AWESOME leader helps publisher thrive in era of e-books

December 19, 20171 minute read

A recent article in Supply Chain World features an interview with Annette Danek-Akey, SVP of Fulfillment for Penguin Random House, about how the company’s supply chain has adapted to changes in the market since e-readers were introduced in 1998. Annette has participated as a speaker in the AWESOME Symposium and powered by AWESOME programs.

The author, Tim O’Connor, quotes Annette as saying, “We deliver about 460 million books a year to customers and 20 percent of that is digitally. We just had to learn to be good at managing both.”

According to the article, Annette “joined the publishing industry as an industrial engineer for Penguin Random House predecessor company Bantam Doubleday Dell (BDD) in 1996. She was drawn to the company because it was then a smaller publisher with a lot of growth potential. But even more impressive… was that a woman headed BDD’s supply chain at a time when few females were given such opportunities. It signaled to her that this was a place where she could advance her career.”

Annette has led the supply chain through the company’s series of acquisitions and mergers. The article points out, “While others rapidly moved to favor e-publishing, Penguin Random House took a more balanced approach and continued to invest in its physical supply chain.” That decision enabled the company to become a third-party logistics provider for other publishers, and today 15 percent of the annual volume Penguin Random House ships is other publishers’ books.