Published on March 4, 2014
Tuesday, 4 March 2014 Flat Wrap Trial [Type the document subtitle] NEWS LIMITED [Pick the date] Authored by: gsmith
Prepared by G Smith, 16/5/11 Flat Wrap Trial The newspaper rolling process traditionally used by newsagents has numerous drawbacks, in particular: Difficulty in unwrapping Newspapers are often left curledonce they are unwrapped Larger newspapers are sometimes damaged by the rolling process itself On wet days water can penetrate through the open ends Previous discussions with Geelong based newsagents around flat-wrap technology highlighted concerns around the ability to throw small newspapers and the cost of machines. In order to investigate what the real issues are and learn more about potential benefits, a trial was arranged with Simon Coulter* from Flatwrap Distribution Services.Andrew Robb from Bell Park Newsagency volunteered to trial the Joyner X flat wrap machine as part of the newsagency daily morning operation, whilst local newsagents were invited to a demonstration of the wrapping process and delivery techniques. Following the BellPark trial, two further newsagents approached Simon and will undertake testing in coming weeks. *Simon Coulter delivers 5,000 newspapers per day using three Joyner X Flatwrap machines at his Queensland based newsagency. Dates Thursday, 12 May to Saturday, 14 May 2011 1
Location BellPark Newsagency – Servicing BellPark, Bell Post Hill and HamlynHeights Machine Joyner X Flatwrap Machine Supplied by Flatwrap Distribution Services Simon Coulter Ph 0419783565 Machine Cost $12,800 Speed / Time During the trial the complete wrapping and delivery process took longer than that with traditional rolling equipment however improvements as drivers became familiar with the differing techniques required suggest that the same or marginally better times than that of rolled newspapers would be achieved. Newspapers can be wrapped in 50% of the time than with a rolling machine (Up to 1,800 copies per hour). The process takes slightly longer with smaller newspapers which need to be folded in half but still results in considerable time saving through the wrapping process Throwing papers takes longer with a flat wrapped product and requires the driver to travel at slower speed to ensure accuracy Day one (Thursday) – Drivers took 40 minutes longer than usual to complete their runs Day two (Friday) –Drivers took 25 minutes longer than usual to complete their runs Day three (Saturday) – Drivers took 40 minutes longer than usual to complete their runs, however with larger runs and heavier newspapers that on days one and two It is expected that with time this discrepancy would be reduced to approximately 15 minutes Noise The Joyner X is significantly quieter than traditional rolled newspaper wrapping machines and able to be used in residential areas without disturbance to neighbours Newspaper Presentation Wednesday and Saturday editions are able to be delivered totally flat. Other smaller editions needed to be folded either horizontally or vertically to allow them to be thrown effectively Delivery / Throwing A Frisbee action is required to enable sufficient distance to be achieved. Papers thrown to the left hand side of the road need to be thrown through the front passenger window rather than over the roof of the vehicle as with rolled newspapers. Whilst considerable distance was able to be achieved with this method of throwing it prevented delivery over front fences which generated concern amongst newsagents and a small number of complaints from subscribers 2
OH&S The machine has no moving parts so the opportunity for operator injury is reduced Drivers are required to travel at slower speeds Handling - Papers drop off the wrapping machine and straight into tubs which are then loaded directly into vehicles. Using the correct sized tubs ensures easy handling and that weight issues will not arise Consumables Different sorts of wrap are available, each suited to different climates. The heavier duty wrap suited to wet climates was used throughout the trial. A further version of wrap with less “slip” may be better suited to enable better stacking of newspapers (unsure of impact of this upon throwing) Changing a plastic roll takes approximately 30 seconds to one minute Costs $12,800 per machine Plastic wrap $38.72 per roll (Heavy Duty – recommended for wetter climates) Plastic wrap $26.10 per roll (Regular Duty) Cost per copy – Estimated cost of 2.6c per flat wrapped copy using lighter wrap (1.5c when folded in half) compared with 1.8c per rolled copy. With heavy duty wrap the cost per copy increases to 3.9c per copy (NB. There is the chance to offset some of this cost by the publisher selling advertising space on the plastic) Taking into account servicing costs the flat wrap machine will cost 2.8c per copy to run using the lighter duty wrap, compared with 3.0c per unit using a rolling machine A weekly 5 minute “blow out” by operator is all that is required. There is no need for oil, heat wires etc. Service every 250,000 copies in Melbourne ($500 approx) Maintenance Benefits Reduced wrapping time No newspaper curl when unwrapped Able to insert other products Reduced driving speeds results in lower fuel and vehicle wear and tear Better for hilly suburbs as paper won’t roll back down hills Advertising opportunities on plastic wrap 3
Issues Delivery location – throwing though car windows instead of over the car is a better technique from “reach” and OH&S perspectives however will not allow for delivery over fences into properties. This met strong resistance from several newsagents with expectation of increased instances of stolen newspapers. Bell Park Newsagency did not receive any complaints of stolen newspapers, however received several complaints about placement from customers. Simon Coulter advised that when they made the change from rolled to flat newspapers in Queenslandthere was no increase in the number of stolen copies. Two copies split open on day one out of 700 copies thrown Wet newspapers – Wet weather on Saturday resulted in between 10 to 15 complaints as water was able to penetrate the plastic through small abrasion holes which occurred as the newspaper landed on concrete (photos below) Jams – The machine rarely jams and if so it is simple to clear Subscriber Feedback On day one we received several phone calls form subscribers to say how much they loved the presentation Upon reverting to rolled delivery no complaints were received Wet papers were a cause of complaint on Saturday Placement of papers on footpaths were of concern Newsagency Sentiment The following agents attended a wrapping and throwing demonstration on Thursday (Lara, Grovedale, East Geelong, Anglesea and Ocean Grove), whilst Belmont also viewed the process separately. Speed - All were impressed with the speed of the machine Presentation – All were impressed with the way newspapers were presented when flat wrapped, though there was concern from several around the ability to throw papers over fences Cost – Although flat-wrap machines compare favourably with rolling machines in terms of price, newsagents were concerned about the cost of the machine Some newsagents expressed the view that if newspapers are to remain we must present them to readers in a more user friendly way Many newsagents expressed reluctance to spend money on new wrapping equipment whilst the T2020 project is underway and there is uncertainty around future distribution structures 4
Change management Some newsagents expressed concernsthat drivers will be reluctant to accept any such change. Therefore any rollout would need to be carefully planned with drivers fully briefed, benefits explained and training provided Comments Andrew Robb – BellPark Newsagency “Generally, our customers were very happy with the flat wrap – except for the wet papers on the Saturday morning which we replaced (see below). We had some comments re the deterioration in the placement of the paper when thrown to the left, out the passenger window of the delivery vehicle. In store the speed, ease of use with large papers and quietness were seen as an advantage, although having to fold thinner papers like the Financial Review and some weekday Geelong Advertisers does slow the process slightly. Our early morning wrappers liked the machine. Drivers were somewhat reserved in their opinion due to difficulty throwing to the left and not being able to throw over the roof of the delivery vehicle, this slowed them down considerably. Finally, having checked and found the trade-in value of current machines at a very low or non-existent second hand/trade in value, the considerable price of the new machine seems to be a long way away in this period of future uncertainty. The increased cost per paper wrap is of concern also. We enjoyed the opportunity to trial the machine and can see benefits, but cost would keep us from change at this time.” 5
The finished product 6
A water damaged newspaper after delivery on a rainy Saturday, 14 May Confidential Page 7 4/3/2014 The above photo shows how small holes created as the paper slides across concrete can letter water 7 in which can be soaked up by the newsprint pages
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