Aquatint are the fulfilment and storage provider for The Makaton Charity's resources, including books, manuals and merchandise. Aquatint give a behind the scenes view of how Makaton resources are printed, produced and delivered to you.
Since we first worked with The Makaton Charity in 2010 our relationship has grown dramatically and we hope to the benefit of both organisations. Aquatint has a proven background of working with charities such as Breast Cancer Now, Young Minds, St Mungos and the World Wildlife Fund. In the early days of our relationships we were as “just another supplier” happily supplying printed items by the crate full which were delivered into a distribution centre and there our involvement ended. We like to think that this supplier/customer relationship has now evolved into a more productive partnership.
Technology never stands still and over the years the charity has shown itself to be open to harness new methods to improve their service to their customers and reduce costs. The first major step was to move to “print on demand” and “just in time ordering” making use of our investments in high end digital printing systems. This meant only ordering goods as required and doing away with the need to hold large volume of stock thus vastly reducing storage costs and wastage and doing away with the need for a separate storage facility. The on-demand service has allowed the Makaton charity to continue to offer its wide range of specialist publications without having to invest in holding stock.
In addition to the books and manuals we also supply much of the merchandise such as pens, t-shirts and hoodies etc. We tap into our supply chain of approximately 90 manufacturers supplying approximately 15000 items. When supplying such items, it is essential that we can guarantee that they are all ethically produced and all standards with regard to environment and working conditions are met. To this end we only work with suppliers certified by Sedex ensuring they meet compliance and drive positive impact on people.
We constantly work with the team at Makaton to see how we can drive efficiency and reduce the number of contact points in the journey of getting materials into the hands of tutors and customers alike. Currently we receive daily orders which are printed or picked and packed normally within 24 hours of receipt and delivered via Royal Mail or courier. The system very much works on having accurate records at all times and our whole system is integrated with stock and production records and our next step on the journey will be to integrate or open these systems with Makaton. However, it seems like all software projects this is proving slightly more difficult to achieve!
It has been a constantly evolving journey with the Makaton Charity and we look forward to it continuing.
Roc Da Silva, Director of Finance and Services, comments:
"Anca Piket (pictured) looks after our daily relationship with our fulfilment and storage provider Aquatint and has helped our strong daily relationship with them.
"We are always pleased to discuss our needs with them, and they are always amiable towards providing us with product sourcing, a continued good service and we look forward to 2022 being fruitful for both parties."