The Digital Supply Chain sits precariously near the top of almost every publishing company’s priority list. For many in the publishing industry, the mere term Digital Supply Chain is enough to cause agitation. It is broad and vague and covers a range of possibilities for products, technologies and services, but presents no easy solution for managing them – until now.
Leveraging over 20 years experience of working with international publishers and book distributors, IBS Bookmaster is perfectly positioned to help seamlessly enable the Digital Supply Chain and still manage the core processes that are the backbone of any publishing business.
The Digital Supply Chain requirements of Harvard University Press are typical of many publishers right now, as Chief Financial Officer, Timothy Doyle says, "We are a traditional publisher moving positively into the modern, digital world. However, thanks to IBS Bookmaster, we are doing it very much with our eyes open. With all the information we have to hand and with the technical, strategic and physical capabilities to ensure we embrace digitization positively and without detriment to our existing business."
IBS Bookmaster has already taken major steps towards the delivery of the industry’s most functionally complete solution for the Digital Publishing Supply Chain.
IBS is committed to delivering future-proof products, significantly growing its research and development team, with senior roles and supporting teams securely in place. This major investment reinforces our commitment to deliver the new Rights, Royalties and Permissions Management modules needed to compliment an effective digital supply chain solution. Responding to the individual needs of our clients, we have already integrated digital warehousing and subscriptions web services into some of their existing Bookmaster solutions.
This on-going development continues to be well received by our customers, as Warwick Teale, Joint Principal at TL Distribution in Australia, says, "Being able to adapt to the changing landscape of electronic trading and electronically receive orders directly from retailers has been a huge cost saving for us. IBS Bookmaster has provided us with the flexibility to be able to adapt accordingly. This has removed any barriers to trading with our client base, and in some cases created new opportunities."
Understanding the Digital Supply Chain
For hundreds of years the publishing supply chain was clear: author (or content provider), publisher, wholesaler and bookstore. Then the internet came along, shuffled the pack and put the industry through its most dramatic and significant upheavals since the invention of the printing press. The traditional supply chain has gained an unlikely room-mate in what we now refer to as the Digital Supply Chain (DSC).
The DSC is a new media term which encompasses the process of delivering digital media, be it books, music or video, by electronic means, from the point of origin (content provider) to destination (consumer). The role for publishers and wholesalers still exists, but it has to be redefined.
The DSC opens the door to new business models. The significance for Publishers is the ability to release one chapter or many chapters or illustrations from a book independently as viable products. Publishers can combine segments from different books or journals to create targeted commercial offerings and provide accessibility to backlist and out of print titles in the absence of tradition print, inventory and distribution costs.
The power of Integration
The integration of both new and traditional business channels is critical to the success of the digital supply chain. Whilst Publishers and Book Distributors venture out into this new landscape IBS Bookmaster appreciates it is vital to maintain transparency and a seamless flow of information throughout. Publishers should tread with caution and avoid the temptation to simply ‘bolt on’ quick fix solutions which can be disruptive to proven and successful channels already in place. The DSC should work with and compliment well-established publishing and book distribution processes.
Technology is moving fast – too fast to predict the future with any satisfactory degree of accuracy. Publishers and book distributors themselves cannot shape the future; only the consumer can do that. IBS Bookmaster is preparing for this exciting change.
“Our strategy is to provide customers with a solid foundation for growth, which is flexible enough to react and adapt to the changing needs of the market.”
Ludo Hertroijs, VP IBS Bookmaster