For Robert Plechaty and Ware-Pak, that Really Was a GREAT DAY!
It really was a great day when J.G. Ferguson of Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens magazine and its many related publications, told Robert Plechaty that Meredith needed help responding to its rapidly growing subscriber base.
Robert had long envisioned a time when warehousing and material handling would be better managed jointly. With a clear vision, he approached his employer, Cuneo Press, asking if he could use a corner of their printing facility to accommodate a fulfillment service. That great day marked the beginning of Ware-Pak because it was prepared to help Meredith take a huge step in its transition from door-to-door magazine sales in the 1920’s to a subscription-based service that would grow to more than 7 million readers by the 1970’s.
Today, with magazines, cookbooks, licensing agreements, podcasts and more, Better Homes & Gardens remains one of America’s most trusted brands and a leading authority on all things home for 13 million readers and followers worldwide.
Responding to Change
When founder Robert Plechaty responded to the needs of Meredith Corporation in 1963, little did he know that Ware-Pak would still be responding to changing needs 60 years later. But Plechaty and his growing Ware-Pak team put the experience gained in serving Meredith to good use as America’s industrial base began to shift from time-dependent rail to truck transportation. This change in transportation laid the groundwork Ware-Pak needed to expand its joint warehousing and material handling capabilities to include freight transportation as the “physical distribution” industry continued to take shape.
Prior to the late 1960’s, businesses did virtually all their record keeping manually, and the warehousing and fulfillment industry was no exception. Computerization sparked the development of an entirely new discipline known as logistics planning. Automated data management made randomized storage in warehouses a reality. Optimization of inventory and truck routing capabilities followed as computers became more widespread in the 1970’s.
After building its own homegrown data management systems for more than two decades and expanding its facilities multiple times, Ware-Pak surveyed the Warehouse Management Systems serving the industry, finally investing in a new, industry-proven WMS in the late 1990’s. This technology gave Ware-Pak the ability to manage an ever-expanding number of stock-keeping units (SKUs) while providing customers with the accuracy, speed and visibility of inventory needed in an increasingly fast-moving, complex marketplace. This transition to fully integrated warehouse management technology and other specialized systems added over the years have enabled Ware-Pak to achieve the highest degree of control over its operations while giving customers 24/7 access to online, real-time inventory control information they require.
More Great Days Ahead
Today, Ware-Pak has the warehouse capacity, technology and experience leading brands demand, backed by a team of seasoned professionals who remain dedicated to its founder’s original vision – providing the finest, most efficient third-party order fulfillment services.
As we continue on in this, our 60th year, we look forward to recognizing more “great days” we have enjoyed along the way. Whether it be an important development in our industry, our great nation, or a well-known blockbuster movie, memorable song or significant event we will never forget, we can’t wait to share great days and moments with you.
In the meantime, the entire team at Ware-Pak wants to thank you for reading this brief tribute to our founding. We hope you’ll check back to recall more “great days” from the past 60 years. And we thank you for making it possible for all of us at Ware-Pak to achieve this important milestone.