supply chain disruption

Why the Supply Chain Disruption Is Actually Good for Small Business

When the economy is strong, and the sales are rolling in, there is little incentive for entrepreneurs to come up with any new innovations. It is only when something dramatic like a pandemic hits, and we experience the worldwide supply chain disruption we’ve all had to deal with over the past two years, that we are forced to shift our focus and find better, more efficient ways to operate.

The book publishing industry is a great example in that it has experienced what The Globe and Mail refers to as “an astonishing renaissance in reading” that “has printers, publishers and bookstores scrambling to adjust.” This global logistical nightmare has pushed our century-old Gutenberg supply chain to the brink. Publishers and independent authors have been faced with monthslong delays in receiving even simple print jobs such as hard copy proofs of their books from their international suppliers. This threatens their ability to supply paperbacks to booksellers and consumers in a timely fashion.

With these problems comes an innovative solution—one that has already been around for a while but is yet to really take off, one whose time I believe has finally come. In our new world so focused on reducing our environmental footprint and recalling the true value of supporting local economies, the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) deserves a fresh set of eyes.


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Bring the whole supply chain into one location.

The EBM contains a growing list of literally millions of local and international titles in its database. Its proprietary EspressNet Software (the POS) is designed to track payments to content owners while ensuring data safety and integrity, and it can print and bind a retail-quality book in a matter of minutes, right before your eyes. By placing EBMs directly into local bookstores and partnering with other local suppliers—from publishers and editors to graphic designers, photographers, and local coffee shops—you can create an eco-friendly, local-supporting all-in-one publishing, printing, distribution and bookseller POS solution in one convenient location.

Every industry can benefit from similar local partnerships because these collaborations utilize a phenomenon known as the local multiplier effect (LME). The LME refers to how many people will spend the same dollar within their own community before it leaves through the purchase of an import. The term “local multiplier effect” was first conceived by economist John Maynard Keynes, and its many benefits are discussed in his book “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,” which was published in 1936.   

Increase profits using the local multiplier effect.

According to Dave Swenson’s Buying Local and the Mythical Multiplier of Seven: “When I add it all together using the standard economic impact models of Iowa’s trade areas that I maintain at ISU, and after taking into account all of the rounds of spending by all of the affected parties, I typically find that a dollar spent locally on retail goods or services results in from $.25 to $.40 in additional economic output in the region.”

In other words, for every $10 you spend at a local business, an average of $13 is generated within your local economy. This means the money you just spent locally multiplied right in your own community. By contrast, spend that same $10 with a national chain outlet, and you’ll see only $5 in regional output. Spend it on a global e-commerce site, and the regional output will be only $1 … and that’s if they use a local delivery driver to courier your purchase to you. This can have a huge impact over time when you’re talking in terms of millions of dollars per year.

Create more jobs by utilizing local partnerships.

Whether you’ve opened a new restaurant and are sourcing ingredients from local growers, or you’re a website builder using local copywriters to create new content, these partnerships are about so much more than growing your own business. It’s about creating new jobs within your community to keep it strong and vibrant for years to come. The more people who are working locally, the more money they will spend right here at home—not only with your business.

Perhaps the greatest “innovation” this pandemic has brought us all is a restored sense of community and the realization that we must support each other to stay afloat. It has been a clear reminder that small businesses are the cornerstone of our society.


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