As You Like It
The user types help publishers keep tabs on their customers, and factors such as the type of customer they are, and the frequency and size of their orders determine what is accessible to them.
RESTRUCTURING OLDER TITLES
In addition to customizing course material for Pearson, OPM also uses digital technology to bring back out-of-print titles.
“We manage what we call their ARP [automatic replenishment program] program, keeping those titles [in stock] that you only turn 50 or 100 of a year, or every few months,” Williams explains. “That’s a major advantage for using digital print to keep the runs short and their inventory low as well.”
Williams says the automated system OPM uses allows the company to turn titles around in a matter of hours. “We probably have about 20,000 titles in our content management system in the ARP program, and … every morning we’ll receive an order [from Pearson, for example], and they’ll get put through a filter that opens … and checks the files to the specifications to verify that the order is correct. [The filter] will drop the files into [the appropriate] ‘hot directory’ on the digital press, whether it be our [Xerox] iGen or our web presses.”
Williams says the front-end for reprints is completely automated and the success of the program has caused OPM to test using the automated front-end system to produce original titles. “[Everything] that’s done traditionally on the front-end is bypassed, [and] within 15 seconds of receiving the order, it goes right into the hot directories on the press, provided it passes all of our tests. If it doesn’t, the order goes right to our prep department with a note in the system that says it failed because of this, that or the other [thing].”
As with all industries, the goal is to get faster and more efficient each year, and the publishing industry is no different. As digital technologies improve in quality and efficiency, the benefits will continue to be reflected in publishers’ bottom lines