Regarding the book manufacturing industry’s commitment to “green” principles, it could be said that a page has truly turned. Over the past decade, consideration of climate impacts and paper sourcing has become central to the industry’s approach, and, along the way, many manufacturers have discovered ways to balance the need to economize, invest in infrastructure and reduce environmental impacts—often through innovative policies and practices that manage to do all three.
Len Kain, vice president of marketing, Dogfriendly.com, knows firsthand how much of a gamble fulfillment can be in the book business. While he’s figured out a system for just the right level of inventory, he concedes it can be a roll of the dice. As a small publisher, he’s learned to play the game of fulfillment and returns to his best advantage—to reduce losses and increase gains. For him, as for larger publishers and also distributors, developing efficient warehouse fulfillment and return procedures can involve a healthy run of trial and error. So what is working and what isn’t? Book Business interviewed two