Book Market Outlook -- El-hi, Potter Hold Keys To Success
Like Quebecor World, Donnelley is looking to leverage its global capabilities (with book manufacturing facilities in China and Latin America) to augment revenue streams. The company also continues to build and invest in recombinant publishing capabilities for educational customers in its Allentown, PA, facility, Lane notes. This allows Donnelley to work with higher education publishers that want to create customized content for specific courses.
A third element is the inventory management service offered at its Harrisonburg, VA, plant. "This is an offering that came out of work we did with a number of publishers," he reveals. "We better understand their total supply chain cost challenges and really focus on what we can do to help them reduce their inventory and handling costs associated with obsolescence of product, particularly those that don't turn a great deal. We have implemented an integrated, digital printing line (for short runs) to address the challenges our customers face."
In order to streamline costs and deliver on time, Donnelley has concentrated on investing in continuous process improvement. Nearly 100 percent of the presses and binding lines within the company's book manufacturing platform have been certified through its process variability reduction process.
"Our crews are trained to use statistical methods to reduce waste, improve efficiency and manage quality. We use a very technical process to drive our continuous improvement," he says, noting that all manufacturing facilities are now ISO 9002 certified.
The success of the 2002 holiday season will go a long way toward shaping the book market prospects for 2003, according to Lane.
"If sales for traditional trade books are weak, that will result in heavy returns in the first part of 2003," he says. "Fundamentally, one issue that drives our trade publishers is the ultimate strength of the front list. Education relies on the aggregate economy. It drives revenues which, in turn, fuels state spending on education, along with the pace of adoptions. I predict 2003 will be much like 2002, which could be a flat year."