Home > Uncategorized > STL UK Operations at Risk: Computer System Blamed

STL UK Operations at Risk: Computer System Blamed

While Christian book industry watchers are concerned about larger issues, the story in yesterday’s News & Star in Carlisle, England was all about the potential of job losses:

Carlisle suffered a fresh jobs blow today with news that 150 posts are at risk at the Christian book operation STL Distribution.

They are the biggest group among 490 jobs under threat across the country as Bible charity IBS-STL UK looks to sell its British operations – STL Distribution, book and music publisher Authentic Media; and Wesley Owen Books and Music, a retailer with 40 shops.

In Carlisle, jobs in warehousing, accounts and finance, IT, customer service and a call centre are at risk…

However it’s the failed implementation of a computer system that’s getting the blame:

“The principal reason for this is the failed implementation of a new computer system. We’ve been trying to recover all year since then. It was a massive investment.

“Obviously we are focused on finding anyone who can give added investment and can continue the mission of getting Bibles and Christian books around the country and safeguard the jobs here in Carlisle.”

IBS-STL UK has suffered a series of financial set-backs. The effects of the failed implementation of a new computer system were exacerbated by the economic downturn.

Meanwhile, Terry Draughon, VP for Christian Market Sales in North America was busy doing damage control yesterday trying to quelch rumors — he alleges that a letter is circulating to this effect —  that the U.S. operations were in jeopardy.   He points out in an e-mail:

  • The financial health of the US organization is stronger, partly because of the 30+ year success of the NIV Bible which is owned by Biblica US, our parent company.
  • The financial health of the two organizations (US and UK) are completely separate.   The US organization is legally different from the UK, borrows from different banks, and abides by different laws that govern charities in each country.
  • The market for Christian products in the UK is much smaller than in the US, both because of less people in the UK and a smaller % of church attendance there.
  • The US organization has not attempted to install the SAP software, and our systems are not affected by the attempted installation in the UK.
  • We will be upgrading our service to the UK customers to help them through this difficult time.
  • We have recently moved into a wonderful new warehouse and office facility which is allowing us to serve all of our customers to an even better level than in the past.

To read the British story, click here.

  1. November 21, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Extensive discussions about this on the UKCBD blog, if any readers here would like to pitch in…

  1. November 22, 2009 at 7:53 am
  2. December 1, 2009 at 2:04 am
  3. December 21, 2009 at 6:14 pm

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