Emile Kranendonk - Faces of Brill
Position: Stock Coordinator
Short job description:
Emile is Brill’s Stock Coordinator and has been working at Brill since 2011. He is responsible for logistics of books and journals, and is in contact with the company’s two distributors (Turpin in the United Kingdom, and Books International in the United States) each with a warehouse of Brill titles. In addition, he is also in touch with suppliers such as Printforce, High Trade and Wilco.
“Our department makes sure that everything is available,” Emile says. He takes care of Print on Demand (POD) titles and the availability of books and journals.
“There are several things I need to take care of,” Emile says. “Maintaining quality – both in terms of the binding and overall durability of the physical book or journal issue, and in terms of the service we provide to the customer – is what is most important.
“I have a lot of responsibilities in the improvement of fulfillment processes, but also freedom in the way I work. I am able to choose what I think is best and most efficient.”
What is the most challenging part of the job?
“It is challenging to be on time and stick to the schedule.” Emile says. “It is a diverse position and I work with internal and external partners. There are always questions about the availability or shipment of titles. These issues are also directly tied to cost and revenue, and have a large impact on our business.”
A Stock Coordinator is in charge of the availability of titles and takes care of the supply. What happens if a title is out of stock?
“If a title is out of stock, I check our system to see if we have electronic files or an archival copy on hand.”
“If we have electronic files, the next step is to assess whether it is suitable for POD. This involves checking the trim size of the book, or if there are illustrations that fold out into a larger size,” Emile explains.
“We have an external archive in Leiden, where we have all books stored which are published since 1975. Books from the last 10 years are stored in our Leiden office. If we have an archive copy, we have it professionally scanned into digitized files. These are sent onto our POD supplier, and they then print a copy and ship it to the customer,” Emile says.
“It gets complicated if we don’t have digital files or an archival copy. In urgent cases, we search for the book in the library and a partner in the Netherlands scans it for us. If we don’t have a file, a copy or we can’t find it in a library, the title is declared out of print”
Which three keywords would you associate to your position?
“Diverse, challenging and interactive.”
How did you become involved in publishing?
“I applied for a consultancy position at a company in Amsterdam. It wasn’t the right fit for me, but they told me about this position at Brill and I got the job,” Emile says. “It was an accident, really, but I am happy to be here.”
You said that you enjoy a challenge, and making changes towards greater efficiency. What has changed at Brill since you started working here?
“The work flow has changed a lot because Brill is changing as well. We have made a shift from offset printing to single copy digital printing. We operate with smaller print runs that equals market demand,” Emile says.
“In the past we sent large shipments to the warehouse, which were taken into stock. Now roughly 15% of our new published titles are available via warehouse stock, while 85% are available via POD. This helps us run our business more efficiently, while better serving our authors, since books produced this way will never become out of print.”
“The quality of POD books has also greatly improved. Our new supplier Printforce does an excellent job. Previously we had problems with the binding of POD books, but now it is hard to tell if a book is a POD or offset title. You can really see the improvements and innovations.”
What was the last project you were involved with?
“Brill recently acquired the publisher Rodopi, which was based in Amsterdam. As the stock coordinator it is my task to get the Rodopi titles to our warehouses in the UK and US. Sometimes it gets difficult, for example if copies don’t have barcodes, the stock isn’t organized neatly, or if there are registration problems,” Emile explains. “With this acquisition we had 3,400 titles to transfer to our warehouses.”
Even though you are not involved in the content, do you have a favorite Brill book or journal?
“Yes, I think The Logistics of the Roman Army at War (264 B.C. - A.D.235) is an interesting title.”