Following quickly on their partnership with Macmillan on “long tail” backlist, Ingram has announced a broader new initiative with Springer in which the wholesaler will take over Springer’s entire US supply chain. Ingram will manage warehousing and fulfillment for Springer and will transition manufacturing to a model that focuses on print-on-demand.
Initially Ingram will hold all of Springer’s physical inventory in their warehouses; as that inventory sells down, Ingram will move replenishment from offset to print-on-demand “when it makes the most economic sense.” The program begins in the first quarter of 2011.
Springer evp of customer service, fulfillment and logistics Eric Schmitt says in the announcement that “working with Ingram is part of our continued and ambitious move to focusing on what we do best: providing high-quality information for the scientific, medical and professional communities. This agreement allows us to better serve our users and readers by combining physical and digital book distribution, thereby shortening the time to market.”
It also gives them a new way of managing supply chain costs and eliminating some of the overhead investments that are challenging many publishers in the digital transition. Ingram ceo Skip Prichard calls the initiative part of Ingram’s efforts at “reinventing the traditional publishing business model.”