Are You Ready for the Future
What changes have you made in your organization to plan for the future?
Shaw: Elsevier recently completed a comprehensive strategic review of its science and technology division, and identified opportunities to better align our organizational structure more closely with the evolving needs of our customers in a rapidly changing and dynamic market environment. To ensure that we can consistently deliver the highest-quality content, products and services that meet our customers’ needs, a new organizational structure was introduced to mirror the communities we serve. Five business units have been created to serve specific customer segments, including academic and governmental institutes, research-intensive industries and individuals working at these organizations. We are confident that this new structure will support Elsevier Science and Technology in capturing new growth opportunities in both traditional and new markets.
Eric Beck is vice president of sales and marketing at Continental Press (www.ContinentalPress.com) in Elizabethtown, Pa. The family owned company has been publishing K-12 educational materials for students, teachers and administrators for more than 65 years. It acquired Seedling Publications in 2002 and currently has approximately 100 employees.
What challenges do you foresee in the book publishing industry as a whole for 2006?
Beck: [The] cost of producing books from inception to manufacturing has increased dramatically, however the market has been reluctant to accept higher prices.
What challenges do you anticipate impacting your segment of the book-publishing industry during 2006?
Beck: Shrinking school budgets, more federal oversight for districts trying to get federal dollars, which hurts the supplemental companies.
What kinds of trends do you see in educational book publishing beyond 2006?
Beck: Continuation of testing of students in all disciplines. More small and mid-size companies forming partnerships in creating full-service packages.
What are some of your strategies for making the year profitable for your company?
Beck: [We have] created a careful marketing plan and paid more attention to our current customer base as opposed to prospecting for new customers. Over the last two years, we have tracked [purchases by] current customers for prospecting purposes, and hitting our current customers more often has paid larger dividends.