For many publishers, especially associations with a specific constituency or member base, selling direct to consumer is the primary way to get their titles into the hands of their readers. With time and resources being tighter than ever among publishing staff, eCommerce platforms that can engage with a print management system for an order to be printed on-demand, pulled from a warehouse, or even reprinted when stock gets low, is a welcome relief.
As the leading information and support services provider for emergency first responders around the world, the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc. (ICISF) needed help transitioning from a manual order intake and fulfillment process to one that allowed them to sell their training manuals online in both print and electronic formats and would trigger fulfillment automatically.
eCommerce Simplifies and Expands Ordering Options for Members and Staff
Using Sheridan Connect as a platform, Sheridan created an eCommerce site that connects seamlessly with ICISF’s current website. Hosted by Sheridan, visitors to the ICISF website can browse and purchase print books and eBooks. eBooks, made available using Sheridan’s Conversion services, were added to give members purchasing options and, once purchased, are available instantly for download in ePub, MobiPocket, and ePDF formats. Print titles are either printed on demand or pulled from the warehouse and sent to the consumer. The simple-to-use administration tools of Sheridan Connect allow ICISF staff to change prices, add new titles, and access sales reports quickly and easily.
Reduce Inventory and Associated Costs with Print-on-Demand
After reviewing with Sheridan their list of titles and the turnover for each, ICISF made the decision to move selected titles over to a print-on-demand (POD) model as inventory is depleted—eliminating inventory and associated costs. Going forward, when one of these titles is purchased online by a consumer, a signal is sent from Sheridan Connect to the Sheridan Select print management system. Sheridan Select automatically pulls the print files and associated production metadata from the Sheridan Electronic Warehouse, “ties” the print files with the order, and sends them to press through Sheridan’s automated POD production process. The title is then printed, bound, and shipped. Upon shipment, a notification including tracking information is sent back from Sheridan Select to Sheridan Connect and is passed on to the purchaser.
Keeping Some Titles in Inventory Just Makes Sense
Due to the high sales activity of certain titles, it made sense to keep them in inventory rather than moving them to a print-on-demand model. These titles are tagged in Sheridan Connect as being in a warehouse so that when an online order is placed by a consumer, the order is sent directly to Sheridan’s warehouse and the book is shipped out. To further simplify processes and tasks for ICISF staff, an Auto-Stock Replenishment (ASR) program has been setup. When a minimum inventory threshold quantity has been met for each title in Sheridan’s warehouse, a signal is sent from the warehouse through Sheridan Select to print more books automatically and send them to storage.
No longer manual and time consuming, the order intake and fulfillment process is now fully automated—from receiving print and eBook orders through Sheridan Connect, to signaling titles to be printed and shipped, to maintaining inventory levels using Sheridan Select and the Sheridan warehouse. By eliminating manual touch points and reducing inventory and associated costs, ICISF staff can focus their time and resources on other areas of their business.
For ICISF members, they now benefit from the convenience of ordering online and being offered print and electronic formats. “The eCommerce site looks and works exactly as we need it to, while being simple to navigate and user friendly for our customers and for our staff,” remarked Thordis Boron, Approved Instructor Support Department at ICISF.
Products and Services Used
- eBook Conversion
- Sheridan Connect
- Sheridan Select
- Sheridan Electronic Warehouse
- Sheridan Print
- Sheridan Fulfillment
International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc.
The mission of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation is to provide leadership, education, training, consultation, and support services in comprehensive crisis intervention and disaster behavioral health services to the emergency response professions, other organizations, and communities worldwide.
Sheridan is a leading provider of print, publishing services, and technology solutions to publishers, associations, university presses, and catalogers. A division of CJK Group, Inc., Sheridan has nine U.S.-based production facilities; each location has a market specialty that supports books, scholarly journals, reprints, magazines, or catalogs. www.sheridan.com