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Redefining the book supply chain:
A glimpse into the future
© 2023, Book Industry Study Group, Inc.
November 30, 2023
An overview
q Growth in the North American publishing business will increasingly
come from the sales and effective management of rights
q Managing the costs of creating, distributing, selling, and in
returning products will require a commitment to efficiency across
the supply chain, using information that is currently unavailable or
barely available in legacy systems and workflows.
q Product selection and development will continue to demand a full
understanding of the markets we're working to serve, making access
to and the ability to manage consumer information critical for
companies throughout the supply chain.
What is a supply chain?
A supply chain is the network of all the individuals,
organizations, resources, activities and technology
involved in the creation and sale of a product. A supply
chain encompasses everything from the delivery of
source materials from the supplier to the
manufacturer through to its eventual delivery to the
end user.
What is the book publishing supply chain?
q Multiple components, sometimes with iterative or
overlapping roles
q Authors, agents, and publishers
q Manufacturers and distributors
q Retailers and libraries
q Industry service providers
q Roles and structure vary by the type of publishing
How do we measure supply-chain success?
q Transparency (level playing field)
q Product visibility
q Improved revenue
q Efficiency (reduced costs)
q Ability to adapt and grow
What does the current supply chain do well?
q Current structure was build in an era of physical products
(print books; audiobooks ontape)
q It manages most aspects of print sales and distribution
■ Ordering
■ Receipt and return
■ Sales reporting
q Supports orders between established trading partners
6
Where does the current supply chain fall short?
q Legacy systems date to the 1980s and 1990s don’t take
advantage of new approaches
q ERP solutions built with custom integrations have trouble
adapting to new business models
q New use cases force development of one-off solutions
q Interoperability proves elusive to impossible
q Repositories are proprietary or not employed, reducing
transparency and industry-wide understanding
Where does the supply chain need to be improved?
q More effective tracking, management, and promotion of
rights
q Better data going out (metadata, in particular) and coming
back (inventory data, sales data by channel, real-time
reporting)
q Greater and growing understanding of consumer
demands
8
Changes I’d like to see
q Investing in rights management
q Metadata repositories of record, with use of API calls
q Payments clearinghouses
q Automating core agreements about returns
q Real-time data exchange
q Integrating other parts of the supply chain
Investing in rights management
q A 2021 BISG study confirmed strong returns on
investment for a variety of rights investments
q The U.S. & Canada both have established markets with
substantial front lists and backlists
q Product sales have been largely flat for the past decade
q Finding out who owns rights, acquiring desired rights, and
monitoring rights deals are all difficult
q Failure to invest will limit revenue and potentially
increase unauthorized uses
10
Metadata repositories of record
q The U.S. market lacks a metadata repository (BookNet
Canada serves that role in English-language Canada)
q Opportunity to created a federated set of metadata
repositories of record, akin to distributors of record
q Would provide the opportunity to develop and share APIs
across the supply chain
q API calls would help the industry better understand
trends, opportunities, and areas of misunderstanding
11
Payments clearinghouses
q Thousands of publishers delivering books to thousands of
retailers = accounting and order management challenge
q Intermediaries (Ingram, B&T, Independent Publishers
Group, others) solve some of this
q In the U.K., BATCH provides clearinghouse services
q Hurdles to overcome in North America include a variety of
retail order systems, differing protocols
q Needed: a roadmap for change
12
Automating agreements about returns
q The U.K. tackled returns over 20 years ago
q KMPG calculated costs equivalent to a US$1 billion
opportunity in the North American market
q BIC fostered agreements among publishers, distributors
and retailers on when returns are allowed
q These agreements were automated, with a payments
clearinghouse that can tie them to specific orders
q The automated approach also reduces discrepancies
13
Real-time data exchange
q Legacy systems largely support one-way communication
q Increased business complexity makes flat-file reporting
less effective, particularly for digital sales
q With lead times on reprints, tracking pipeline inventory
(including plans to return) becomes an imperative
q Lags in sales reporting (weekly at best) make efforts to
track marketing impact less effective
q More timely, two-way communication is an investment
14
Integrating other parts of the supply chain
q Over the past two years, BISG has invested time to improve
forecasting tools and techniques
q Effective forecasting depends on clear communication
with printers, distributors, and retailers
q These relationships haven’t been fully developed
q While publishing in North America is a large market, it’s
still a small industry relative to others
q An opportunity to come together to build a stronger supply
chain
15
What steps do we take to get there?
q Over the past year, BISG has committed to “transforming
supply chain communication”
q Multi-year effort to identify priorities and solicit
agreements around the required changes
q Fundamentally a supply-chain commitment
q A planning “summit” scheduled for January 24
q Various initiatives launch this coming year
16
How would these changes affect the Canadian market?
q Rights management: We’d work with BookNet Canada to
share any recommendations and solutions
q Metadata repositories already exist in Canada
q Payments clearinghouses would likely be shared solutions
q Automating returns: The markets are similar, but
agreements have to respect national agreements
q Real-time data exchange: modeled on parts of BNC
q Integrating other parts of the supply chain: We expect to
work with BookNet to align approaches
Helpful hints for change advocates
q Change takes time.
q Supply-chain change can take lots of time.
■ ONIX 3 was introduced in 2009; uptake is still a work in progress
q Good ideas will almost always encounter resistance
q Change management is a skill and an investment
■ BISG’s workflow research has some useful tips in this area
q Take failure in stride.
q Taking on challenges makes managing change easier.
Questions?
19

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Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future - Tech Forum 2023

  • 1. Redefining the book supply chain: A glimpse into the future © 2023, Book Industry Study Group, Inc. November 30, 2023
  • 2. An overview q Growth in the North American publishing business will increasingly come from the sales and effective management of rights q Managing the costs of creating, distributing, selling, and in returning products will require a commitment to efficiency across the supply chain, using information that is currently unavailable or barely available in legacy systems and workflows. q Product selection and development will continue to demand a full understanding of the markets we're working to serve, making access to and the ability to manage consumer information critical for companies throughout the supply chain.
  • 3. What is a supply chain? A supply chain is the network of all the individuals, organizations, resources, activities and technology involved in the creation and sale of a product. A supply chain encompasses everything from the delivery of source materials from the supplier to the manufacturer through to its eventual delivery to the end user.
  • 4. What is the book publishing supply chain? q Multiple components, sometimes with iterative or overlapping roles q Authors, agents, and publishers q Manufacturers and distributors q Retailers and libraries q Industry service providers q Roles and structure vary by the type of publishing
  • 5. How do we measure supply-chain success? q Transparency (level playing field) q Product visibility q Improved revenue q Efficiency (reduced costs) q Ability to adapt and grow
  • 6. What does the current supply chain do well? q Current structure was build in an era of physical products (print books; audiobooks ontape) q It manages most aspects of print sales and distribution ■ Ordering ■ Receipt and return ■ Sales reporting q Supports orders between established trading partners 6
  • 7. Where does the current supply chain fall short? q Legacy systems date to the 1980s and 1990s don’t take advantage of new approaches q ERP solutions built with custom integrations have trouble adapting to new business models q New use cases force development of one-off solutions q Interoperability proves elusive to impossible q Repositories are proprietary or not employed, reducing transparency and industry-wide understanding
  • 8. Where does the supply chain need to be improved? q More effective tracking, management, and promotion of rights q Better data going out (metadata, in particular) and coming back (inventory data, sales data by channel, real-time reporting) q Greater and growing understanding of consumer demands 8
  • 9. Changes I’d like to see q Investing in rights management q Metadata repositories of record, with use of API calls q Payments clearinghouses q Automating core agreements about returns q Real-time data exchange q Integrating other parts of the supply chain
  • 10. Investing in rights management q A 2021 BISG study confirmed strong returns on investment for a variety of rights investments q The U.S. & Canada both have established markets with substantial front lists and backlists q Product sales have been largely flat for the past decade q Finding out who owns rights, acquiring desired rights, and monitoring rights deals are all difficult q Failure to invest will limit revenue and potentially increase unauthorized uses 10
  • 11. Metadata repositories of record q The U.S. market lacks a metadata repository (BookNet Canada serves that role in English-language Canada) q Opportunity to created a federated set of metadata repositories of record, akin to distributors of record q Would provide the opportunity to develop and share APIs across the supply chain q API calls would help the industry better understand trends, opportunities, and areas of misunderstanding 11
  • 12. Payments clearinghouses q Thousands of publishers delivering books to thousands of retailers = accounting and order management challenge q Intermediaries (Ingram, B&T, Independent Publishers Group, others) solve some of this q In the U.K., BATCH provides clearinghouse services q Hurdles to overcome in North America include a variety of retail order systems, differing protocols q Needed: a roadmap for change 12
  • 13. Automating agreements about returns q The U.K. tackled returns over 20 years ago q KMPG calculated costs equivalent to a US$1 billion opportunity in the North American market q BIC fostered agreements among publishers, distributors and retailers on when returns are allowed q These agreements were automated, with a payments clearinghouse that can tie them to specific orders q The automated approach also reduces discrepancies 13
  • 14. Real-time data exchange q Legacy systems largely support one-way communication q Increased business complexity makes flat-file reporting less effective, particularly for digital sales q With lead times on reprints, tracking pipeline inventory (including plans to return) becomes an imperative q Lags in sales reporting (weekly at best) make efforts to track marketing impact less effective q More timely, two-way communication is an investment 14
  • 15. Integrating other parts of the supply chain q Over the past two years, BISG has invested time to improve forecasting tools and techniques q Effective forecasting depends on clear communication with printers, distributors, and retailers q These relationships haven’t been fully developed q While publishing in North America is a large market, it’s still a small industry relative to others q An opportunity to come together to build a stronger supply chain 15
  • 16. What steps do we take to get there? q Over the past year, BISG has committed to “transforming supply chain communication” q Multi-year effort to identify priorities and solicit agreements around the required changes q Fundamentally a supply-chain commitment q A planning “summit” scheduled for January 24 q Various initiatives launch this coming year 16
  • 17. How would these changes affect the Canadian market? q Rights management: We’d work with BookNet Canada to share any recommendations and solutions q Metadata repositories already exist in Canada q Payments clearinghouses would likely be shared solutions q Automating returns: The markets are similar, but agreements have to respect national agreements q Real-time data exchange: modeled on parts of BNC q Integrating other parts of the supply chain: We expect to work with BookNet to align approaches
  • 18. Helpful hints for change advocates q Change takes time. q Supply-chain change can take lots of time. ■ ONIX 3 was introduced in 2009; uptake is still a work in progress q Good ideas will almost always encounter resistance q Change management is a skill and an investment ■ BISG’s workflow research has some useful tips in this area q Take failure in stride. q Taking on challenges makes managing change easier.