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Some of you may know that Sheridan publishes “On Topic” — our electronic quarterly newsletter for the STM journals market. I really encourage you to take a look at the newsletter each month (the subscribe button is in the top right corner).  Here is the URL: http://www.sheridan.com/journals/resources/newsletters

The September 2011 issue contains an article for anyone looking into Print-on-Demand (POD) as a technology for streamlining their back issue fulfillment programs. Go to the online newsletter and take a look at the article named “Sheridan POD Eliminates Back-Issue Burdens”.

Print-on-Demand (POD) as a digital printing technology is highly relevant to reducing a publisher’s back issue warehousing expenses (not to mention providing customer satisfaction to your readership). So how do you know if a POD program is right for your back issues fulfillment strategy? The trick is to perform an analysis of your existing program without underestimating the total actual (sometimes hidden) costs. Then, compare those costs to POD “just in time” printing to fulfill single copy requests. Sheridan has done several such studies, so if you would like some help getting started just drop me a note.

One result of your costs comparison may be that POD works well for some of your titles, but is not the most efficient solution for other titles. When that happens the place to be looking is at integration programs such as Sheridan Back Issue Express that link together your physical warehouse with just in time POD fulfillment. These automated programs regularly check the number of the physical stored copies of a title available in warehouse inventory. When the inventory quantity drops below a “basement level” number of copies then all future copies are produced POD. Very efficient!

Look on this blog for some of my future posts about other prominent POD business models and digital printing technology for the STM journals market.

Tim Hurd

Technology Director, The Sheridan Press

[email protected]