Since paper is central to their business, it is understandable that book publishers have become very comfortable in continuing to use a paper trail to document transactions with suppliers. But the reliance on printing and scanning invoices, inventory status reports and receiving statements instead of completely moving to electronic communications has perpetuated a number of unnecessary business practices that should be treated as dead wood. However, most 20th century supply chain management practices and proprietary technologies will soon be filed under "H" for history. New XML-based standards for sending documents (called messages in the electronic age lingo) are beginning to revolutionize how publishers and

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