The RFP Process Made Simple

The first step in the RFP process is to identify the companies you want to consider as potential bidders on your distribution business. You may have, essentially, two options: specialist companies that provide distribution providers to book publishers, and book publishers who deal with distribution for different publishers.

Each of those options has its pluses and minuses. Consider both—the broader you cast your net, the higher your options, as well as your understanding of the range of providers available.

Regardless of the players you consider, your RFP needs to be despatched to a minimum of four bidders, and it’s best to enable ample time (4 months, minimal) for the entire process from RFP creation to last vendor selection.

Protect Your Info

Before you change any information, all prospective bidders ought to be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The NDA mustn’t only include prohibitions against divulging confidential monetary and operational info provided by either party, but ought to comprise a clause clearly prohibiting the discussion of the RFP with unauthorized parties within the writer’s organization. Moving to a third-party distribution enterprise model is a significant step, and till the decision is finalized and a transition plan confirmed, the small print of the effort ought to be shared only on a necessity-to-know basis. Beyond the potential anxiousness and disruption to your small business, your negotiating leverage is diminished in case your effort is tormented by data leaks.

Part One: Your Wants and Expectations

An RFP should have major sections. Section 1 ought to comprise information about your present operations and your expectations for your enterprise over the three to 5 years following 토토 주소 the transition to the third-party provider.

The latter is particularly important—especially should you see your organization embracing the operational opportunities presented by print-on-demand (POD) and brief-run digital printing. As POD pricing continues to decline to close-commodity ranges, printing technology improves and inventory becomes virtual, the calls for on distribution facilities will undergo dramatic change—all of which should translate to reduced working costs for publishers.

Section 1 also should embody, at minimal, quantitative details for your corporation’ last full, fiscal 12 months, together with:

Number of active prospects

Number of invoices and credit memos issued yearly

Calendarized gross sales and returns—in both dollars and units

Transaction details, together with number of units per bill and number of lines per invoice

Number of titles in active backlist

Number of new titles published yearly

Examination copy quantity

Average number of books in storage

Specialized service necessities, together with kitting, worldwide shipments, sticker application, re-jacketing, etc.

Publisher service expectations, together with time-in-process requirements for major processes such as revenue and complimentary-copy order success, returns processing, check-in and availability of incoming stock, etc.

Be Accurate and In-depth

The quality and quantity of the knowledge you provide could have a direct bearing on the accuracy of the bid and the quality of the working relationship between you and your distribution partner. It is a good suggestion to incorporate a multiyear view of the data listed above that illustrates both historic trends and prospects for the future.

Part Two: Ask the Right Questions

Section 2 of the RFP provides the prospective distribution partners with detailed questions relating to their organizations, the companies you’d like them to provide and, of course, the

associated costs.

The RFP ought to, at minimum, request the following:

• Distributor background, including history, ownership, group chart, shopper list and financial statements.

• Operational descriptions. Request a list of critical warehouse, achievement and service processes, and written descriptions including workcirculate diagrams. The operations ought to embrace order intake, pick, pack and ship, customer service, invoicing, credit and collections, and processing of incoming shipments.

• Service-level standards. Request that the distributor provide particulars of service-stage standards (e.g., time in process) for critical enterprise operations.

• Inventory management, together with physical inventory processes, shrink-

management procedures, back-order reporting and administration, and audit controls.

• Digital services. Several major distributors have established strategic alliances with POD specialists, digital asset management service providers and e-book distributors to supply a broader range of services. These services offer the smaller publisher a remarkable opportunity and needs to be absolutely explored as part of the RFP process.

• Computer systems, including a whole description of the hardware and enterprise software in place, plans for any upgrades or replacement of the enterprise systems, EDI/ONIX capabilities, client information access and reporting capabilities.

• Contingency plans, together with

disaster-recovery plans for the facility and business systems, and a readiness plan in the occasion of a pandemic flu outbreak. A shocking number of publishers have asked their suppliers to provide their business continuity plans for managing through a flu epidemic.

• Buyer references. While references provided by the distributor will only be from happy customers, they’re nonetheless valuable and should be completely researched.

• Price structure. Distributors typically will quote companies on a transaction basis or as a share of net sales. The writer should specify the favorred pricing method, but for ease of evaluating prospective costs with historical spending, the percentage of net sales technique is recommended. In addition to the bottom costs, the distributor must be asked to provide an in depth list of costs that are not included in the base price, similar to excess returns prices, extra inventory, customized reporting fees, etc.

• Transition costs. The move out of your present distributor to your new provider is not going to be without costs. The distributor ought to be asked to provide an estimate of the transition expenses that can be billed to you—if any—together with inventory transfer, data upload and some other bills for which the distributor will expect to be reimbursed.

• Pattern contract. It’s best to have your legal advisor review the distributor’s sample contract.

A Service Indicator

A careabsolutely crafted RFP is essential to successfully evaluating the potential value of third-party distribution. The time you spend money on it might be time well spent.

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