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Information Technology

 

Marston has one of the largest and most professional IT departments of any distributor.  Twelve staff, including key developers with a wealth of Vista and other IT experience, as well as skilled operations people, work on developing new systems, maintaining high standards of existing facilities, and also providing a support service for its clients.  With both book processing and logistical skills understanding, this crucial strategic team can look after all our in-house systems, providing an unparalleled service for both the company and our publishing clients.

 

Vista system

Marston uses Vista, the biggest supplier to the UK publishing industry, as its core computer system, and in 2011 we will upgrade our software and hardware Vista platforms, to include integrated web services. This sophisticated and user-friendly system ensures we can provide the most up-to-date services for client publishers, including:

 

  • Order management

  • Customer account management and cash collection

  • Rights and royalties

  • Finance, invoicing and administration

  • Sales order processing

  • Standing orders

  • Inspection copies

  • Dues

  • Electronic Data Interchange

  • On-line access

  • Sales analysis and reporting

 

With Marston’s comprehensive suite of back-up and disaster recovery systems in operation, publishers can be completely confident that their data is fully protected 24/7.

 

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Marston has full EDI facilities, with the ability to receive and return orders, invoices, credit notes, acknowledgements and delivery details from trade accounts in the UK and overseas. It also has direct EDI with all major client publishers and is able to provide data for publishers to download into their own order-processing and marketing systems, giving them the opportunity to capture and analyse sales made through Marston. We can also fill third party orders for those dot.com businesses that have a web site from which they wish to sell books or other products.

 

Where customers do not have EDI capability, we are able to provide order acknowledgements daily to any e-mail address provided by customers, ensuring that they are kept up to date on order processing and availability.

 

Our state-of-the-art firewall ensures complete security of all data.

 

PubEasy

Marston is a trade affiliate of PubEasy, allowing 24/7 access to all customers and potential customers to interrogate the system for prices and availability of titles, and to place orders.

 

Price and Availability

Marston also provides daily price and availability feeds to industry disseminators and to a range of wholesalers and major retailers in order to keep them up to date.

 

Client Reports

Publishers can have full 24-hour on-line access to Vista, giving them the opportunity to check stock and search a range of sales and management reports. In addition, a dedicated FTP site to supplement the daily and weekly reports we provide gives rich data extracts on an enormous range of information for publishers to use, manipulate and analyse.

 

Enhanced Reporting

During 2011 we will introduce an enhanced reporting platform that will sit above our current system. The aim is for a fully detailed and flexible reporting system with an interactive web based user portal. It will provide a first class package of reports and for the first time will enable publishers to create their own standard or ad hoc extracts quickly and easily.

 

Building the new system on a SQL database and detaching the reporting services from the Vista data files will ensure the rich granular data that currently exists is transferred in order that we retain this particular quality of Vista for detailed reporting.

 

Amongst the top level functionality the aim is for the system to include:

 

  • An automated suite of daily, weekly and monthly reports

  • User creation of ad hoc reports with scheduling

  • Interactive data querying and drill down

  • 'Dashboard' landing screen

 

   

Copyright Marston Book Services 2013