Ingram Blog

New Inventory Solutions: How Agility Creates Profitability on Every Book Sale

A prima ballerina assoluta. A franchise football star. A humming bird. While each of these are worthy of “oohs and aahs” in their own ways, they all share a similar characteristic. Agility. The ability to respond to changes in their environments with speed and precision. Come a bit closer and we’ll let you in on a secret.

Publishers can be agile too.

By embracing inventory solutions that offer more control and flexibility, publishers can experience higher levels of success, responding to changes in the market rather than reacting.

When considering a new inventory solution, agility most often manifests itself in two ways.

  • Responding to customer demand with higher rates of availability.
  • Responding to customer demand with flexible formatting options.Working together these two elements lead to happier customers and better returns.

Control Printing. Control Printing Costs.

Everyone wants to rule the world, so said 80s English rockers Tears for Fears. While publishers might not have aspirations of world domination (maybe?), they can master over printing and its associated costs.

Print on demand offers publishers a simple way to print only the titles they sell and eliminate the costs of over-printing. It also allows them to meet customer demand with more speed. Aside from these two major benefits, print on demand also comes with some other perks.

  • Books are printed closer to customers, reducing delivery times
  • Faster turnaround times—most orders print and ship within 48 hours
  • Virtual inventory means titles are always available immediately
  • Virtual inventory can cut warehousing costs

It’s basic economics. Efficiently meeting supply and demand. And with book sales steadily rising, online sales at rates faster than brick-and-mortar, it’s safe to say people want their books and they want them now.

The agility of print on demand allows publishers to control rate of production and its costs, making it easier to capture more sales and see bigger returns, but agility also means offering a flexible range of formats.

More Format Availability = More Sales

We’ve established that customers want their books as soon as possible. So it should come as no surprise that they want those books in the formats most convenient to their lifestyles.

  • Readers on the go often prefer ebooks
  • Homebodies cuddle up with paperbacks
  • Collectors desire the quality craftsmanship of a hardcover

We can go on and on about reader types, but that isn’t the point. The point is:

Publishers who choose a format flexible inventory solution will sell more books.

More formatting options also opens up a wider range of content. Some subject matters may not be conducive to specific formats. When publishers limit formatting, they are also limiting breadth of content possibilities, which will alienate individual market segments.

Offering a wider range of options will maximize the potential customer base. Everyone always breathes a sigh of relief when they see multiple choice. If more options are a good thing for standardized testing, it’s certainly a good thing for the publishing business.

Agility Pays Off

An inventory strategy infused with agility improves efficiency and helps publishers save money. It also helps them better respond to customer demand, resulting in a strong bottom line.

  • Publishers control inventory with print on demand
  • Publishers capture more sales with flexible formats

One final thought to consider: Agility creates business intelligence.

When publishers print exactly what they sell and offer the formats customers want, they get a better view of global demand.

Agility leads to foresight. From there, publishers can begin to adjust other elements of their business to match what they’ve learned from an agile approach to inventory management.

No matter the environment—the stage, the playing field, nature, or the publishing business—agility offers the power to rise above the rest in leaps and bounds. All it takes is a stretch in vision for expanded potential. Now is the time to do it.

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