Tapping the Supply Chain Opportunity
April 1, 2007

In Part I of this series, I described how supply chain thinking can be applied to business and career decisions. Correctly identifying your “value proposition” is the key to being able to diagram where in the chain of buying and selling relationships you can be most effective. Building on your core competencies, and recognizing that you need to manage your supply chain relationships becomes the business proposition. Chances are that when you first examine your supply chain, you will find that you have been a slave to it, rather than a master of it. I also noted that by rethinking and realistically recasting your

Random House and Lantern Books Honored as Environmental Leaders
April 1, 2007

Random House Inc. and Lantern Books were recognized for their achievements in environmental sustainability, taking home the first-ever Leadership Awards in book publishing. The awards were presented Mon., March 5, during a special reception at the Book Business Conference and Expo, held at the New York Marriott Marquis, Times Square. The Leadership Awards recognize book and magazine publishing companies for their achievements in environmental sustainability. Fast Company magazine and the National Wildlife Federation were recognized as magazine publishing leaders. The awards are presented by—a Web site developed by Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines to provide a central location for

Inaugural Leadership Awards Announced
March 1, 2007

The inaugural “ Leadership Awards” will be presented on Monday, March 5, at the 2007 Book Business Conference and Expo in New York. The Leadership Awards recognize book and magazine publishing companies for their achievements in environmental sustainability and are presented by—a Web site developed by Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines to provide a central location for information and resources on environmental sustainability in printing and publishing. “We believe it is extremely important to recognize publishing companies that have made significant efforts to improve their environmental impact,” says Noelle Skodzinski, Book Business’ editor in chief, who also directs the editorial

Book Business Extra Q&A: Muller Martini’s Andy Fetherman on Why 2007 Will Be a Transitional Year for Digital Printing
February 2, 2007

Muller Martini’s manager of the company’s on-demand solution division, Andy Fetherman, says things are lining up to make this the year that publishers and printers alike finally fully embrace the benefits of digital book printing and manufacturing. As Fetherman spoke with Book Business Extra about the transitional year that he expects will occur for the industry. Muller Martini prepares for the open house it will hold on March 7, with Nipson America, to demonstrate the latest technologies. What signs are pointing to this year being the year that the industry will fully accept on-demand digital printing? Fetherman: The market forces are creating an environment where publishers

Warehouse Practices: How Do Yours Measure Up?
February 1, 2007

Publishing executives and warehouse managers in companies large and small, with highly diverse and targeted products and marketing channels, can benefit for the first time from a new Warehouse Benchmarking System. The program was tested last year by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and is now being rolled out to the industry. Participants can measure their productivity and improve the effectiveness of their warehousing practices. It is an easy-to-use, and highly powerful program that relies on comparative peer-group data. “Participants use their [Web] browser to enter the appropriate data in a convenient, tabular format,” says Professor Leon McGinnis at the School of Industrial

Ready to Print
February 1, 2007

Amazon bolstered its print-on-demand (POD) book division and consequently put the rest of the industry on notice that retail distribution is continuing to change, after it made a significant push to add new digital color presses to its operations. The leading online retailer would not publicly disclose the number of Hewlett-Packard (HP) presses that it purchased or the price paid, but said several HP Indigo presses and production manager controllers were installed and put into operation in a number of the company’s fulfillment centers, when the announcement was officially made in December 2006. Never Out of Stock The move is an effort to fulfill

Transcontinental Posts Fourth-Quarter Profit
December 15, 2006

A favorable tax adjustment helped Transcontinental, one of North America’s largest printers, post higher-than-expected profits this week. The Montreal-based company reported its fourth-quarter profits rose 16 percent to C$51.6 million ($44.5 million U.S.) because of the positive impact of a C$15.1-million “unusual favorable” income tax adjustment. Revenue for the company was C$583.1 million for its fourth quarter, down slightly from C$539.9 posted for the same quarter a year before. For the overall fiscal year 2006, Transcontinental’s revenue was flat at $2.19 billion. “Our results for fiscal 2006 are in line with our annual objective,” said Luc Desjardins, president and chief executive officer of Transcontinental. “We executed strongly, controlling

The Ongoing Challenges of Transitioning to Multimedia
November 1, 2006

It’s been a whirlwind of an autumn. Between traveling to the Frankfurt Book Fair, heading out to Chicago for our annual Gold Ink Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet, and relaunching our Web site, there’s been a lot going on. A highlight for me, however, was Book Business’ first-ever live webcast, called “Expand Your Brand: Webinars for Publishers.” We broadcast on Oct. 19, and had a great panel of speakers lined up. The potential for webcasts seems to be enormous for both book and magazine publishers, and the experience of holding a webcast of our own shed a whole new light on the process for

Gold Ink Winners, Hall of Famers Honored at Banquet in Chicago
November 1, 2006

Hundreds of industry executives turned out Oct. 16 to honor North America’s finest print production projects at the 19th Annual Gold Ink Awards Banquet in Chicago. Attendees also witnessed the induction of four new members into the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame, including David Pelkey, Merriam-Webster Inc.’s director of manufacturing and a 21-year veteran of the graphic arts industry. More than 1,500 pieces were entered into 45 different categories for the 2006 Gold Ink Awards, and the gala—held during October’s Graph Expo at McCormick Place—recognized the winners for their achievements during a cocktail hour and dinner. Each of the Hall of Fame inductees

Communications Works for Those Who Work At It
October 1, 2006

We’ve printed books locally, in Canada, and overseas. We’ve dealt with printing companies who couldn’t get much beyond the pre-press process and others that couldn’t manage shipping the final product. We’ve had companies use our projects to train their staff without our knowledge. We’ve had finished books held up in customs for months, sitting tantalizingly at a dock less than a day’s drive away. How, as a publisher, can you know what to expect from your printer? I’ve learned the hard way that, at least in the book printing business, size doesn’t matter. We’ve been burned by one of the 10 largest printers in the