• AdvantageCS Management Roundtable – Sharing and Listening for New Ideas

    This month, AdvantageCS hosted its annual management roundtable for its clients just prior to the Advantage Users Group conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. A group of executives representing a broad spectrum of publishing concerns ranging from data-only to print, from academic and B2B to B2C, from subscriptions to books, and from rapidly growing businesses to more declining markets. Participants also differed in their positions, from CEOs to CTOs to CMOs:

    Jeff Baker, American Master ProductsAllison Belan, Duke University PressJeff Crosby, InterVarsity PressPaul Gee, American Medical AssociationReid McLaughlin, Agora/14WestLaird Popkin, Hearst Transportation Group/BlackbookTara Rebak, Newsmax MediaBonnie Roche, Crain CommunicationsTim Swietek, Ogden Publications

    As usual, we wonder …



  • Welcome New Employee: Rachel Lipa

     

    We are pleased to welcome Rachel Lipa as the newest member of the Product Development group led by Paul Sauter. Rachel joined AdvantageCS full-time in January, although she is not completely new to the company, as she was an intern here for the last two summers.

    Rachel graduated with High Honors from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, and a minor in statistics. Her elective coursework focused on web systems, computer security, artificial intelligence, database management systems, and accessible software design. She was named an EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) Scholar, meaning that she achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or greater.

    In addition to interning here at AdvantageCS, Rachel spent a summer as an intern at the …



  • Conversations with Clients

    Last year, we launched a blog post series called “Conversations with Clients,” a way for us to get to know our partners at client companies a little better. We were delighted to have a conversation with Steve Searle at Air Business Subscriptions.  

    Based in Haywards Heath, UK, Air Business Subscriptions is a leading service bureau for both B2C and B2B publishers, and has been in business for 40 years. They began implementing Advantage in 2016, and the team at Air Business is now in the process of moving additional existing publishers from their legacy system onto Advantage. They are also working on an exciting piece of new business, a scholarly publisher for whom they will be completing a two-phase migration through 2019.

     

    (Steve Searle is pictured (on the left) alongside AdvantageCS’ …



  • Hidden Talents

    It’s easy to assume that technology companies are full of, well, techies. But here at AdvantageCS, we have a diverse group of employees with a wide variety of interests and in some cases, hidden talents. Case in point: we have not one, not two, but three published authors in the office! And we have a round-robin book-writers group, which writes collaboratively. Let us introduce you to them.

    By day, he’s our documentation specialist, by night Tim Martin is a prolific poet. His second published book, "Drowning at the Pool Party for Lifeguards," is a chapbook (small collection of poetry) described by the publisher as one which “visits the intersection of the broadly historical and the deeply personal, and explores how each works to inform the other. Mingling with poems about the Nazi …



  • Make a Statement with Detailed Statements

    Sending a clear and concise, yet detailed, invoice to your customers for every order is critical to receive accurate and timely payments. But some customers want to see a single statement that includes multiple orders, with the detail for each transaction.

    This is where the Detailed Statements feature in Advantage comes into play.

    Detailed Statements allows you to generate a single statement number that covers multiple invoices for a customer and tracks billing efforts against that statement. It also provides the linkage from that statement back to the order details. This allows you to access the in-depth information and present it to the customer at the level of detail that you choose.

    Whether you provide an invoice representing a single debit to your customers or a statement that …



  • Advantage Integrates with Apple App Store for the AMA

    From discussions with our clients during account management sessions or through our user group conferences, they (or the organizations they serve) are looking to develop new products to compensate for the shrinking content subscription market. One part of that product development strategy is branching out to exist where their customers already are. And where are they? If they are among the 99.9% of users, then that would be on platforms by Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

    This can be a controversial decision as it is well-documented how much publishers give up when “partnering” with these platforms—in revenue and in customer data. Why give up so much?

    Brand recognition. Customers are likely on these platforms and already familiar with them and there are no complicated on-boarding …



  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year

    Though that phrase may be overused, it is true here at AdvantageCS. The holiday season always brings festive decor and plenty of activities to help our employees get into the Christmas spirit.

    This year, we hosted a workspace decorating contest (which the Support Center won for the second year in a row) and white elephant gift exchange, where the gifts ranged from a ping pong ball duck target game to a folding cane (see more photos on Facebook or here). We also observed Pajama Day---a staff favorite---with cookies and milk in the afternoon and the now obligatory Ugly Sweater Day.

    The fun culminated in our annual holiday party at a local hotel. The party included a delicious feast, holiday music & movie trivia, and our ever-popular raffle in which employees could win a variety of …



  • AUG To Meet in New Orleans February 20 - 22, 2019

    Register now for the 2019 Advantage Users Group conference. It’s your chance to network, learn, and exchange ideas with other Advantage users. Plus, have some fun.

    The 2019 event will be held in New Orleans at the Crowne Plaza, in the French Quarter. Located at the intersection of Canal Street and Bourbon Street, this hotel is ideally positioned within walking distance of the French Market, Harrah's Casino and the Riverwalk Mall.

    Presentations, panel discussions, and round tables at the conference will feature a variety of options. Planned topics include the new web select builder, data mining, integrating with social media, and more! See the latest agenda for the full lineup of available offerings.

    Contact Tricia Koning, Steering Committee Communications, with any questionstkoning@ …



  • Increasing website sales by identifying abandoned shopping carts

    Many sales efforts focus on untapped markets and selling to new customers. However, there’s a segment of lost sales that may be slipping past you unnoticed---abandoned shopping carts. These are items selected on your website by customers who then elected not to complete the purchase process. 

    Abandonment Rate: As High As 80%

    The Baymard Institute has estimated an average abandonment rate of 69.89%, as of June of 2018. (Link here) Other sites reflect a figure just over 80%. That’s 7 or 8 customers out of 10 who have visited your site, added something to a shopping cart and then abandoned it without making a purchase! Some statistics claim that over 60% of these are recoverable. Consider the increase in revenue if even half of those turn into actual sales. 

    Reasons Why Carts Are …



  • 7 Steps to Guaranteed Failure When Shopping for a Major Software Application

    Over the decades, we have heard horror stories of organizations who have chosen the wrong system or application to accomplish some major task (sales order processing, subscription management, CRM, membership management, etc.), so we’ve honed a list of the steps, which, when strung together, can guarantee failure. That is, the wrong system will be chosen, which will cost your organization lots of money and years of wasted time. Now, it is possible that failure will occur by simply executing any of the 7 failure steps! So, if it’s failure you’re chasing after, you could be closer to it than you think.

    1. Make sure you are unclear about your requirements, so you can’t communicate them to the software vendor. After all, if you’re clear, you might slip in your communications and let the …



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