World of Books: Developing the future of employees

West Sussex based World of Books, now in its seventh year of trading has rapidly become the leading seller of used books in the UK and Europe.

The company was, setup by book lovers and enthusiasts three years ago and now employs 400 members of staff, selling used books online to over 60 countries throughout the world.

World of Books has teamed up with Skills Training UK to offer Apprenticeships in Team Leading, Management, Customer Services and Business Improvement Techniques. The courses are currently running very successfully with several members of staff involved.

Sophia Leppard

The senior management team at World of Books understands the positive impact that investing in their people can have on business improvement. Managing Director Stephen Boobyer said:

“The partnership with Skills Training UK has been very successful, we have been delighted by the enthusiasm of our staff to take on the Apprenticeship courses and see it as a great step forward for the business and for our employees’ individual development.“

The current World of Books warehouse space in Goring-by-Sea is undergoing a large extension which will allow the business to grow and develop further and inevitably allow them to offer more learning opportunities for their staff.

Below is an overview of what some of our teams actually do:

Our Team:

Stock Processing Team

Our Stock Processing team is responsible for scanning all the books that get delivered to our Goring-by-Sea site daily.  Working in pairs the books are sorted from containers and then scanned to see whether the book should be placed in stock or be recycled.

Each pair has a target number of books to scan per hour to ensure that we can get as many new books as possible into stock on a daily basis and to maintain our inventory of 1 million books in stock.

The team are target driven and don’t get distracted by interesting books.

Picking Team

Our Picking team is responsible for picking the books that our customers have ordered. It is really important that once a book is ordered it gets to the customer as quickly as possible and therefore each person works to a target number of books to pick per hour.

Each of our Pickers works independently throughout our two warehouses picking books from our stock.  Being a Picker is very physical and it does involve working at height some of the time and can involve moving boxes weighing up to 20 kgs. 

Packing Team

Once our books have been picked our Packing team is responsible for packaging up our books and getting them to our customers.  In this department people work in small teams packaging our books in different ways and then sorting them for posting.

Customer Services

We ship over 2 million orders a year to satisfied customers around the world, however on occasion there is some information that our customers would like to feed back to us and this is where our Customer Service Team comes into play.  

Our Customer Service team is responsible for responding to customer queries mostly via email and phone.  The team is multi lingual enabling us to answer queries in a number of different languages including French, German, Italian, Russian and Japanese.

The team is always prepared to be attentive to a customer’s needs, constantly striving to meet and surpass the customer's demands, no matter how big or small.

Logistics Team

We need to get all the used books to our distribution hubs as efficiently as possible so that we can sort them and get them online for our customers to buy.  Our Logistics team is responsible for collecting and transporting our books to our warehouse.

Our drivers have excellent customer service skills as they spend much of their day interacting with volunteers and staff in charirty shops throughout the UK

World of Rare Books

Our Vintage Books department specialises in books published before 1970, most of which do not have ISBN numbers. We have a team of people who are real book lovers who spend their time researching and valuing these books.