After baring the follies of Australia's news publishers to delegates at this year's INMA World Congress, Melbourne academic Mark Ritson is set to face the local industry at the end of this year's Inform News Media Summit.
Daily data from newsagents and other retailers is being used by magazine publisher ACP Magazines in an operation it hopes will boost sales and cut waste from returns.
Throught its distribution arm, Network Distribution Services, the company launched automated sales-based replenishment of supplies of its magazine titles in March. The concept responds to daily point-of-sale data returned nightly to software partner ChangeIT, ‘drip feeding’ supplies to agents throughout the on-sale period in response to demand. Following the initial supply, agents automatically receive top-up deliveries if they are in danger of selling out, a calculation based on the daily sales data.
ACP says SBR has become one of the most important improvements in magazine supply methods globally over the last five to ten years. It has been adopted by leading retailers including Wal-mart, UK newsagency WH Smith and supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury.
In Australia, Woolworths, Coles and about 380 newsagents will provide data on their sales of 21 ACP weekly and monthly magazines.
The pay-off is twofold: ACP believes the system will lead to an increase of three per cent in sales of its top titles, while reducing returns to half or a third of current levels.
Group general manager for retail sales and distribution Eugene Varricchio says the system will enable ACP to cut the 20-50 per cent extra copies it typically prints to cater for unexpected peaks in demand to about 15 per cent within three or four years.