Book Manufacturers' Institute member survey finds average manufacturer of hard cover books is running at 85% of capacity with 84-day lead time, based on available labor, materials; soft cover book capacity is at 89%, with 70-day average lead time

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March 15, 2022 (press release) –

The Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI) launched a new survey of its manufacturing members to get feedback on capacity and lead times for soft cover and hard cover books. As demand has skyrocketed and supply chain woes continue to hamper all segments of manufacturing, BMI wanted to get a better idea of what manufacturers were facing and what publishers should expect. The survey will be deployed every month to help monitor progress as the months pass.

According to 17 responses regarding hard cover books, the average manufacturer was running at 85% of their capacity. Capacity was defined as what you could manufacture today based on all variables (labor, materials, capital equipment, etc.) The average lead time for completed hard cover books was 84 days. For soft cover books, capacity was at 89% and the average lead time 70 days, based on 15 responses.

BMI Executive Director, Matt Baehr said, “Labor and paper are still the two biggest factors we are seeing in book manufacturing today. Both can be very difficult to come by and that is affecting a large majority of our industry. These survey results show how much lead times are being affected because of current conditions.”

BMI will launch the next Industry Barometer survey at the beginning of April.


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Dan Rivard
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