Albert Einstein once reportedly suggested the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Most of what Einstein said goes over our heads, but this is certainly something that resonates, and which is both easy to understand and to apply in a business context.
Quite simply, if your mandate from shareholders is to grow revenues and profit then you cannot operate the same from year-to-year. You need to change things to get better or different results. You need to drive sales and you need to reduce expenses. The sales side of things is easy to understand. You know what your sales cycles involve. You manage your pipeline, and you know what percentage of leads are likely to be closed. And so long as you have the operational capacity you can keep adding salespeople into the mix to drive sales up. Without a doubt, the best way to drive growth is to increase sales.
But profitability is a different story. To increase your margin, you need to change the way you operate. Streamline processes, reduce overheads and find ways to leverage the scale of the operation.
The world of publishing has not changed much in several decades. The standard operating practices and procedures that were adopted decades ago are still utilized by many to this day. Which, frankly speaking, is highly illogical, given that the technology which is available now is vastly superior to what it was at the turn of the century or even twenty years prior to that. We are not suggesting that it is easy, the publishing industry is struggling – sales statistics on Statista.com suggest a decline in the sale of print books in the USA from a high of 778 million units in 2008 to 591 million units in 2012. That is an alarming drop of almost 200 million units in four years. But by embracing new technologies like print on demand and print volume publishers can significantly streamline their processes and start to win again. Here’s how:
Traditionally publishers have always been forced to hold stock of their catalogue. The more a title sells the more stock needs to be on hand to ensure that retail orders can be quickly filled, and sales optimized. The larger the publisher and its associated catalogue the more storage space is required. This is an expensive operation to maintain. In a world where books are assets and warehouses and buildings expenses, this is a large overhead to maintain and operate in order to ensure that books are moved as quickly as possible. Can you imagine how awesome it would be if there was a solution that could eliminate the need for warehouses?
Check out our section on Volume Print South Africa to learn more about the solution that is revolutionizing the publishing industry. To summarize it though, it’s a wonderful solution that allows publishers to print just as many books as they need when they need them. With lightning-fast turnaround times and the ability to dispatch from printing press to retail in a matter of hours, there is suddenly no need for unwieldy print runs and complicated distribution schedules.
No matter who the author or the intended audience, any book that is printed in large quantities brings with it the chance of dead stock. Even the best writers produce works that don’t sell as well as the publishers had hoped. And when that happens there is the risk of being left with thousands of unmovable copies that need to be sold at a loss or simply pulped and forgotten.
The most efficient businesses are the ones that are able to eliminate wastage or dead stock. Assets that cannot be offloaded are liabilities and a severe damper on the bottom line. Our Volume Print is a technology that mitigates this risk. In short, it is a game-changer.
Our western culture is very consumeristic. We have a tendency to make things and to waste things. Without presuming to lecture, books are made of paper and paper comes from trees. Trees may be grown specifically to be made into paper, but that is not to say that we should take anything for granted. There is simply no need for wastage. In a world where every tree counts, so too should every book or printed item. In other words, don’t just print for the sake of it. Produce what is needed and manage the process efficiently by engaging with a top-class printer who can offer you a print volume solution for your in-demand titles.
In coming up with solutions that eliminate the need for mass storage and warehousing isn’t it nice to know that the solution that solves your problem also allows you to personalize or bespoke your product. Some of the Harry Potter books were printed with different covers depending on whether they were being marketed to kids or to adults. According to fan website HarryPotterDatabase, “The adult editions feature simplistic designs to appeal to an older audience and were published in hardcover and paperback.” It is a phenomenal marketing trick and one we, as experts in the space can easily facilitate. Our team explains on our website, “We can personalize your message to each individual customer, based on the data you have about them. This could be as simple as personalizing the cover, depending on the customer’s gender and adding their name.”
In summary, it is a breakthrough printing solution that has the scope to help marginally profitable publishers slash costs and operating expenses and to flourish.