Our Industry, Your Perspective
Friday, April 6, 2018
Posted by: Brian O'Leary
Last week, BISG fielded its first “State of the Supply Chain” survey, designed to gather an industry-wide perspective on the issues, challenges, and opportunities faced by the wide range of organizations and people working in book publishing today.
It’s a reasonably short survey – 11 minutes, according to the experts at SurveyMonkey – and it includes some fun questions. But the bulk of the survey is dedicated to surfacing the most important things the industry and BISG should be working on.
It’s important that we gather responses from all around the industry. That’s how we find problems, and that’s how we solve them. It’s so important, in fact, that I won’t mind if you stop reading this post and complete the survey right now. Go ahead. I’ll be here when you come back.
That was fun, wasn’t it? Sure, we asked questions about metadata, content structure, rights, subject codes, and the venerable supply chain. We have to. We’re BISG.
But we are about more than just those things. We work every day to act as an information hub for the book publishing business. When you look our content calendar, you see the outline of an ongoing effort to surface, understand, and address issues and opportunities in our industry.
That’s why we want to know how you feel about your role, your company, and the prospects for a rewarding career in this business we love. That’s why we ask what we can do to be as helpful as possible in reaching your professional goals. And that’s why we want to know what you’re reading.
In 2016, the BISG board revisited our strategic plan, directing us to do four things: serve as an information hub; promote standards and best practices across the supply chain; conduct and report on research that informs where the industry is headed; and build a community of problem solvers to help us do all that other stuff.
And what a community of problem solvers! Our operations manager, Maya Fakundiny, has been working on a web site update that will better serve our committees and working groups. She has already created or updated the profiles of more than 500 members who volunteer their time to serve on one or more of our committees.
Sure, some of those volunteers follow committee work from a distance, reading minutes and reaching out on occasion. But in the last two years, participation in all committees has doubled, driven by a need to come together to solve the problems that affect multiple parts of the supply chain.
That’s why we wanted to do this “State of the Supply Chain” survey (if you haven’t completed it by now, just click!). Launched in 2018, it provides a baseline, one that will help us measure our successes and learn from our failures. But this is just the first in what will become an annual report. Each iteration will give you a voice in an annual look at how the industry is doing in meeting its greatest challenges.
Some questions will remain staples, while others evolve over time, much as the industry does. But I’m sure of one thing: We will always want to know what you’re reading.