Optimizing inventory management
with FlexRapido volume discounts

Founded in 1973 and based in Montreal, Véhicule Press is an independent publishing house headed by Simon Dardick and Nancy Marrelli. Their reputation, which they built over time in particular thanks to the quality of their translation work and the diversity of their catalogue, is today well established in the Quebec cultural landscape.

With around fifteen new publications per year, Véhicule Press’s non-fiction, novels and poetry collections are regularly nominated for awards such as the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize, the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Awards. Their books are distributed across Canada, the United States and Europe.

The context

2020 was a year of deep change for many publishers, who saw opportunities to adapt their production and marketing processes.

A fall season without the usual in-person events and book fairs which—key drivers of book sales—has highlighted a number of things for those in the book industry: among other things, that storage costs with some distributors have increased in recent years. As Simon Dardick told us: “Times are changing–warehousing costs with our Canadian distributor have skyrocketed over the past few years. The situation is no longer the same.

The old business model of printing large runs and then storing the books until they sell or are remaindered, is increasingly unrealistic for many publishers. That’s why Rapido Books created FlexRapido: a program specially designed to allow publishers to replace storage with responsiveness.

The problem is that to get a reasonable price from a printer, you generally have to print too many books.

And if the book doesn’t do well, you’re stuck with it.

 

Simon Dardick
Director at Véhicule Press

The challenges

1  Véhicule Press will soon be celebrating its 50th anniversary. As a well-established publisher, its catalogue now includes several hundred titles, which need to be managed efficiently in order to avoid unnecessary print and warehousing costs.

2  It is often difficult for an independent publisher to estimate the commercial potential of a new title: “Publishing is not an exact science; you choose some titles on a hunch, because you have a good feeling about a manuscript, because you believe in it, but these are always difficult things to quantify“.

3  Many of the larger printers with which Véhicule Press works have increased their production times many fold, meaning that a publisher now must reserve a spot more than two or three months in advance in order to have its books printed on time.

The Rapido Books solution

Specializing in high-quality and fast turnaround short-run printing, Rapido Books is one of the rare printers in Canada that can print orders of 25 to 1,000 copies in just a few days.

This important advantage prompted Véhicule Press to consider our printing services. Our combination of fast turnaround and high quality printing could help them better face the challenges facing the publishing house.

Two other key factors convinced Simon Dardick to work with us on a more regular basis:

  • Rapido’s excellent quality of service, which he had experienced for several years: “You’re easy to work with. You always get back quickly to people, which is both respectful and very important in a professional relationship”;
  • Our FlexRapido program, specially designed to offer publishers exceptional responsiveness on time, while providing volume discounts that increase with each subsequent reprint order.

How does FlexRapido work?

FlexRapido is a pricing model that provides publishers with volume discounts that increase with each subsequent reprint order of 100 or more copies.

Example : If you wish to order 200 copies of a title for which you have already printed 700 copies with Rapido, the unit cost of these 200 copies will correspond to the price range for 900 copies.

With FlexRapido, your reprints save you money while reducing warehousing fees and your risk of unsold stock!

The results

Rapido Books has become an important partner of Véhicule Press since 2017, printing around 20 different titles of their catalogue, i.e. more than 10,000 books to date.

Our just-in-time production process makes it possible to work in a completely different way with distributors. Print runs can be kept much closer to real demand, without the need to speculate in advance about the sales of a given book. This helps to save considerably on warehousing costs. Véhicule Press is now much less dependent on traditional printers and their challenging production times: “I know that you are growing, and even if you are getting more and more business you manage to maintain your very good turnaround times and your excellent quality… I would be curious to know how you do that!“.

Personalized client portal

Véhicule Press can generate quotes in just a few clicks, place orders and follow their progress in real time, giving them a complete overview of print costs and immediate access to information

Exceptional responsiveness

Our unbeatable turnaround times (3-5 business days) allow Véhicule Press to quickly respond to replenishment requests from its distributor, thereby improving their collaboration

Competitive FlexRapido program

Each reprint of 100 or more copies automatically counts towards the FlexRapido tally for a given title and results in additional discounts on the unit price.

Our use of FlexRapido is going to increase in the upcoming future, to me it’s a no brainer.

It’s a great way of economizing, and I can’t think of anything you could improve in the process.

 

Simon Dardick
Director at Véhicule Press

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Fast turnaround

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