The RFP Process Made Simple

Step one in the RFP process is to identify the businesses you want to consider as potential bidders on your distribution business. You might have, essentially, options: specialist corporations that provide distribution companies to book publishers, and book publishers who deal with distribution for different publishers.

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

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

Protect Your Info

Before you alternate any data, all prospective bidders must be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The NDA mustn’t only embrace prohibitions against divulging confidential financial and operational information provided by either party, however ought to include 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 until the decision is finalized and a transition plan confirmed, the details of the hassle needs to be shared only on a need-to-know basis. Past the potential anxiousness and disruption to your small business, your negotiating leverage is diminished in case your effort is stricken by information leaks.

Part One: Your Needs and Expectations

An RFP should have major sections. Part 1 ought to comprise details about your present operations and your expectations for what you are promoting over the three to 5 years following the transition to the third-party provider.

The latter is particularly important—especially if you see your group embracing the operational opportunities presented by print-on-demand (POD) and short-run digital 먹튀없는 사설토토 사이트  printing. As POD pricing continues to decline to near-commodity ranges, printing technology improves and inventory becomes virtual, the demands on distribution facilities will undergo dramatic change—all of which should translate to reduced operating prices for publishers.

Section 1 also should embody, at minimal, quantitative particulars for your enterprise’ final full, fiscal year, including:

Number of active customers

Number of invoices and credit memos issued yearly

Calendarized gross sales and returns—in each dollars and units

Transaction particulars, including number of units per invoice and number of lines per invoice

Number of titles in active backlist

Number of new titles printed annually

Examination copy volume

Average number of books in storage

Specialised service necessities, including kitting, international shipments, sticker application, re-jacketing, etc.

Publisher service expectations, including time-in-process necessities for main processes equivalent to income and complimentary-copy order fulfillment, returns processing, check-in and availability of incoming stock, etc.

Be Accurate and In-depth

The quality and quantity of the knowledge you provide will 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 idea to incorporate a multiyear view of the data listed above that illustrates both historic tendencies and prospects for the future.

Part Two: Ask the Proper Questions

Part 2 of the RFP provides the prospective distribution partners with detailed questions relating to their organizations, the providers you’d like them to provide and, in fact, the

associated costs.

The RFP should, at minimum, request the next:

• Distributor background, together with history, ownership, organization chart, shopper list and monetary statements.

• Operational descriptions. Request a list of critical warehouse, fulfillment and repair processes, and written descriptions together with workmove diagrams. The operations should embody order intake, pick, pack and ship, customer support, invoicing, credit and collections, and processing of incoming shipments.

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

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

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

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

• Computer systems, together with a complete description of the hardware and enterprise software in place, plans for any upgrades or replacement of the business systems, EDI/ONIX capabilities, consumer data access and reporting capabilities.

• Contingency plans, including

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

• Customer references. While references provided by the distributor will only be from glad clients, they’re nonetheless valuable and ought to be completely researched.

• Fee structure. Distributors typically will quote services on a transaction basis or as a share of net sales. The publisher ought to specify the preferred pricing method, but for ease of comparing prospective costs with historical spending, the percentage of net sales technique is recommended. In addition to the base prices, the distributor ought to be asked to provide an in depth list of prices that aren’t included in the base price, corresponding to excess returns fees, extra inventory, custom-made reporting charges, etc.

• Transition costs. The move from your current distributor to your new provider will not be without costs. The distributor should be asked to provide an estimate of the transition expenses that will probably be billed to you—if any—together with inventory switch, data upload and every other bills for which the distributor will anticipate to be reimbursed.

• Pattern contract. You must have your authorized advisor review the distributor’s pattern contract.

A Service Indicator

A carefully crafted RFP is essential to effectively evaluating the potential worth of third-party distribution. The time you spend money on it will probably be time well spent.

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