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Ingressus BV, The Netherlands

Rotterdam Rotterdam's Central Station with the Ingressus offices to the left.

At Batch, we don't just help bookshops! Here, Wendy Boskamp, Head of Bookselling & Media Service Department at Ingressus BV in the Netherlands, tells us about her company in Rotterdam.

What is Ingressus BV? Ingressus is a library service supplier with a focus on helping libraries with practical problems they may encounter in their everyday back-office activities. We supply library-wide services, ranging from support and software to the supply of books and metadata. Our Bookselling & Media Service Department supplies books to libraries, accompanied by catalogue records for their library loan systems. In some cases, we even prepare the books to go straight on the shelves by adding barcodes, library stamps and stickers.

How long has the company existed? Ingressus as a whole has existed for over 16 years. Our Bookselling Department has been up and running since 2011.

How many people work there? Currently we have a staff of 11, but only four work for the Bookselling Department (mostly part-time).

What kinds of books do you sell? Part of our service is to supply all available books, whether they are new or second hand. This means we supply any language, although our customers are mostly interested in Dutch and English titles, sometimes also in German or French. However, in the past we’ve also supplied for instance Spanish, Russian and Arabic titles, depending on customer demand.

How do you choose which books to stock? Our customers ultimately decide which books they need for their collections, based on their collection development plans. We do assist them with this in any number of ways, for instance through providing collection analyses and new title selections on certain subjects.

Do you keep the books in your own warehouse? Because of the way our business is set up, we don’t keep our own stock. The customers order their books with us and we compile their orders into orders from our suppliers. All work is done from our office in Rotterdam, where normally only books that are meant for specific customers are present. We keep several streams, depending on the amount of service a certain customer needs (just book supply, or book and catalogue record, or book and record and ready-for-loan activities).

Who are your customers and where are they based? Most of our customers are based in the Netherlands and that is where our main focus is. The majority of them are public libraries or libraries belonging to polytechnic schools and medical and mental health institutions. We also have customers abroad that obtain their Dutch books from us, such as foreign booksellers (in Finland, Japan) and foreign university libraries (mainly in the US).

How would you describe the state of the book trade in the Netherlands? The state of the book trade is unfortunately comparable to many other fields of culture in our country at the moment. Budgets are being cut everywhere, meaning the same number of customers might not generate the same turnover this year that they did in previous years. I believe unrest and uncertainty is felt among our customers, but because we offer such a wide range of services, we can jump in and help them where needed. As such I feel optimistic about our role in the Dutch book trade in coming years.

What do you most enjoy about being a bookseller? For me personally, the fun is in finding what customers can’t find themselves and providing what is most fitting for their profile. Customers might for instance not always realise that a certain publication is available in a different format or newer edition. Most librarians don’t just order books, but a set of services that we perform on their behalf. The customers trust us with tasks that are important to them and there’s a huge sense of satisfaction to be gained from helping them to the best of your ability.

How do you get your books from the UK? We use OHL as our freight consolidator. They ship twice a week and take about 72 hours to get our orders from the UK to Rotterdam.

Batch and Your Business

How long have you been using Batch Payments? We started using Batch after the Buchmesse [Frankfurt Book Fair] of October 2013, so a little over a year now.

In what way does Batch help your business? As a buyer, I find that with Batch it is much easier to keep track of which orders have come in and which still have claims on them. Inputting claims into Batch as opposed to e-mailing every supplier separately is very convenient. Also, not all suppliers have a system in which the order status can be checked easily. Since invoices show up in Batch quite early in the process, this makes it much easier to check the status of certain outstanding orders and thus provide our customers with the right information. Finally, our financial administration is pleased that they now only have to make two payments a month (GBP and EUR) as opposed to many separate ones.

Ingressus BV
Conradstraat 18 E7.172
3013AP Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 10 20 60 260