The Seven Essentials
No. 5 and No. 5.a
Lifecycle management and standards. The amount of data and information that ebbs and flows through any publishing organization is profound. VISTA provides the example of rights and royalties. Information flows in two directions throughout the supply chain. Rights flow from author to publisher to reader, and value is returned through sales and author royalties. This information is far too valuable and complex for many publishers to manage it alone. VISTA suggests that publishers struggling with this issue consider contracting with a third-party rights and royalties service supplier. It can be well worth the investment. But regardless of the data management path you choose, VISTA notes it's essential that the system abide by industry standard protocol.
Partnerships not competitions. During the normal course of publishing operations, the publishing house exchanges information with its supply-chain partners. The best way for publishers to share information with partners is through integration, according to VISTA.
Globalization. VISTA notes that one of the Internet's consequences is the tearing down of geographical borders. Publishers must now create systems and best practices for servicing customers on a global basis. These systems should support multiple languages, currencies and tax regulations. Publishers must also be able to validate international addresses and deal with individual market distribution arrangements and restrictions.
Together, these seven essentials may seem a bit daunting for publishers that prefer a slow, cautious approach to change, but John Wicker, executive vice president, VISTA, explains that publishers who need to take it one step, should take these seven best practices and prioritize the list based on individual corporate long- and short-term goals: "The Seven Essentials provide publishers with an action plan that enables them to manage through a period of significant change."
-Gretchen A. Kirby