Book Business EXTRA Q&A—Charles Halpin, General Manager of Pubnet/PubEasy, Talks About a New ‘Lightning Fast’ Book Ordering System
With the launch of Bowker’s Pubnet Instant Response this week, book retailers can reorder books more quickly from several of the industry’s largest publishers. General Manager Charles Halpin chats with Book Business EXTRA! about the benefits of this new ordering program.
Book Business EXTRA: How is Instant Response different from what was available before for ordering?
Halpin: Pubnet Instant Response is a new service for book retailers that is offered with participating publishers—today, Random House, HarperCollins, Penguin, Hachette, Simon & Schuster and Holtzbrinck. Instant Response is different because it is lightning-fast. Instant Response is available to any publisher that utilizes both Pubnet and PubEasy, Bowker’s supply chain services.
The chief benefit of Pubnet Instant Response is its speed—it’s an end-to-end electronic process for both the retailer and the publisher, which is very efficient and cost-effective. Unlike a phone order, a retailer doesn’t have to go back and key data into its POS system. Instant Response is also ISBN-13 compliant, so it has the ability to replace the old, dial-up direct electronic order (DEO) systems, many of which are being shut down by publishers in 2007.
EXTRA: When was this officially introduced to the market?
Halpin: We’ve been testing with customers for over a month now, and the official launch was Dec. 12, so it is now live. There are already 75 leading retailers registered today. Instant Response is free to retailers who have signed up for Bowker’s Pubnet and PubEasy services.
EXTRA: How will this form of instant orders help improve business for publishers too?
Halpin: Instant Response is integrated seamlessly and electronically on the publisher side—there is no manual intervention like there is with phone calls or faxes, so it reduces their cost of doing business. Reducing transaction costs while improving services is a real win, and because it is ISBN-13 compliant, it’s one less system for the publisher to manage and migrate.