitored through Air Business’ exclusive web shipping portal, ProShipper. After five months of using this service, Clarks Cycle Systems are claiming the ‘huge benefits’ this has brought to them.

 

Clarks Cycle Systems moved its UK distribution to Air Business from its previous supplier due to two main factors. One of these was the fact that Air Business offered more competitive pricing for tracked UK courier distribution. Secondly, it was also impressed with the pro-active customer service function of Air Business’ ProShipper system which monitors and flags any delivery issues. Once flagged, a dedicated e-commerce customer service team then deal with and rectify these issues immediately to ensure no disruption to the end customer’s delivery date.  

 

 

Matthew Wright, Distribution Manager for Clarks Cycle Systems, comments:

“ProShipper has helped us resolve delivery issues quickly and get goods to our customers within the estimated delivery range. Our previous supplier could not offer this service so it was down to our staff to monitor the shipments. This would take up valuable staff time so removing this process was a huge benefit. I have been very happy with the level of service provided by Air Business.”

 

Harry Wheelhouse, Business Development Manager at Air Business, comments:

“Air Business is proud to have Clarks Cycle Systems as part of our growing e-commerce customer base. I am delighted that, as well as delivering cost savings, ProShipper has allowed its employees to focus more on core business areas through lessening the burden of delivery issues. I hope our new relationship with Clarks Cycle Systems builds and extends into the long-term future.”

 

 

thursday, 26 april, 2018

Honor Goodsite introduces Air Business to new neighbour Howe Dell Primary School

Situated next to the future Air Business premises, Howe Dell Primary School will be our new neighbour when we relocate to Hatfield Business Park later this year. We were therefore delighted to introduce ourselves to its staff and pupils last week along with our site construction management company Winvic.

 

 

The visit was made in partnership with Arlington, Hatfield Business Park’s site developers, and was part of Winvic’s Considerate Constructors Scheme.

 

Winvic’s company mascot, female builder Honor Goodsite helped make this introduction to 180 pupils during their school assembly. As well as learning about Air Business and what its new site adjacent to the school will be used for, pupils got the opportunity to ask Winvic questions about the construction industry as well as site health and safety. A few lucky individuals even got to try on some hard hats and high-vis jackets!

 

Honor Goodsite and the team were well received by the Howe Dell pupils and both Air Business and Winvic valued this chance to provide a unique learning opportunity whilst continuing to build a strong relationship with the local primary school.

 

 

Lenka Booker, Air Business’ Head of Marketing and Strategic Planning who is leading the company’s move project commented:

 

“It was a real pleasure to meet the staff and children at Howe Dell and to have the opportunity to give the pupils an understanding of what Air Business does. We are very much looking forward to having Howe Dell as our new neighbour when we move to Hatfield Business Park later this year and especially look forward to inviting the pupils to visit our new site to see how our operations work once we are up and running!”

 

monday, 19 march, 2018

Getting your business in gear for the GDPR

Andrew Parks, Air Business’ Head of IT and Data Services, gives his top tips on getting your business geared up for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

 

The GDPR comes into force on the 25th May 2018. The aim of this legislation is to strengthen data protection for all citizens within Europe. In essence, it will require businesses to abide by more stringent data processing systems and procedures.

 

For many, this large and complex piece of legislation will seem daunting. The media hype surrounding the topic does not do much to alleviate its intimidating nature either. However, with the stated fines for non-compliance of the GDPR being up to 4% of a company’s annual turnover, the stakes are simply too high to ignore it. To help, we interviewed Andrew to find out his top tips on how businesses can kick-start the process of getting GDPR-ready.

 

Andrew is responsible for ensuring that Air Business is completely GDPR-compliant by next May. Having headed Air Business’ data protection processes for over 15 years and successfully overseeing the company’s ISO 27001 Information Security Management certification process, it seems fair to say that Andrew knows a thing or two about data protection.

 

Don’t Panic!

 

“If you have not yet started putting together a GDPR plan for your company, now is the time to do so. To get started, head to the Information Commissioner Office’s (ICO) website – ico.org.uk. The key thing I would suggest to look here at is the GDPR: 12 steps to take now. Start by reading through this and systematically assessing which points apply to your company. This will give you a good platform for creating a solid plan of action.”

 

Read the ICO’S blog

 

“Another useful area of the ICO website is the Information Commissioner’s weekly blog. This busts all the myths flying around about the GDPR and sets the record straight on exactly what businesses are required to do and what they do not have to worry about. Unlike the hefty legislation documents, these blogs are short and concise so very easy to digest during a quick five minute coffee break!”

 

Appoint a GDPR – responsible person

 

“It is important to make a senior-level individual within your business responsible for overseeing GDPR compliance. Their role would include organising an assessment of the data your company holds and ensuring that protection of this built into your processes. Depending on how big and complex your business is, you may want to gather a team and even seek external advice to help implement this.”

 

Establish your lawful basis for processing

 

“Another key starting point is to establish your company’s lawful basis for processing data; a new concept introduced by the GDPR. Essentially, this requires you to work out and tell your customers what data you hold, why you are using this and the legal grounds which entitle you to process it.

Most commercial businesses, certainly most publishers and many e-commerce businesses will have three main legal bases for data processing applicable to them:

 

  • Consent – where an individual has consented to have their data used for a specific purpose.

 

  • Legitimate interests – where the processing of data is considered to be in the genuine interest of the individual is a customer of the organisation.

 

  • Where the data is necessary for the performance of a contract – such as supplying a subscription service.”

 

Don’t leave your employees in the dark

 

“Start making your employees aware of the GDPR now so that they have time to fully understand the legislation and its implications on your company’s systems and processes. At Air Business, we are informing staff through mediums such as our employee newsletter and posters around our sites. The legal consultants we are working with have also started conducting staff awareness and training sessions. All staff will receive this training as we truly believe that every single person in the company needs to be completely clued-up on this.”