Re-Inventing Our Collaboration with Schools
Over the past year, with a team of incredibly talented individuals, we worked doubly hard to change how we do business:
- From 100% in-person sales to 100% online marketing
- From holding books and sitting down with publishers to reading samples electronically and Zooming
- From being in the office 5 minutes from home to being an ocean away
From Customized Solutions to Curated Collections
We built our business by listening to your needs, and designing customized solutions for your schools. This in turn led to customer satisfaction, and yielded more business. Since 2016, we have used our knowledge of books and relationships with publishers to curate standardized lists. In four years, we’ve designed over 300 collections of books! In four years, we’ve vetted over 6,000 Spanish, French and English titles!!! The vast majority of these collections are now available in our catalog.
Our curated collections are truly unique, and of the highest quality. Going forward, we wish to capitalize on the extraordinary work Marie and Sofi put into these collections.
Challenges with Customization
Lately, we have found that requests for customized orders are too complex or fall through, and cost our team a lot of time. We’ve come across more requests for lists of books to match curricula. Unfortunately, these requests are too district-specific, and cannot be sold to other schools. We also get requests for themes that are not universal across the US, making it again impossible to re-tool a list.
Customization doesn’t stop at Sofi and Marie curating a list. Yishai, our purchasing agent, checks availability of all titles, and starts new supplier relationships. Cam and Shannon, our operations and order fulfillment specialists, must track incoming deliveries that are not stocked on our shelves. If supplier routes are new, we often face huge delays in delivery. When quantities are limited, the adverse effect is multiplied across the supply chain.
So, we will be limiting our customized orders to three specific order profiles.
Collaboration with CustomersDue to the complexity and intensity of customizing orders, we ask that our customers show the same level of commitment to the process as we do. Starting July 1, we will take customized orders that fit into one of these three profiles.
- A minimum order of $10,000 for which we will make recommendations based on existing titles. For every $5,000 spent, Sofi and Marie will suggest up to 30 titles. We must receive a $10,000 purchase order prior to releasing lists.
- A district is placing an order of 10 copies or more of each title that match district-specific themes. All titles must be ordered on the list. The minimum order is $5,000. We must receive a $5,000 purchase order prior to releasing lists.
- A school or district submits a list with ISBNs. We will place those orders for them.
“Toujours à l’écoute” (“We’re always listening”)
Please know that we will continue to listen to your needs. We will take detailed notes of the topics, grade levels, genres, authors, themes and types of characters you are interested in. In addition, we will strive to add to our collections with an emphasis on diversity, authenticity and novelty.
Additionally, we already have third, fourth and fifth grade read aloud lists ready to be shared. We’ve also created English High Interest Low Literacy Classroom Libraries. All of these collections were built with customer input, and we still believe this is the best way for us to serve our schools.
Please let us know if you have any questions about customized solutions.