Gill & Macmillan grows by 80% with help from IBS software

Ireland’s biggest and most prestigious publisher and book distributor

Dermot O'Dwyer, Deputy Managing Director of Gill & Macmillan believes that IBS book distribution software has enabled the company to increase its distribution business by 70%.

Company background

Gill & Macmillan (G&M) publishes more than a 100 new titles a year covering a wide range of books and materials for different categories and readerships – including the mammoth undertaking of publishing the ground-breaking “Encyclopaedia of Ireland”.

More than 70 percent of the company’s production is in the education market – from primary level to tertiary. In addition G&M acts as a distributor for 25 other Irish publishers with over 4,000 titles on its database covering its own books and those it distributes for its client-publishers.

Business issues

As a third-party distributor for many Irish publishers, G&M has a responsibility not only to distribute books in a timely and efficient manner but to also provide its client-publishers with precise information about their business. The third-party book distribution business is highly competitive. Prior to choosing IBS Bookmaster, G&M was looking for new ways to improve its competitiveness by being able to offer clients more individualised services.

On the publishing side, managing royalties was a time-consuming and laborious process. G&M wanted an easy way to produce royalty statements both for their own titles and for their third-party clients.

In addition the old system was limited in the way it could interact with the Internet. The company wanted downloads such as teachers’ notes, and presentations as well as information on price and availability via the internet.

Other problem areas with the old system included the lack of integration and multi-currency functionality, both of which were a fundamental requirement for Euro reporting.

As an education publisher G&M is dependent on managing the adoption process. Because of this it needed to find a simple way to track, analyse, forecast and report on all adoptions by its academic customers and to link them to sales.

These were the key business requirements that led Gill & Macmillan to look for a modern, fully integrated publishing system.

Solution and capabilities

G&M’s search for a new solution ended with IBS Bookmaster software, the most widely used publishing system in the world. IBS Bookmaster is a fully integrated software package that combines the strength of leading ERP, WMS, e-business, CRM and Business Intelligence solutions with the industry-specific features of a specialised book distribution and publishing system.

Increasing competition, the ongoing flood of reading choice together with changing consumer tastes are putting publishers and distributors under immense pressure to offer better service, more innovative products and faster turnaround times. IBS Bookmaster’s integrated distribution facilities allow G&M to effortlessly manage its entire distribution cycle, reduce errors, reduce stockholdings and increase stock turns. This in turn helps ensure that G&M remains profitable while providing a first-class service for its client publishers.

Because IBS Bookmaster software is fully integrated, G&M was able to significantly reduce keying time as well as eliminate errors caused by re-keying and duplication of data.

G&M found IBS Bookmaster‘s academic adoptions software particularly useful too because it tracks the company’s adoptions by educational institutions and by individual courses and lecturers. This means it can analyse, forecast and report on adoptions as well as track enrolments. It can also record information on competitive products and can accurately forecast total sales and compare forecasts to actual sales.

The integrated royalties software gives G&M increased flexibility in managing its royalties and easily handles the many different royalty contracts that include multiple contributors, often more than one title per contract, stepped royalties, and a wide variety of contract conditions.

It also allows G&M to have different royalty periods and to provide comprehensive and accurate information to its authors. It also ensures that G&M’s authors receive timely royalty payments, helping to maintain the relationship and foster loyalty.

Benefits and value

The growth in G&M’s business since installing IBS Bookmaster software has been phenomenal. For example, on the publishing side business has increased by nearly 80 percent while its third-party distribution business has increased by 70 percent. Most significantly, the staff employed to cope with this exceptional growth has increased by only 27 percent. Productivity in all areas has risen considerably and needless to say, bottom line profit has leapt ahead.

With IBS Bookmaster book distribution software in place, G&M’s stock management has improved substantially. Even with the 80 percent growth in turnover, the rise in stock held has been limited to between 25-30 percent resulting in the company’s stock-turn increasing considerably and releasing working capital for other activities.

G&M has a reputation to maintain as an innovative developer of books for its educational customers. One way the company achieves this is to look after its authors and providing accurate and timely royalty payments is an important component - easily achievable with Bookmaster’s royalties’ module. In addition, as royalties is automated, processes are now streamlined and this has delivered high levels of efficiency and cost-savings. Another benefit is that Bookmaster Royalties is also integrated with the financial modules and this has given G&M greater control and visibility of this complex area of publishing.

As far as G&M’s 3PL division, its growing client-publisher base greatly values the additional information available to them through Bookmaster software. They know exactly what they are going to receive in terms of sales, receipts and management information. This has enhanced the relationship between G&M and its customers; consolidated the company’s market position and generated greater profit.

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Company profile

Name: Gill & Macmillan

Region: Ireland

Operation: Publishing and distribution

Products: College, further education, school and general books

Website: Gill & Macmillan

Issues

  • Little or no integration
  • Fast-growing company
  • Need for multi-currency handling
  • Need to reduce stock levels
  • Need to improve management information
  • Need to track academic adoptions
  • Need for better control of royalties
  • Need to eliminate re-keying and duplication of data.

Solution

  • Integrated software solution for book publishers
  • Distribution
  • Warehouse management
  • Royalties
  • Academic adoptions
  • Business intelligence
  • Financials
  • E-business
  • CRM.

Capabilities

  • Supply chain visibility
  • Company wide performance measurement
  • Accurate forecasting
  • Streamlined royalties management
  • Multi-currency and multi-company capability
  • Improved information flow.

Value

  • Publishing business increased by 80%
  • Distribution business increased by 70%
  • Increased productivity in all areas
  • Major reduction in stock levels in relation to throughput
  • Consolidated position in market
  • Increased customer service
  • Increased profit.