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HarperCollins and RR Donnelley Entering into Global Supply Chain Agreement

May 12, 2011
NEW YORK/CHICAGO—May 12, 2011—HarperCollins Publishers and RR Donnelley (RRD) announced their intent to enter into a breakthrough global supply chain agreement. The agreement is the first of its kind for a major general trade publisher.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement and beginning in November 2011, Donnelley will handle the fulfillment of all HarperCollins new releases from its Harrisonburg, VA, facility. Additionally, beginning in July 2012, it will handle fulfillment of all frontlist and backlist titles for Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Publishers. Donnelley will also provide global print-on-demand (POD) services to HarperCollins, enabling most titles to be printed anywhere HarperCollins holds publishing rights. The agreement also renews and expands RR Donnelley’s role as the printer, binder and distributor of HarperCollins’ conventionally produced titles.

The two companies have enjoyed a business relationship for more than 20 years as RRD has printed the vast majority of HarperCollins and Zondervan titles. This agreement will expand the relationship to combine printing, fulfillment and shipping services into a single workflow that will increase speed to market, reduce freight costs and improve efficiencies in the distribution process.

“In light of the shifting publishing landscape, we determined that it made the most business sense to move our new release fulfillment from several disparate warehouses to one central location tied closely to our printing,” said Larry Nevins, EVP of operations and technology for HarperCollins Publishers. “RR Donnelley has long been a trusted and valued partner of ours, and this integrated solution will bring significant efficiencies to the supply chain process.”

HarperCollins and Zondervan will continue to handle credit, collection and customer service internally for its businesses, and reorders will continue to be shipped from the publisher’s distribution center in Scranton, PA.

Later this year, RR Donnelley will use the latest advances in digital printing to provide global POD services to HarperCollins Publishers, enabling most titles to be produced anywhere HarperCollins holds the publishing rights. Most HarperCollins books will be available in each territory in any format (print or digital) in a matter of minutes.

“As a global English-language publisher, our supply chain must meet the needs of our customers everywhere to provide our authors with the broadest possible reach for their work, regardless of physical location,” said Brian Murray, president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers. “Our vision is to have the entire HarperCollins book catalog available for customers in all major territories and ready for delivery in minutes. This agreement with RR Donnelley provides new capabilities which will allow us to achieve this goal. In the U.S., time and money are saved by co-locating printing and fulfillment for fast moving titles. In the U.K. and Australia, POD technology will enable us to competitively offer the entire HarperCollins catalog to customers without expensive freight costs and long lead times.”

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