21st Century Inventory Management For Book Publishers

The ongoing global pandemic has severely impacted publishing supply chains, and the impacts will ripple through for years to come.  Take this chance to rethink your supply chain assumptions and options.

With a background ranging from bookstore to boardroom, Tim Cooper is a globally-recognized expert who’s consulted for publishing and printing companies in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, China, and The Philippines.

Tim’s made thousands of print quantity decisions himself, determining huge quantities of best sellers and approving short run digital case quantities for long tail-backlist.   To manage this work, he designed an inventory management process that had major positive financial impact.  Over a 10 year period, total inventory decreased by 50% while sales doubled.  During that time, customer fill rates were higher than goal and out of stocks were limited to a maximum of 2% of the active title database in any given week.  During the same period the publishing company went from perpetual loss to consistent profitability.

Supply Chain Digital Transformation Opportunities For Publishers

Tim’s latest work offers publishers a 21st century inventory strategy.  The “Tri-brid” strategy to inventory management is polylithic, using  three unique supply chains to manage three distinct segments of inventory.  This framework is now enabled for publishing by the capabilities of HP’s Piazza.

Read Tim’s latest white paper about Digital Transformation by downloading from the link below.  Tim’s latest white paper in PDF


IA&A Inventory Audit and Analysis.

To help publishers assess their baseline inventory current state, The Consulting Garage developed a survey called the Inventory Analysis & Audit (IA&A).  The IA&A is a proprietary twenty factor assessment of a publisher’s own inventory management results and processes.

click here for a list of the factors iaa

and here to view the blank assessment grid.! IA&A grid blank

  • we use your inventory results (from your data)
  • we document and model your print quantity policies and parameters
  • we review your internal processes for 1st printings and reprints
  • we experience your data availability and integrity
  • we interact with your staff resources and see your bandwidth
  • we document our assessment factor by factor with text, tables and visuals
  • we provide expert proprietary analysis and considerations to enrich the IA&A

The IA&A assessments are a  roadmap for inventory improvement.  

Typical assessments include recommendations about:

  • using total cost in print costing
  • sales and demand forecasting process and methodology
  • inventory policies and measurements
  • inventory decision-making processes and methodology
  • using modeling and other additional analytics
  • service level goals and measurements
  • supplier lead times and measurements
  • internal processes and lead times
  • staffing, staff resources and workflows

For a no-cost consultation to find out if your publishing business can benefit from an Inventory Analysis & Audit or other services, contact Tim Cooper at [email protected] or (619)-905-4545.


The Print Quantity Dilemma–the more you know, the less you know. 

Tim’s created a model to reflect the complexities he’s observed with print run decisions.  It accounts for the major quantitative factors that impact print quantities .  The dilemma is that most publishers do not have all the information or analytics needed to optimize the decision by formula.  It requires expertise.

In Tim’s mind, that creates a real opportunity to help publishers move toward best practice results regardless of their current situation.

The print quantity dilemma illustrated by showing the many factors to consider when optimizing a quantity
The print quantity dilemma illustrated by showing the many factors to consider when optimizing a quantity

For a no-cost consultation , contact Tim Cooper at [email protected] or call (619)-905-4545.

See video of Tim Cooper from the Consulting Garage at the Firebrand Community Conference in 2009.