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Combined Book Services use Batch!

Batch Returns for Suppliers


This is a guide to the different ways that suppliers can use Batch Returns and provide their customers with the ability to use the IRI (Industry Returns Initiative) electronic returns process.

How we can help

Batch Returns works with suppliers of all sizes, from small, independent publishing houses to large distributors who provide services for multiple client publishers. We have publishers who provide their own distribution and those who want to manage their own returns but use a distributor to handle the physical processing of the books being returned.

Publishers/suppliers can use Batch Returns by sending and receiving EDI messages or using the online Batch Returns web application. For those suppliers using EDI we are able to use the EDIFACT standard as well as the BIC text file format.

Costs for the system are dependent on the volume of business going through it and how you connect to the service. However you use Batch we aim to find a price that makes using the service valuable to you.

EDI EDIFACT or Text Format

If you wish to use Batch Returns using EDI then there is a testing procedure to go through to ensure file formats are correct and that communication links work. Batch has a full test system that mirrors our live production system.  Full specifications for file formats are available on request.

Initially we will agree on the cost of using the Batch Returns process then the charge will begin once testing commences. There is no additional charge for testing. We provide communications and you can have access to the test website as a bookseller so that you can generate requests and confirmation messages for testing. In other words, you are not relying on third parties for this crucial stage. Once testing is complete, together we will agree on a start date for you to go live on Batch Returns.

Online application

If you wish to use the Batch Returns online application all you need to do is complete the supplier registration form on the Batch Returns website. To do this you will need a GLN which Batch can help you obtain if you do not have one. Once you are set up on the system all your customers will be able to use Batch Returns to send requests.

Online application (as a client publisher of an IRI distributor)

If you are a publisher who would like to manage your returns requests, rather than allowing your distributor’s automated IRI system to do it for you, the Batch Returns system lets you do this. You can appear on the system in your own right and booksellers can send requests to you directly. You can choose to use the Batch Returns website to deal with the requests manually or Batch can send the messages electronically.

  1. The bookseller will send the request to Batch. This can be sent electronically or using the Batch Returns website.
  2. An alert is sent to you, the publisher.
  3. You will respond to the request.
  4. An alert is sent to the bookseller.
  5. The bookseller will prepare the books for return and send a confirmation message detailing what is physically being returned.
  6. An alert is sent to you, the publisher.
  7. A copy of the confirmation message can be delivered to the distributor if they wish to receive it.

Find out more

If you would like further information on Batch Returns please email us and we'll be happy to help.

You can see an overview of the options available to publishers here.