Self-fulfillment: Or, the Pleasures–and Some Pains–of Handling Orders In-House

January 2004
by A PMA Roundtable

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Do-it-yourself is the most popular choice when it comes to fulfillment, judging by hundreds of responses to our “How do you handle fulfillment?” e-mail. And most of the PMA publishers who fulfill orders themselves are happy about it. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being best, most say their level of satisfaction is way up there at either 9 or “a big 10!!”

Typical comments include, “Sometimes I wish we had help, but in doing it yourself, at least you know it is done right and the way you want it. I’d rate us a 10” ; “I’ll give it a 9. (The boxes of books are very heavy!)”; “10!! It’s part of the job”; “I give myself a 10–I’m happy with the quality of my work”; and “I rate my satisfaction with handling fulfillment myself a 10. One of these years I expect to be too busy to do it all but for now I am truly having the time of my life and loving every minute of it–well, almost every minute.”

Publishers also reported on why they chose the do-it-yourself option. Reasons focus on the physical (“big garage” and “We are part of a larger company which has a complete shipping department”), the procedural (“It’s the cheapest and volumes are low enough for me to handle”; “Anybody who wants a break from staring at a computer screen can pack a book”; “Better control. Can track shipment. Product gets there faster&…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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