How to Enhance Book Distribution & Reduce Costs
Once you’ve got a clutch of titles on order, all approved and ready to go to print with stores eager to put your books on the shelves, the process of distribution can create challenges that unfortunately might be recognized too late in the supply chain.
You’re probably all too familiar with the stress of having multiple print runs across different printers with differing production schedules and varying launch dates, as well as trying to come in on budget. How do you get all those titles on the shelves on time? Shipping each print-run as soon as it’s finished leaves you juggling dates, wading through a mire of paperwork, and nursing a seriously dented budget.
The definitive solution is to focus on the crucial link between production and order fulfillment. All too often the shipping of books from printer to distribution center or store is treated as a minor irritation; something left for the printers to organize until the problem of a fragmented supply chain, stretched budget, and disgruntled customer lands on your desk.
Take control of this central link and involve your logistics provider in production planning right from the start of the process. They can assist in building schedules and budgets while coordinating between multiple suppliers so you can combine the shipment of print-runs.
During this process, it’s important to give them responsibility for consolidating orders, selecting best carriers or routings, and applying economies of scale in line with agreed delivery deadlines. Once this type of relationship is achieved, it gives you confidence and control through transparency and engagement. Cost savings can also be achieved as a good logistics partner can offer best practice advice on related matters, such as packaging. One shipment of multiple orders can quickly demonstrate cost savings and, if applied with an integrated shipping and fulfillment solution, it saves time and allows you to focus on other areas of your business.
Another way of staying on top of your distribution process is with a technologically advanced tracking system, which allows you to login online to view the status of your shipments in real time, 24/7.
The value of these systems that allow publishers and distributors to share data is evidenced through the improved management and execution of orders. As you’re always informed, there’s no need to worry about your print shipments and your forwarder can better tailor your service; to enhance your distribution, you don’t want an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution. It needs to be flexible to you and your unique load factors, at the same time as being cost-efficient.
In essence, a combination of advanced planning, technology, and skilled logistics is necessary for a streamlined supply chain that delivers on scale, on time, and on budget. It’s essential to keep shipping at the forefront of production and not to leave anything to chance at the last minute. When the bespoke systems are out there to make business run smoothly, why not take the advantage?