Whistl Magazine Winter 2021


Winter 2021





Driver Academy launched to train HGV drivers


Wells Said

Just aswe go to press, it has been announced that leading product sampling agency Relish has been acquiredbyWhistl. Relish began life in 2011 and has grown to become a top UK specialist in product sampling, mainly in the beauty and FMCG sectors. It enables brands to target consumers by matching themwith synergistic partners. A typical example would be placing a perfume sample within an online fashion delivery. Relish clients include ASOS, BakedIn, Craft Gin Club, Deliveroo, Estee Lauder, Edgewell, Ferrero, Hello Fresh, Missguided and Pretty LittleThing. NickWells, CEO, Whistl, said: “Product sampling plays an important role within themarketing mix andwith ourmarket-leading expertise in targeting and campaign planning, particularly for online retailers and FMCG brands, the addition of Relish will enable us to broaden the portfolio of channels available to advertisers throughWhistl Doordrop Media. The acquisition highlights our unique expertise and ability to help brands across the whole e-commerce journey, from targeting customers to fulfilling orders through to delivery management to the consumer’s door.” Relishwill remain as a standalone brand, led by founding Directors Natalie Betts andJonny Hall. The 20-strong teamwill be based at our newBristol office, and the companywill report in toMarkDavies, MDofWhistl DoordropMedia. Relish –making product sampling go further.

Here atWhistl, we’re taking steps to ensure a steady supply of qualified truckers by launching theWhistl DriverAcademy. The Academy aims to train 100 drivers in its first year, targeting newcomers to the industry including the long-term unemployed, the young, and female applicants. The fact that Whistl drivers enjoy a goodwork-life balance (see opposite), togetherwith fully-funded training to HGV level (typically costing £7,000), removes two of the biggest barriers to a driving career. Academy courses are already operating at our Bedford, Bolton and Bristol sites. Amulti-level approach Whistl DriverAcademy is just one strand of ourmulti-level approach to attracting and developing HGV drivers. Others include offering: • HGV apprenticeships to over 18s with a driving licence • Fully-funded HGV training to our existing van drivers and warehouse staff • Fully-funded Class 1 training for Class 2 drivers, plus Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) for HGV 1 classified drivers • A £1000 signing-on bonus for qualified Class 1 drivers “It’s important we invest in the next-generation of HGV drivers, sowe’ve launched theWhistl DriverAcademy for those whomay not have considered this career choice,” said Whistl CEONickWells. “We’re a people business, and the role our drivers play as ambassadors for the company is hugely important.” The shortage of HGVdrivers in the UK has been high on the news agenda for much of the latter half of 2021.

2021 is drawing to a close and despite all the challenges, it’s been a year of delivery and development for us here at Whistl. Embracing the boom in e-commerce, we’ve built on our delivery management expertise to establish ourselves as the UK’s leading logistics specialist in e-fulfilment, contact centres, parcels andmail. We started the year by launching Posthub, and we end it by welcoming product sampling agency Relish to the Whistl Group (see opposite). Along the way, we’ve rebranded 2020 acquisition Clientbase toWhistl Fulfilment, doubled capacity at our fulfilment centres, relocated our Bristol operation to a purpose-built new regional base, andmanaged delivery of over 3.6 billion items. As ever, thanks are due to the entire Whistl teamwho havemet the challenges head on, and of course to you, our customers. Everything we do is with the aimof providing you with better service, and your customers with a better experience. Here’s to 2022!

Our 500-strong vehicle fleet ismodern and well-maintained, but muchmore than that, our drivers enjoy awork-life balance not always found in the industry. Own bed at night – no overnight stays Full-time or part-time flexible shifts Nomultiple pick-ups or drop-offs Minimal manual handling Work-life atWhistl

Consumer orders fashion online… and receives a perfume sample in their delivery.

NickWells Chief Executive Whistl

Consumer orders finewine online … and receives a sample gin miniature in the case.

For anyone interested please contact our training partners, TRS Training, via www.trstrainingltd.com to apply

2 Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021


Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021


It’s been a hectic fewmonths at Whistl Fulfilment – opening newwarehousing, winning new clients and hiring new talent. New Capacity as e-commerce soars

The boom in e-commerce shows little sign of relenting, and we’ve recently expandedourcapacity tooffercomprehensive fulfilment services to fast-growing online retailers. The cutting of ribbons at ourpurpose-built 300,000sq ft warehouse at Magna Park, Lutterworth was swiftly followed by the opening of a further new 133,000 sq ft facility at Moulton Park, Northampton.

Whilst Moulton Park is dedicated to long-standing client SharkNinja, Magna Park is set up for order processing of product ranges of all shapes and sizes. This flexibility allows for rapid scaling up during seasonal peaks. With these two new sites, Whistl now operates fulfilment centres totalling over 1.5m sq ft across eleven UK locations.

Devon seasonal surge in full swing

It might be off-peak tourist season in Devon, but it’s certainly peak pick & pack. Every Autumn, Whistl Fulfilment looks to recruit over 100 people to make sure everything goes smoothly as volumes spike throughout the final quarter of the year. The seasonal roles supplement the 300-strong team at sites in Paignton, Plymouth and Wrangaton.

They cover Customer Services, stock control and goods in as well as pick & pack. “Thesepositions offervery competitivepay andflexible shifts” commentedLynnDillon,Whistl HRDirector. “What’s more, they provide a fantasticopportunity toworkwithin a successful company in abooming sector. Formany of the ‘temps’, this proves tobe apathway topermanent employmentwithus, and we’re confident that will be the case this year.”

Onwards and upwards: flexible racking rises above pick &pack stations at Magna Park – photo prior to opening

Aclean start: Sharkvacuum cleaners newly-arrived at Moulton Park

New faces


Ian Bonser General Manager, Fulfilment at Magna Park


for Fulfilment

Two of our recent wins show the diversity of the e-commerce brands choosing Whistl as their fulfilment partner. Visit www.whistl.co.uk/ fulfilment to read howwe can support your business with our tailored order fulfilment services.

Whistl has appointed two newGeneral Managerswith extensive industry experience to oversee our newfulfilment centres. Ian Bonser, with over 20 years at DHL Supply Chain, is leading the team at Magna Park, whilst Shaun Macavoy, formerly Head of Operations forArcadia Group, assumes control of our twin warehouses at Moulton Park, Northampton. Thesemoves come as Jon Stockton, who himself joined us earlier this year from TNT/Fedex, is promoted to Managing Director Fulfilment, taking a seat on theWhistl executive board.

ThePudStore sells quality children’s clothing through four retail stores, and increasingly through a fast-growing online presence. Visit theironline store: thepudstore.com

Shaun Macavoy General Manager,

Cleva designs andmanufactures innovative home & garden appliances including vacuums and lawnmowers. Have a look at their website: cleva-uk.com

Fulfilment at Moulton Park



Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021

Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021


Mind the

SecretShirt – a modern success story

expectation gap A recent survey commissioned jointly by Brightpearl andWhistl group company Parcelhub, has revealed a gap between services consumers expect post-purchase, andwhat e-commerce merchants often provide. But worry not – the right tech can bring the two together.

Whilst the surveymainly focusedon thepost-purchase experience, it also found that consumers andmerchants don’t agreeonwhat they thinkwould stopconsumers doing business with abrand. Retailers believedpre-purchase issues – like an itembeing out-of-stockorwebsiteproblems –were likely to stopconsumers doing business. Butwhilst theymight prevent an individual purchase, consumerswere farmore concerned in overall brand relationships about product quality, highdelivery costs, poorcustomer support, ormissing/wrong items delivered. Thepost buy-buttonexperiencewas deemedby customers the most important part of the journey, anddue focus/investment shouldbe accorded to it – especially as 49%ofcustomers stated that they havehad 1-3badexperiences directly related to shipping, tracking anddelivery in the last twelvemonths.

The good news – great tech can bridge the gap. There’s no doubt that today’s smart technology can bring consumer andmerchant together – helping e-commerce retailers win and retain customers. Every disconnect outlined in this white paper, such as lack of delivery options, poor customer support and non-existent returns capability, can be readily overcome by the latest generation of e-commerce Order Management Systems (OMS) and Delivery Management Platforms (DMP). Such tried and trusted tech can enable e-commerce merchants tomeet all the key expectations of today’s sophisticated, demanding consumer. Find out more about the survey by visiting parcelhub.co.uk/whitepaper.

Q Please tell us about your business A Ourbusiness, SecretShirtCo is for football fans.The idea is you go to ourwebsite, select a size and place an order. We then send out a completely randomfootball shirt from across theworld, fromany level and fromany league.We startedourbusiness inNovember2020and since thenwe have sold close to 50,000 shirts and accumulated nearly 300,000 followers across InstagramandTwitter. Q What sets you apart? A What sets us apart fromother businesses in our field is that we are shipping out quality shirts from across the world, a lot of our custom comes from repeat customers who are enjoying what they’re getting. We have also worked in social media formany years so have a lot of experience inmarketing on our platforms. Q What plans do you have for the future? A It’s hard to say what our plans for the future are. We’ve been pretty blown away with the way our first year in business has gone, sowe hope to continue growing as a business and a brand. “ Whistl have been brilliant sincewe startedworking together in the spring.” A start-up in November 2020, that’s had to scale up very rapidly - owners Luke Stones and ReeceWheddon share the story of their instant-hit e-commerce brand.

A ‘SecretShirt’, completewith certificate of authenticity. This is the strip of Sport Club Corinthians Paulista of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as worn by Rivelino and (Brazilian) Ronaldo.

Q  What advicewould you give other business owners? A Customer service is key. Make sure you do everything possible to keep a customer happy. Any unhappy customers can quickly damage a reputation of a business, especially when it’s social media based, so customers being happy really is our number one priority. Q What do you look for in a supplier? A We search for suppliers all over the world, essentially we are looking for themost unique and best shirts for our customers. It’s always an added bonus having a good friendly relationshipwith our suppliers. Q HowdoesWhistl support your organisation? A Whistl have been brilliant since we startedworking together in the spring. They have fulfilled our needs and the teamwe have working with us have been amazing. When we first startedwe were complete novices with using couriers, the team atWhistl were extremely patient with us and even travelled up to our house to talk us through the way the systemworked. This kind of customer support really is rare andwas extremely appreciated. We also have to give Mark Savage a special shout-out and thank you. Since he contacted us about joiningWhistl in January, he has gone above and beyond to help and support us. He is a credit toWhistl and the company are lucky to have him.

97% of consumers say post-purchase issues are important to them…

…but only 22% ofmerchants rate their post-purchase experience as the best possible.

One in three consumers say

…but 56% of retailers don’t offer that feature.

an SMS text is important to them

whilst the delivery is ‘in-flight’…

…but only 56% ofmerchants offer UK returns, and just 25% have an international returns service. …but 62% ofmerchants don’t offer the former, whilst 71% admit they can’t offer the latter.

96% of consumers consider the ability to return an itemto be important when deciding whether to shopwith a brand… High on the consumerwish list is a nominated safe place delivery option, with preferred neighbour also up there…

Visit www.whistl.co.uk/parcels to learn howwe can improve your brand’s parcel deliveries.



Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021

Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021

CUSTOMER SERVICE How Customer Service has changed Since the pandemic started, consumers have had far fewer face-to-face interactionswith businesses, and a great deal more communicationwith Contact Centre agents. Customers weremore forgiving of poor service at the outset, but now feel the pandemic is no longer a valid excuse for shoddy customer service. Our infographic tells the story. What Customer Service professionals think 1 86 %  AGREE THATCUSTOMERS ARE NOW SMARTER AND MORE INFORMED 93 %  AGREE THATCUSTOMERS NOWHAVE HIGHER EXPECTATIONS 88 %  AGREE THATCUSTOMERS ARE NOW MORE LIKELYTO SHARE EXPERIENCES Which sectors are getting it right – andwrong? 2 ? Top 3 sectors for customer satisfaction RETAIL ( NON - FOOD) LEISURE RETAIL ( FOOD)

Specifically, here’swhat customerswant from online retailers and their Customer Services

EMPATHY Put yourself inmy shoes – don’t just say you understandmy issue, makeme feel you really do.

SPEED 3,4 –thefive-minute rule


CHOICE Customers want to be able to choose how they interact with e-commerce. Whilst phone andwebsite self-serve are preferred channels across the entire customer journey, it’s very different when it comes to complaints. Preferred channel for complaints 4




E -MAIL 41 %

PHONE 33 %



AtWhistl, we’re the UK’s leading provider of personalised contact centre solutions. With over 20 years’ experience and a team of over 500 agents, we tailor our support to your needs providing an exceptional customer experience. The landscape has changed…we can help you navigate it.

But what do customers think? 2

Over a third of customers are not satisfied with the customer service they receive

Sohowcanorganisations improvetheirCustomerService? 2


Here’swhat customerswant: 1.

3. More friendly and helpful staff

2. Better website navigation

Make it easier to contact the right person

Get in touch with our Contact Centre

specialists on 01628 703 782 to find out more

1. Hubspot report ‘The State of Customer Service’ 2. UKCustomer Satisfaction Index July 2020–July 2021 3. Whistl Research 4. Eptica 2020



Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021

Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021


>>>> IN BRIEF <<<<

There’s been no hanging around at Posthub – the brand we launched early in 2021, offering next-level service in the advertisingmail space. Amongst those already on board are Harrods, the Radio Times and Graham&Green. Based at our new site in Bristol, the Posthub teamhelps clients plan, execute and deliver direct mail campaigns more effectively and economically. Here, read howwhen Harrods went shopping for a new postal partner, they chose Posthub to distribute their magazines and promotional material to cardholders and customers. Posthub in a hurry “It’s always a challenge changing suppliers, however Posthub have made this transition as painless as possible.” Paul Brady, Production Operations Manager, Harrods Ltd.

WHISTLAPPROVEDAS UK CUSTOMS CLEARANCE AGENT Having been approved as a Customs ClearanceAgent by the UKBorder Force and HMRC, we can nowoffer customs clearance for parcels and freight entering the UK by air, sea and road. Adedicated support team is operating out of our International Gateway near Heathrow, providing a hassle-free solution when goods arrive in the UK: • Full customs clearance for international freight into the UK • Specialising in Air Freight clearance alongside Sea and Road Freight clearances • Devanning of sea and road containers • Fulfilment and storage including re-working and re-labelling if required • External Temporary Storage Facility (ETSF) under customs procedures if necessary • Reconciliation and handover to final-mile delivery carrier “The experiencedWhistl teamat our International Gateway is there to ensure a seamless import experience into theUK’ said Michael Boulton, ManagingDirector International atWhistl. ‘Our aim is simple: to take the complexity out of customs, ensuring imported goodsmove smoothly through to theirfinal destination.”

Royal Mail iswithdrawing its Responsible Mail product from4 January 2022. In turn, that means we will no longer be able to offer our greenPost service. Your Whistl Account Manager can providemore information and options.

Whistl is nowfully RSQS (Retail Suppliers Qualification System) registered. This accreditation is recognised and valued by procurement professionals across the retail sector, providing assurance that wemeet

specified standards in corporate social responsibility, sector-specific legislation, information security andGDPR.

ThreeWhistl clients enjoyed success at the 2021 Direct CommerceAssociation Awards. Fulfilment customer BrandAlley won

Whistl has signed up to the Ad Net Zero initiative, led by the Advertising Association. The scheme aims to reduce the carbon impact of developing, producing and running UK advertising to real net zero by 2030. We’re committed to put in place the Ad Net Zero Action Plan within the next twelve months, across our advertising services including Doordrop Media, Admail, sampling and partially-addressed mail.

the Home & Interiors Award, mail customer Scotts & Co picked up Outstanding Customer Experience B2C, whilst we were particularly pleased that the joint entry of our Doordrop Media team and client Muck Munchers scooped Best B2C Mail & Doordrop Campaign. The latest JICMAIL research covering Q2 2021 revealed the crucial rolemail played in encouraging consumers back in store as lockdown restrictions eased. As well as driving this physical store traffic, mail’s effectiveness at driving consumer traffic towebsites was sustained at a level nearly six times greater than its footfall effects, establishing a new normal in the role that mail plays in the digital customers’ journey. Meanwhile, Whistl DoordropMedia haswon a PlatinumAward fromJICMAIL. This accolade – awarded to only 10 companies – recognises our Doordrop team’s outstanding performance in using JICMAIL data and insights to plan, measure and evaluatemail campaigns. Mark Davies, MD ofWhistl Doordrop Media commented: “We’re thrilled to be awarded Platinum Status by JICMAIL. More andmore of our conversations are starting with insights delivered by JICMAIL, and their mail planning andmeasurement tools are embedded in ourmethodology.”

Christine appointed to Contact Centre Council

Whistl group company Parcelhub has joinedThe Institute of Customer Service (ICS) with the aimof gaining ICS ServiceMark accreditation – the national standard recognising achievement in customer service and commitment to upholding standards. KateWebb, Director of Customer and Product Experience at Parcelhub said: “We’re working with the ICS to ensure we’re delivering an exceptional customer experience, and identify areas where we need to better engage with employees and customers to achieve this”.

“The main reason formaking the change was to attain cost savings, however we have been struck with the level of professionalism shown by Posthub and have had very few issues to deal with. Undoubtedly, response times have improved, however the most noticeable change has been the professionalism shown when we have introduced change and essentially Posthub have simply planned and adapted for the change and as importantly ensured everything is working as it should afterwards. This has allowed us to spendmore time doing the things we should be doing and running our business. Posthub are able to work with us and help us achieve our goals with a can-do attitude, without necessarily quoting additional costs or contract clauses. It’s a real breath of fresh air! I have no hesitation in recommending Posthub to any business in need of postal services”.

Christine Bryant, eCommerce General Manager atWhistl Farnborough, has been appointed to the Direct MarketingAssociation (DMA) Contact Centre Council. The Council promotes the value of contact centres, identifying, shaping, reinforcing and sharing best practice. Christine, who joinedWhistl in 2016, is also a member of the Council working groupwhich entailed reviewing Multi-Channel Guidance forVulnerable Consumers and developing a guide for use in contact centres. Her appointment to the Council reflects her experience and expertise in contact centre operations and management – assets of great benefit to our growing Fulfilment client base.

10 Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021


Whistl Magazine • Winter 2021

Merry Christmas from Whistl

Existing customers contact your account manager New customers call 01628 702 413 email whistl.magazine@whistl.co.uk visit www.whistl.co.uk TO FIND OUT MORE

We hope you enjoy reading Whistl Magazine. If you have any news or views that you’d like us to feature in future editions, just get in touch! email whistl.magazine@whistl.co.uk write Rina Maisuria, Whistl UK Ltd, Meridian House, Fieldhouse Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1TB

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