Zondervan, Nelson Canadian Changes Relatively Seamless
On Monday morning, like many of you, I placed an order with the new — well, new to us — HarperCollins customer service team located just outside Scranton, PA. The process was thankfully relatively seamless. The same customer account numbers. The same ship day schedule. (Orders are being filled from Scarborough.) The same 7-digit confirmation numbers in the same sequence. The same free shipping.
In a memo released today, we learn that starting April 6th, orders will ship in parallel from both the Scarborough warehouse and direct from RR Donnelley. (If you get a parcel and it’s from them, don’t refuse it!) Chicago-based Donnelley is the world’s largest commercial printer, founded in 1864 with 2014 sales of $11.6B US, and HarperCollins is one of its clients. In addition to printing, it warehouses the product which eliminates an entire step in the distribution process, and reduces each book’s carbon footprint. The books may not be wet with printer’s ink when they arrive, but it means the capacity exists to ship titles literally ‘hot off the press,’ without having to be shipped to a HarperCollins warehouse and then entered into yet another inventory and location system. (This could a boon to those of you who like to smell the books when they arrive!)
Slowly, Canadian dealers will see more and more product coming through the Donnelley system, which will hopefully spell the end of the import-to-order system which has prevented Canadian stores from being competitive with consumer sites which ship within days, and also prevented HarperCollins from being competitive with independent distributors such as Baker & Taylor or Ingram (or in the Christian market, Send the Light and Anchor) who, if they have the product on shelf, can have it in dealer’s hands in as little as three working days.
Telling customers, “It’s going to be three weeks;” will, we’re hoping, soon be a thing of the past.