Scholastic Book Club
Services provided: business analysis | user interface design | web front end design and build | systems integration |
Scholastic, the world’s leading children’s trade and educational publisher, was faced with an enormous challenge: how to move the company’s most profitable division online without disrupting any aspect of the company’s operations?
Challanges & Solution
As the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books in the world, Scholastic held a commanding sales lead over its competitors.
And then Amazon.com happened.
Scholastic – and in particular Scholastic Book Clubs, the company’s largest division by sales – was at risk of falling behind as online book sales grew. Scholastic Book Clubs’ mail order-based business model was quickly becoming obsolete, and becoming a money loser was a growing possibility.
Transitioning online was a must if the business was to remain competitive.
Far easier said than done, however. Scholastic Book Clubs had a massive and complex mail order business that had systems and processes that needed to be totally reconfigured. Furthermore, that transition wouldn’t just impact the Book Clubs. It would also involve three other divisions of Scholastic, each with their own systems and processes.
And the icing on the transition cake: Scholastic wanted all of this to take place without disrupting their mail, phone, and fax systems.
It wasn’t quite equal to a “change the engines on a passenger jet while it’s in flight over the Atlantic” level of complexity, but it was close.
RCDM Studios welcomed the chance to take on this enormous challenge. To accomplish the transition, we:
– Undertook extensive research, interviews, and analysis
– Ran simulations to determine the most effective and least disruptive ways to undertake the shift online
– Worked closely with four Scholastic business divisions to ensure seamless data flow during a massive and complicated systems integration effort
– Designed and built Scholastic Book Clubs’ online presence from scratch
RCDM Studio successfully planned, managed, and implemented a large B2C business’ move online without disrupting the company’s communications infrastructure.
After an intensive one-year development program with a team that at times topped 50 people, the website’s beta launch went off on schedule.
Within two years of moving online, Scholastic Book Clubs had gone from concerns about long-term viability to experiencing 25% year-on-year growth in sales.