47 Tips for Cutting Costs Without Cutting Staff
With a battered economy dragging down just about every retail sector, a salient fact making headlines has been the ability of discounters to maintain sales growth—a sure sign that the “Wal-Mart Effect” has permeated every corner of the business world, and that raising prices is probably not the way to realize profits. This leaves cost-cutting, which, for obvious reasons, book publishers would like to pursue aggressively without sacrificing either product quality or valued employees. Here are some tips from a cross-section of the publishing world for reining in costs without sacrificing too much in the process.
Dwight Baker, president, Baker Publishing Group
Baker Publishing Group instituted a series of cost-cutting measures this fall and plans to review their effectiveness after 90 days. Baker says the company has not been forced to lay off staff despite the trying economic climate and is doing “everything possible” in formulating a comprehensive strategy to prevent future layoffs.
1. Reduce employee travel.
2. Reduce marketing budgets.
3. Freeze all hiring for new and vacant positions.
4. Reduce inventory levels.
The company is moving to smaller first printings and reprint quantities in offset. “We usually print a 12-month supply of trade books, and a 12- to 24-month supply of academic books. We’re reprinting smaller quantities lately,” Baker says.
Baker Publishing also has a digital component that handles about 15 percent of backlist titles, he adds. “We call the program short-run, because it is not technically an ‘on-demand’ model. We carry stock through the entire year, but never more than one carton,” he says.
5. Reduce book-packaging enhancements.
These include fancy covers with foil or embossing.
6. Reduce exposure at trade shows and conferences.
7. Make a push to sell overstocked inventory more rapidly.