The Bookseller Industry Awards 2010

<p><b>MARTINA COLE GENERAL OR CHAIN BOOKSELLING COMPANY OF THE YEAR</b></p>
<p><b>Asda<br />
Shoppers' favourite promotes value</b><br />
Asda has seen a good year for growth in a tough market. Already the store has a &quot;captive audience&quot; of 18 million shoppers. The challenge for the team was to convince these shoppers to buy books and grow the market through existing custom. Innovative and &quot;recession-busting&quot; offers were the retailer's strategy, including Dan Brown's latest at &pound;5, plus a strong offering for core Asda genres such as misery memoirs, sagas and true crime. Value bays where shoppers could get two books at a fixed price from the backlist were marketed through action and adventure, thriller and women's genres.</p>
<p>Store returns were reduced in 2009 using three methods: the books team hired a returns manager and returns assistant; the returns process was clarified and internal communications were highlighted; and publishers helped create joint forecasts on volumes and targets.</p>
<p><b>Sainsbury's<br />
Competitive on price, expanding the range</b><br />
After the collapse of EUK in 2008, Sainsbury's now deals with publishers directly. The retailer has enjoyed volume and value sales growth as well as a step up in volume market share year-on-year. It restructured its bookselling and pricing models, including a two-for-&pound;7 chart paperback offer.</p>
<p>The adult range expanded to include backlist titles, and the children's book offering was improved. Strong promotions improved margin performance and attracted new customers. Nectar card data helped to create targeted marketing, and worked especially well for paperback and children's book sales.</p>
<p>Sainsbury's created its own book club, which included three adult books for &pound;3.99, and three children's books for &pound;4.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p><b>W H Smith<br />
Expanding the business </b><br />
W H Smith's strength, arguably, is its vast retail estate. The General Retailer Award winner in 2009, it is estimated that three out of four people in the UK have visited W H Smith in the past year, and 42% of the population visit every month.</p>
<p>WHS expanded the business even more into the offices of AXA, BT and the BBC, and into airport retail space after taking over sites at London City Airport and Dublin Airport. The company is also going international. Six sites in Copenhagen Airport are planned, and the company recently acquired a site in the Swedish capital Stockholm.</p>
<p>The business has opened 26 new stores in the past 18 months, including premium retail locations in Westfield and Selfridges, and taking over some Woolworths sites. Since taking over Foyles in Selfridges, WHS has doubled events in the department store&mdash;from a Sebastian Faulks signing to a bikini-clad Katie Price being carried in by male models. <br />
Major marketing campaign have included the development of The Times Recommended Read and Paperback of the Year. Along with the Guaranteed Great Read, this raised the level of in-store recommendation. The business has also expanded the retail market for children's books through McDonald's promotions.&nbsp;</p>
<p><b>Blackwell<br />
Academic, the high street and libraries combined</b><br />
This year the key strategy for Blackwell has been to focus on &quot;core competencies to achieve a solid business performance&quot;. Getting the basics right ensures Blackwell can prosper in the long term. A key part of this has been to create a unified business, which has seen the company merging the Retail and Library Services divisions to create a single entity.</p>
<p>The Back to University campaign is its peak trading time and it is therefore crucial that sales and financial targets are met. This year the company expanded its range of &quot;connect&quot; shops to meet students where they are. Temporary bookshops are targeted to certain campuses and opening hours and stock are tailored to each student community. Permanent shop sites would not be financially viable but pop-up shops are highly cost-effective, and next year there will be four more sites added to the 25 already established.</p>
<p>All library customers have this year been granted access to Blackwell's bespoke library database Collection Manager. The focus on service has led to Blackwell being awarded the tender to supply higher education libraries in England.</p>
<p><b>Foyles<br />
Hundred-year-old retailer shows no sign of slowing</b><br />
Foyles was established over a century ago, but it is not until the past 10 years that the business has emerged as a leading bookseller, with a small chain of shops and a growing online offer. The family-owned company attributes its success to its hybrid independent-chain structure. Every store is different and has its own distinct character, but the support and knowledge-sharing of a chain store gives the company its strength. <br />
Innovations this year include its first foray into selling e-readers and e-books in October. In November, Foyles rolled out &quot;Foyalty&quot;, its electronic rewards scheme after years of paper membership cards. No new stores were opened, but the ground floor of the flagship store on Charing Cross Road in London was extended using space from the goods-in yard. <br />
Buying policies, budgets, product review and special promotions are planned and controlled centrally. The head of buying was made redundant in July and buyers now report directly to shop managers. Once again, it seems the hybrid of shop models gives Foyles the flexibility to keep up a quality offering, whatever the financial climate.</p>
<p><b>GARDNERS INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER OF THE YEAR</b></p>
<p><b>White Rose Books <br />
A community hub in Yorkshire</b><br />
White Rose Books in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, was set up by father and daughter team Steve Clements and Sue Lake in October 1995. The shop is spread over two floors at its Thirsk Market Square site and now hosts its own coffee bar, attracting locals and tourists alike. Its Stories Room upstairs is popular with schools and nurseries for reading events and book fairs. Family friendly with high chair and baby-changing facilities, the shop also offers non-book product such as toys, educational games, stationery and prints to entice reluctant readers. Customer service is one of White Rose Books's major strengths. Lake has a background in sales and marketing from working for Marks &amp; Spencer. The shop has its own loyalty scheme, and its e-marketing scheme reaches more than 300 customers.</p>
<p><b><br />
The Chepstow Bookshop<br />
Book signings attract thousands</b><br />
Last year, this Monmouthshire bookseller ran more than 80 events and managed to draw in around 16,000 visitors, with high-profile authors including Clarissa Dickson-Wright, Andy McNab, Simon King and Justin Lee Collins. At one event, Sir David Attenborough signed more than 850 books.</p>
<p>Owner Matthew Taylor and his three member of staff pride themselves on their high level of customer service. Chepstow's influence and reach extends far beyond its 570sq ft of retail space. Taylor, for example, was a Costa Book Prize judge in 2009. Operational excellence keeps profits high, and a well-organised returns service keeps the 8,000-title offering fresh and attractive.</p>
<p><b>Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights<br />
Quirky gifts for spa town</b><br />
One of Bath's most charming shops, the relatively new Mr B's has seen resilient sales in its first three years. It was proud to be the first independent bookshop to win the bookselling contract at the Bath Literature Festival.</p>
<p>It has used a combination of good old-fashioned bookselling and know-how along with a number of promotions. The &quot;Reading Spa&quot; offer, for instance, has now been enjoyed by over 200 customers despite its &pound;55-&pound;100 price tag. The Spa invites the gift recipient to consult one of the staff on their reading habits over a cup of tea and a cake. The voucher includes &pound;40 of books, and the average additional spend is &pound;26. Such innovative bookselling has attracted the attention of the press, including glossy such titles as Cond&eacute; Nast Traveller and Elle Style.&nbsp;</p>
<p>The shop itself might contribute to the shop's quirky reputation. It covers three floors with a designated Bibliotherapy Room, rentable reading room, open fire and an &quot;I Think I Heard About It On Radio 4&quot; shelf.</p>
<p><b>One Tree Books <br />
Providing for families and the grey pound</b><br />
A cultural hub in Petersfield, Hampshire, One Tree Books is well attuned to local tastes and aims to respond to its customers' requests&mdash;hence its strong offerings for hill-walking, military interest and bridge. The recent closure of the town's Woolworths has meant that their non-book offering has extended to include classical music, games, puzzles and toys. Clever sales initiatives at Christmas, such as wish lists and a parcel-leaving service, rewarded customer loyalty.</p>
<p>The shop is also family friendly, with a caf&eacute; near its children's books section, and plenty of schools' events that have boosted repeat visits. Recently, the shop hosted a &quot;How to be Published&quot; seminar, which was very popular with the over 60s. It was quickly oversubscribed, showing that One Tree had tapped into an under-appreciated consumer group. Service is very important for One Tree Books. Shop staff are well-trained and friendly, and the new Mystery Shopper service shows that the management is committed to maintaining these high standards. Promotions are always targeted towards a core readership, including recent offers on Faber Poetry and Everyman classics.</p>
<p><b>Kemptown Bookshop<br />
Labour of love is a South coast gem </b><br />
Fifteen years ago, Darion Goodwin took over a failing Brighton bookshop. Since then, he has added a second storey to the shop, established a caf&eacute; and re-opened the basement.<br />
Kemptown Bookshop has 20,000 titles in stock, as well as a non-book offering including stationery, cards and Penguin mugs among other gifts. Goodwin also has an interest in book illustration and set up an in-house greetings card business printing woodcut illustrations, which he has since sold on. Next came The Bookroom Art Press, publishing limited-edition art prints by local artists. The prints were sold in-store and remain a popular and unique attraction to customers.</p>
<p>The Bookroom Caf&eacute; inside Goodwin's bookshop doubles up as an events space for lectures, art classes, film screenings and writing groups. But the shop also extends to book readings in bigger venues in the community, and book stands at Brighton schools and colleges.</p>
<p>Its three book clubs, two of which are for children, demonstrate the sense of community that has built up around this South coast independent.&nbsp;</p>
<p><b>USBORNE CHILDREN'S BOOKSELLER OF THE YEAR</b></p>
<p><b>Foyles<br />
New stores provide &lsquo;centre for excellence'</b><br />
Expansion over the past decade has given Foyles an opportunity to build its children's book offering beyond that of its flagship store on Charing Cross Road, which according to the retailer, originally lacked the space to become a &quot;centre for excellence&quot; in children's bookselling.</p>
<p>Its new London stores at St Pancras International, the Royal Festival Hall and Westfield Mall have embraced the feel of a &quot;local&quot; bookshop, catering for the needs of their diverse audiences, from families visiting the Hall at the weekend, to those preparing for long journeys at St Pancras. Space is a premium in the shops, but access and sightlines have been carefully planned.</p>
<p>Regular events are held at Westfield with storytelling every Saturday, and twice daily in the school holidays, plus a monthly &quot;Mummy Morning&quot; book club. Foyles focuses on giveaways and crossovers for new books and films, with a &quot;yowl booth&quot; tie-in for the launch of &quot;Where The Wild Things Are&quot; just one example.</p>
<p><b>Play.com<br />
Online dedication to young readers</b><br />
Play.com's children's books pages attract the highest number of clicks of all its genres. Teen fiction has been a strong selling point over the past year, with the e-tailer creating a new page specifically for young adult readers. Marketing and events are central to its approach and last year was the first time Play supported World Book Day. The promotion of one free World Book Day title with any purchase from a special range, was publicised through the Metro and via a targeted newsletter to Play's children's books database. <br />
In 2009, The Bookseller and Random House teamed up with Play.com for the Book Video Awards. The winning book videos created by National Film and Television School students for three Random House Children's Books titles were promoted exclusively on Play, with visitors asked to vote for their favourite. Play has developed a strong reputation for handling licensed products, having won the Licensing Awards in 2008. It has created individual &quot;stores&quot; for brands such as Peppa Pig, Horrid Henry, Jacqueline Wilson and Hello Kitty.</p>
<p><b>Asda<br />
In-store promos attract new customers </b><br />
Store signings, staff training and parent consultations were just a few of the ways Asda addressed the needs of its younger customers this year. These initiatives combined with improved support for new releases have seen the retailer increase its value and volume sales of children's books year on year. Sales of children's annuals were also up, on the back of Asda's pursuit for market share following the closure of Woolworth's. In a bid to attract customers, the supermarket has re-invented its children's books chart, introduced Book, Teen Book and Picture Book of the Month marketing to highlight Asda's bestsellers and redesigned its POS to make children's books stand out within their bay.</p>
<p>Its recent January sale, which set up a &pound;1 tag across the board, saw 2.8 million titles sold in three weeks. Another promotion, The Big Read, was Asda's first dedicated books event.</p>
<p><b>Sainsbury's <br />
More store space, bigger sales</b><br />
In 2009, Sainsbury's identified its children's books offering as a key area through which to attract new customers, and as such created dedicated children's book sales space in 264 stores and a children's favourites shelf underneath its paperback chart in 326 stores. It also ran a 3-for-2 promotion across the sector throughout July. On the back of these changes, between May and September last year, Sainsbury's children's book sales outperformed the market, increasing volume and value sales as well as its market share. The retailer used World Book Day and a Back to School promotion to boost sales of educational titles, and has upped its offer for new and reluctant readers with more picture books, sound books, board books and novelty formats.</p>
<p><b>W H Smith<br />
Sustainable sales growth with pre-school focus</b><br />
W H Smith considers its children's offer to be at the heart of its business. Its strategy for the sector in 2009 has involved four main actions: targeting reluctant readers; focusing on the pre-school book offering; adding more front-of-store promotion; and increasing the dedicated sales space for children's books.</p>
<p>To attract new readers, the retailer has worked with McDonald's on its Happy Meal voucher scheme, offering a range of film tie-in products, promoted by the fast food chain. Last year, WHS sold 500,000 promotional products by increasing the number of on-pack offers and also by creating non-film tie-ins for such popular characters as Scooby Doo. Its pre-school offering has been improved by promoting picture books front-of-store and in the gift area. There is also a classic characters and picture books bay on the chart wall.</p>
<p>The retailer has also tried to capitalise on market trends and emerging categories, holding a Vampire Week during half term.</p>
<p><b>WALKER BOOKS CHILDREN'S INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER OF THE YEAR</b></p>
<p><b>Mainstreet Trading Company<br />
Scottish Borders bookseller popular with families</b><br />
Launched just a couple of years ago, Mainstreet Trading Company has already become established with locals, tourists, industry figures and the press.</p>
<p>Rosamund de la Hey's shop, in the town of St Boswell's in the Scottish Borders, is family-friendly, with an 18-space car park behind it and baby-changing facilities inside. It hosts its own caf&eacute;, selling local food, and the children's section is at the heart of the store&mdash;not just because it is such an important section, but to give parents clear sight-lines to their children.&nbsp; <br />
Staff hand-sell to children and their parents, and at Christmas these recommendations come into their own to solve problematic gift lists. The events programme can cater to an audience of up to 70 children in-store and 140 in the Sugarhouse Gallery space behind the shop.</p>
<p><b>Children's Bookshop <br />
Edinburgh<br />
Operational excellence in Auld Reekie</b><br />
The Children's Bookshop says it aims to provide good books for young minds and instill a lifelong love of reading. The company prides itself on the expert buying and intelligent service that comes from independent bookselling.</p>
<p>Two members of staff came into the business as highly experienced: m.d. Vanessa Robertson used to be a children's book dealer and Cat Anderson was a children's bookseller at Borders.</p>
<p>The shop enjoys good links with the many schools and nurseries in the area and has taken many author events into local schools with speakers such as Julia Donaldson, Joe Craig and Barbara Mitchell. The shop was the venue for the launch of Alexander McCall Smith's newest children's title and will also host the Scottish launch of Celia Rees' next teenage title at the end of the month.</p>
<p>The shop is a popular place for families to browse and buy books and is open seven days a week with storytime on Sundays.&nbsp;</p>
<p><b>Book Nook<br />
Newcomer makes a splash on the south coast</b><br />
The Book Nook opened in March 2009 and is Brighton and Hove's only specialist independent bookshop for children. The combination of good specialist service, special events and hard-working management has been an instant hit with the local community. Partners Vanessa Lewis and Julie Ward run the operation. Lewis is a trained teacher and literacy coordinator and Ward has experience in publishing and marketing.</p>
<p>The shop has already won two awards since it opened: best independent retailer at the Brighton and Hove Business Awards, and best newcomer on a public vote conducted by the Brighton and Hove Business Forum. It has been nothing if not proactive. In the past year, the shop has held over 40 events, including three book launches, author/illustrator events, a book review competition with local schools and a Book Nook pantomime. <br />
The Book Nook has also broadened its reach into the community. There has been a signed storytime event for the hearing-impaired, and Book Nook staff have worked with the Ethnic Minority Achievement Services to promote books among the community. The local arm of the National Children's Trust holds its Baby Caf&eacute; drop-in centre events in-store, and Lewis offers training events to the primary literacy team of the local education authority.</p>
<p><b>Children's Bookshop<br />
&nbsp;Muswell Hill<br />
Long-standing indie specialist enjoys solid success</b><br />
In November 2009, the Children's Bookshop in north London, celebrated its 35th birthday, making it possibly the oldest specialist children's independent in Britain. The shop is just 600sq ft, but stocks around 12,000 titles and 23,000 books. It enjoys good relationships with regular customers as well as consistently good word-of-mouth recommendations that attract new customers.</p>
<p>The shop has had a long time to perfect its business strategy. Buyers go direct to publishers, rarely buying wholesale, and returns are low, thanks to the quality of service on offer. Stock turn is high in popular areas such as baby books and workbooks, so that slower sections such as poetry and science can benefit from greater flexibility.</p>
<p><b>Norfolk Children's<br />
Book Centre</b><br />
<b>Librarian creates ideal rural book centre</b><br />
Former librarian Marilyn Brocklehurst set up the Book Centre 25 years ago and it is still going strong. Her strategy is to nurture a love of books in young people&mdash;in the hope that profits follow.</p>
<p>The shop is an extension of the Brocklehursts' Norfolk cottage. It is set among acres of fields and sits at the end of a single-track road with a spacious car park for customers. Younger customers often refer to the shop as a library and it's easy to understand the confusion. Brocklehurst makes her customers welcome with complimentary tea and squash and free wi-fi. She sticks to the soft sell and finds her customers stay for hours.<br />
&nbsp;</p>
<p><b>BDS DIRECT BOOKSELLER OF THE YEAR<br />
</b></p>
<p><b>The Book Depository<br />
New technology promoting traditional bookseller principles</b><br />
The Book Depository's aim is to provide its customers with whatever they want, wherever they are. This strategy has involved working with suppliers to expand its catalogue to include out-of-print and e-books. Buyers have 11.9 million titles to choose from, with 3.3 million of these available for dispatch within 48 hours from its distribution centre in Gloucester&mdash;an increase of 1.3 million on 2008's count. As well as over 340,000 e-books for sale in a dedicated section, the site also provides 11,000 free e-books with no DRM, makes recommendations based on the type of reading device a customer owns, and offers a free &quot;for dummies&quot; guide to e-books. Central to its approach is providing excellent customer service as the business relies primarily on positive word of mouth. Consequently, the website is focused on the user experience, aiming to make the process of e-buying more simple for new and returning customers. This year, the company says its website traffic overtook that on both waterstones.com and whsmith.co.uk</p>
<p><b>Play.com<br />
Innovative offers build a strong contender</b><br />
Play.com's well-established online offering has seen its customer base grow while improved publisher relations have meant a bigger supplier base and greater range. Certain authors and titles have seen impressive market share, such as Sophie Kinsella and Jade Goody, while core markets in games guides and graphic novels remain popular. One unique aspect of the online retailer's sales strategy is its cross-category offers, with its stores-within-stores focusing on key brands and genres&mdash;comedy, vampire and kids' books.</p>
<p>International business has grown, especially in Ireland, Germany and Scandinavia. PlayTrade is able to offer more than one million out-of-print titles. Targeted marketing such as newsletters and onsite interaction have moved the service above and beyond the price point. Awards, customer favourites and new media have all increased customer interaction and satisfaction: in 2009 the National Consumer Satisfaction Index put Play.com highest for a second year running.</p>
<p><b>Amazon.co.uk<br />
Business values are a stable foundation for profits.</b><br />
The planet's biggest e-tailer attributes its success to three core principles: price, selection and convenience. While the past year has seen new promotions and features, these factors have remained a constant business focus, leading to strong sales despite the challenging climate. Last&nbsp; October, the site removed the super saver delivery threshold so that every product sold directly by Amazon qualified for free delivery.&nbsp;</p>
<p>Amazon has been expanding its selection of books through its print-on-demand programme in a new partnership with Faber &amp; Faber, which has opened up its catalogue for reprints. A deal with the British Library will make available 65,000 editions of 19th century poetry, philosophy, history and literature titles, 35-40% of which were previously inaccessible. The business uses iPhone apps and mobile shopping to improve convenience, while its &quot;Amazon remembers&quot; service creates visual lists to help customers manage their shopping while out and about. New promotions included a rising stars page, a bestsellers archive, authors pages and a partnership with Random House to create a hidden gems page. In 2009, Amazon became Oxford Literary Festival's online sponsor, while for publishers and distributors it launched an extranet site called Vendor Central, which can create sales reports, demand forecasts, missing image reports, returns information and a dashboard of recent sales.</p>
<p><b>Scholastic Book Clubs<br />
Young readers' club casts its net wider</b><br />
Scholastic Book Clubs (SBC) has been running direct mail children's book clubs since 1964 but in 2009 it underwent a number of major changes and saw its revenue and levels of participation grow by the end of the year. SBC took over the ownership and operation of School Link, the second biggest book club in the UK, in July 2009. After its integration, School Link was able to offer a much better rate of commission, free p&amp;p and a bigger and better range of books.</p>
<p>In the last year SBC has optimised the running of its book club by enabling schools to order online via the SBC site. It reduces the need for teachers to handle cash and enables orders for a whole class to be consolidated. Fifteen per cent of its total autumn revenue came through the website. SBC continues to improve participation among its customers by broadening its selection and price range. For example, its new &quot;exclusive editions&quot; selection offers exclusive new paperback and hardback titles, with authors from Michael Morpurgo to Valerie Thomas involved in the scheme. Meanwhile, its &quot;we love this&quot; selection offers six books per club at &pound;1.99. Sales of these titles grew by 36% year on year.</p>
<p><b>IBS INNOVATION IN THE PUBLISHING SUPPLY CHAIN</b></p>
<p><b>Nielsen<br />
Web-based service saves time, money and effort</b><br />
The BookNet range has been at the heart of the book supply chain for more than 30 years. In 2008, Nielsen had great success with its BookNet online order collection service. It underpinned the industry's E4Books initiative and made life easier for almost 21,000 self-distributing publishers that were at the time getting their book trade orders via mail and fax. <br />
In the last 12 months, Nielsen Book has created a single web-based product, BookNet Publisher Service, to allow these same publishers to extend their e-trading capabilities. It saves them the expense, resources and technical knowhow required for a fully integrated solution but offers similar e-benefits. Most large organisations rely on electronic data interchange (EDI) but until now smaller companies without big budgets and technical departments have been unable to take advantage of the efficiency offered by EDI.</p>
<p><b>Macmillan Distribution&mdash;<br />
MDL Midas System<br />
Data system's forecasts sharper</b><br />
On the purchase of sales data the customer needs to know that the warehouse will be able to handle data on sales, dues and discounts. What was an indistinguishable mass of numbers becomes individual statistics to give important and valuable information about customers' stock-holding and stock turns, payment profiles and supply costs. The MDL Midas System makes it possible to drill down to branch level to compare stock holding by branch as well as other ratios of interest to those in sales, logistics and production. <br />
When publishers work at an international level, MDL has been able to take stock and sales data from sister companies. The production and logistics team has valuable data about the performance of individual ISBNs and series around the world and allows them to plan or postpone reprints based on a global idea of a book's success. This improved view of global stock is matched against the product sales forecast to make daily review tracking sales against budget.</p>
<p><b> Bertrams <br />
Rising from the ashes</b><br />
Bertrams found itself in limbo between November 2008 and March 2009 after the collapse of parent Woolworths. Even before the formal news arrived to say the group had gone into administration, a loss of confidence in Woolworths had already taken hold. Some suppliers ceased trading with Bertrams, and others would supply on a cash-only basis.</p>
<p>Bertrams is now owned by the Smiths News Group. While the team was waiting for the buy-out, they put together a project plan to improve stock availability. As soon as the business was sold the plan was implemented. The plan combined three operations: systems development, buyer training, and re-engineering buying and operating processes.<br />
The hand-to-mouth buying strategy used during the last months under Woolworths had to be re-thought. Under Smiths News, all the buying staff, whether in new title or backlist buying, went on an in-house training course. The lessons from this difficult period were shared and formal performance measurements were put in place with continuous review and information sharing between the front- and backlist teams. They also refined the buying classes and reordering parameters in their system. A more frequent and formal reporting suite was put in place to measure average supplier lead times and to react faster to poor performance.</p>
<p><b>Hachette UK&mdash;Printer <br />
Direct Delivery System<br />
Direct orders now easy for even small and medium outfits</b><br />
Prior to 2009, Hachette UK found that there were cost and time savings to be found, supplying bulk orders direct from the printers instead of channelling these orders through Hachette's distribution centres, Bookpoint and LSB.</p>
<p>Before the process began, it was difficult to identify orders in which direct supply would be cost-effective. Publishers had to check dues and cancel orders with the distribution centres before arranging delivery with the printer. This annual process also meant that candidates for direct supply were often overlooked. Waterstone's distribution hub inspired Hachette to improve its printer direct supply processes.</p>
<p>From discussions with group publishers, distribution centres, customers and printers it was agreed that a web system would be developed to enable improved identification of orders to be supplied direct. It was developed without any change to the customer systems, which is often an obstacle to similar initiatives.</p>
<p><b>SBS Worldwide<br />
Supply chain software for today and tomorrow</b><br />
No-one has yet invested the time and money in developing shipping supply chain software designed for publishers. SBS wanted to offer software that is driven by ISBNs and refers to printers, book titles and pricing per item with a bird's-eye view for managers. Now publishers can interrogate and adapt their supply chain to suit them better. This has resulted in bespoke supply chain software, the electronic distribution centre (eDC).</p>
<p>The centre cherry-picks the best practices by analysing proven processes. Under this new system, SBS is challenging the need to ship books back to the publisher's distribution centre, as on average the handling costs through this facility will be between 5% and 10% of a book's value. By accepting purchase orders online, they can track the print production, which ensures that publisher's timelines are continually accurate and deadlines are met prior to shipping.</p>