Sunday, January 11, 2009

Book Publishers Want Better Forecasting Systems

IBS completed a survey of publishers and book distributors at the Frankfurt Book Fair and found that 95 percent wished they could have better forecasting. 94 percent say they kept stock in their warehouse for three months or more, which creates financial pressure on the business that they would like to ease.

IBS Publishing ERP software was at the heart of the International hall at the Frankfurt Book Fair, confirming its position as the industry's leading provider of complete ERP software solutions specifically designed for publishers and book distributors. Once again, IBS carried out an industry survey with more than 120 publishers and distributors visiting the stand and completing the survey.

The survey covered important issues facing publishers and distributors, including warehousing and distribution, inventory management and forecasting.

Mike Irving, VP Publishing for IBS, comments,

"It is a difficult and uncertain time for businesses throughout the world. The results of our survey show very clearly that publishers are looking to reduce costs in the supply chain as much as possible in order to maximize potential profitability. Good inventory management, tight control of warehousing and distribution and sophisticated forecasting and demand planning techniques can help to deliver these benefits and are some of the major strengths of IBS Bookmaster."

Survey results


The split between publishers using third party warehouse facilities or their own is close, with 53 percent operating their own warehouses. Just 33 percent of publishers have stock held at their printers. The survey highlighted that just 18 percent of publishers ship more than half their books directly from the printer to the customer.


58 percent of publishers and distributors in the survey do no print-on-demand at all. Just 5 percent say that more than half of their business is print-on-demand, but this figure is growing. Of those that do print-on-demand, 33 percent ship only direct to the consumer, 7 percent only to the retailer, while 60 percent send to a combination of both.


33 percent of publishers have no defined method of forecasting sales of new books and 37 percent have no method for backlist sales. Of those that do have a defined method, only 19 percent of these methods are automated. On average, 95 percent hold stock for three months or more, while 94 percent would like to hold less stock for less time. 97 percent of companies said that they could benefit from better forecasting.

System Management

29 percent of publishers and distributors have an integrated IT system. 60 percent have individual applications covering a range of services and 11 percent outsource their IT requirements.


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