Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Direct from Manufacturer?

So printers now aim to go after the drop ship market space and offer the Publisher’s a direct market and full margin. Its an interesting proposal but begs many questions.
CPI are launching, www.cpibookdelivery.com a site which will have its titles listed on Google search. When a consumer finds a title CPI will take the money and dispatch the book. They will then pay the publisher the full cover price and in doing so pay on a settlement basis so living off whatever interest can be raised and maximising bottom line profit for the publisher. The aim is to help publishers sell direct to the consumer from point of manufacture and so effectively cut out distributors, wholesalers, ecommerce sites and retailers.

So is the intent to go after the total distribution and wholesale market and deliver both bulk and single shipments from point of manufacture or to just deal with internet drop ship? Are they going to hold significant title inventory or manufacture to order (POD). The issues about operating single shipment operations alongside bulk have been discussed many times and are as we have said an art.

Printers are increasingly under pressures as manufacturing is always shifting to the cheapest location and POD is becoming more economic and moving closer to the channel. So where do CPI want to be? Are they merely trying to plug what they see is a opportunity or are they trying to align themselves as the publisher’s direct fulfilment option for all formats? The cpibookdelivery site is obviously in its early stages and doesn’t give a lot away.