Management Tools for Saving Time and Money
Many publishing management solutions are available in today’s competitive marketplace that can help publishers automate and link business functions such as sales commissions, royalties, title management, fulfillment, invoicing, marketing, production management and more. As with choosing any solution, it is important to do extensive research on both the product and the company behind it. Ideally, you should be looking for a solution that won’t need to be updated every year, that can expand as your company evolves, and that will support your customer-centered business.
“A solution must not only meet your needs today, but it must meet your needs five years from now. The technical underpinnings of the solutions must remain current and be flexible to respond to whatever directions are taken by the industry,” says Bob Russell, vice president of Trilogy, a solution provider based in Buckinghamshire, England. “Solutions must be customer-centric, allowing personal responses on the Web, phone or [in writing].”
Simple research and asking for recommendations from your peers will go a long way when choosing publishing management solutions.
“I recommend that publishers understand that for middle- and large-market companies, implementation and maintenance of solutions are substantial, complex endeavors, and that success depends at least as much on who you work with as the features of a system,” says David Marlin, president of Metacomet, a solutions provider in South Hadley, Mass. “The industry is littered with failures, and the best way to ensure success and avoid failure is to ask around the industry about the reputation of the people with whom you are working. Do they deliver what they promise? Do they deliver on-time and on-budget?”
According to Marlin, a company’s reputation is far more important than dazzling customers with features that they may not even need.
“So much attention is devoted to features, that purchasers frequently overlook [customer service]. Having a feature does not mean that feature will work for you in a production environment,” he says. “While features are important, the best predictor of a company’s ability to meet your needs is their past history, which is manifested in their reputation.”