Canada's Kobo Takes Digital Book Selling International
Kobo, the Canadian eReading company, is at the forefront of the ferociously competitive andr apidly growing international digital books market.
Kobo’s effective use of the market’s massive opportunities for global expansion and innovation has garnered the company triple digit growth since it first started in 2009. With impressive sales figures like 400 per cent growth in eBook downloads,160 percent growth in eReader sales and 280 percent growth in the number of people reading with Kobo, Kobo’s unique digital book solutions are proving to be popular with consumers and book retailers.
Kobo offers both book readers and booksellers digital book services on unlimited devices, a social networking community and platform Reading Life for book lovers and authors, and partnerships with global bookselling retailers.
“We knew from the very beginning that we would have to be an international company and thus we chose a business model that uses strong partnerships with local retailers. We were built for partnership and have that in our DNA as we want this to be a revolution that happens with the retailers as opposed to something that happens to retailers,” explains Michael Tamblyn, EVP of Content, Sales & Merchandising at Kobo.
After setting up shop in its native Canada, Kobo opened up its services first to English speaking countries like the U.S., Australia and the U.K. and then proceeded to non-English speaking countries in Europe like Germany. Kobo fits into an underserved niche in the digital market as the company partners and collaborates with local retailers, a practice that larger companies like Amazon and Apple leave open.
The wildfire adoption of eBooks internationally has surprised the whole industry, with consumers in all countries showing an average of 10 percent digital sales in 90 days, a transition Tamblyn said the company had expected to happen over a period of years, not days.
Kobo continues to innovate to provide more services and a better reading experience for consumers and has recently released a new service called Writing Life which empowers authors to sell their books directly to customers. The growth of the self-publishing sector led Kobo to work with authors to bring their books to Kobo’s thousands of readers.
“We take that spirit of collaboration to publishers, authors and all of the other members of the book industry as well. Whether it is sharing more data,providing more visibility or providing new tools to people like authors, Kobo helps members of the book industry take advantage of the eBook Revolution,” explains Tamblyn.
Kobo is also eyeing additional countries to expand its service to and is looking forward to sharing its comprehensive and exceptional reading solutions to more far-flung readers.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.