Tender: Global order fulfilment for WHO publications
Contracting Authority: WHO – World Health Organization / Světová zdravotnická organizace, Ženeva – Švýcarsko
This RFP covers the final phase of the progressive outsourcing of WHO’s distribution mechanisms. WHO requires the successful bidder, the Contractor, to provide a system for sales and global order fulfilment for WHO publications… WHO has a backlist of 25,000 publications and an ongoing publishing volume of 450 monographs and 300 volumes or issues as series per year.
Place of Performance: It is expected that most of the work will be done from the Contractor’s location. Assigned staff must be able to travel to Geneva, Switzerland, and to provide remote support on a 24/7 basis for priority 1 incidents.
Characteristics of the Contractor
The Contractor shall be for profit global institution operating in the field of online order fulfilment, with proven expertise in customer account management, customer service, commercial transactions, and automated, usage-based analytics and reporting.
Accreditations: An accreditation (such as the Book Industry Communication Supply Chain Excellence Accreditation) or an on-going accreditation process by a certified accreditation body will be an asset.
• Experience in the publishing industry is a requirement.
• Previous work with WHO, other international organizations and/or major institutions in the field of scientific, technical and medical publishing is an asset.
• Experience with both public sector and commercial publishing houses for global fulfilment and distribution of multi-lingual book and journal titles is desired.
• Proven experience in designing, implementing, and configuring online commerce solutions is also desired.
Staffing: The selected contractor is expected to dedicate the following human resources to the project:
• A project manager of an adequate level of qualification and experience (please attach resumé to your proposal) shall be dedicated to the project.
• This designated project manager should be the same individual throughout implementation.
• Sufficient capacity and knowledge is required to cover the following areas of expertise:
o Adequate technical knowledge to ensure seamless interface with existing systems.
o Adequate business analysis, coordination and project management skills to manage stakeholder expectations, orchestrate all resources of the team and interact with WHO or third parties when needed.
WHO pays utmost attention to the level of qualification and experience of the individuals involved, and to continuity in the services. The profiles (no individual names required) of the personnel proposed for these services should be included in the technical proposal.
• All staff assigned to this project must be able to speak and write English fluently. French and/or Spanish would be an asset.
Work to be performed – Global fulfilment for WHO publications: Publications are presented on the WHO web site, which is developed on Sitefinity, supplied by a title and asset management system, (Bibliolive, supplied by Virtusales), and rendered by a front-end solution (developed by Making Waves) that allows users to select titles and place orders in an online shopping cart.
This RFP includes development of a system that receives ordering information from customers through online accounts, processes payments, ships orders, and provides customer service management and user support (including technical support for issues users may face on the provider’s website and Level-3 technical support for internal WHO Press users). In addition, the Contractor will produce sales/activity reports and return revenue according to terms agreed with WHO.
As required, the fulfilment will be via POD or from existing stock from warehouses. A selection of “high-demand” titles will need to have consistent stock available, and these criteria will be determined upon specifications provided by WHO. This includes IARC “Blue Books” (which the Contractor is not responsible for printing). For the other “high-demand” titles, offset printing will be limited to first-day print runs (e.g. for new editions) and to replenish stock (based on agreed stock alert criteria).
After implementation and deployment of the new system, a transition period will be necessary as print stocks at WHO are depleted and/or transferred.
Solution Types: Bidders are encouraged to propose solutions based on an existing product, software-as-a-service (SAAS) offering, or configuration/development on a Web CMS platform. Integration with Sitefinity is a key requirement for any proposed solution. The solution must be able to receive publication metadata, POD and offset files from WHO’s title management system (BiblioLIVE from Virtusales) as well as order data from the WHO web site (developed on Sitefinity).
Out-of-Scope Activities: The management of content creation and production (i.e. writing, peer-review, design, editing, graphics, translation, layout, proofreading and indexing) as well as any file conversion services are out of scope.
Anticipated Publishing Volumes and Distribution : WHO has a backlist of 25,000 publications and an ongoing publishing volume of 450 monographs and 300 volumes or issues as series per year. 22460 priced copies were distributed in 2017, of which approximately 3360 were distributed in the Americas; 1260 in Europe, Africa and Middle East (Eastern Mediterranean); and 6540 in Asia and the Pacific. In 2018, there were approximately 370 subscriptions of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization sold.
In 2017, WHO’s online bookshop received 300,000 page visits per month and 2200 orders were received during the year.
This RFP is to meet all of WHO’s global order fulfilment needs, including if WHO’s needs change during the term of the contract. Therefore, the contract with the selected bidder will expressly reflect that fact, and not contain a fixed or minimum/maximum distribution volume.
Overview and current approach: WHO is an open-access publisher that also maintains sales channels to maximize distribution of its work. Currently, WHO Press handles the printing of publications, sales and distribution of products directly to customers and to sales agents from its warehouses in Geneva, Switzerland. Most orders are presently being fulfilled via the eCommerce facility on the WHO online bookshop (http://bookorders.who.int/bookorders/), along with a large percentage of sales in the North American market currently being fulfilled by a distributor who has signed an agreement with WHO.
The scope of work described in this RFP is part of a high-level effort to streamline WHO publication processes.
WHO’s online publication system includes the following components:
1. Back-end solution (developed on BiblioLIVE) for title metadata and digital asset management for publication content, including print-on-demand (POD) files
2. Front-end solution for rendering these files and metadata (developed by Making Waves) on the WHO website (developed on Sitefinity), that transforms XML to HTML and assembles the related files to create a template-based webpage for each publication. This webpage displays the publication’s metadata (transmitted by an ONIX feed), the cover image, and a summary. Users are presented with three options for accessing publication content:
Download a free PDF for offline reading
Read online (free HTML version), or
Purchase one or more print copies (fulfilment by Contractor).
3. Global order fulfilment for WHO publications
Objectives of the present activity
1. Create an efficient end-to-end system for the global fulfilment process, with a transition from large initial print runs to short runs and print-on-demand, thereby also reducing environmental impact.
2. Outsource major components of the global fulfilment processes (including printing, warehousing, stock management, order fulfilment, customer service, etc.) to improve efficiencies and reduce the organizational costs of distribution of WHO publications, while maintaining the high standards necessitated by WHO.
3. Increase the number of titles available for which it is possible to purchase a print copy from 50 to 450 yearly (through use of POD for the majority of publication titles).