The purchase of a 260,000-sq.-ft. warehouse last February in Jackson, Tenn., which nearly doubled its warehouse capacity, is only one sign of the steady growth posted by the five-year-old distributor Client Distribution Services. According to president Gilbert Perlman, revenue for CDS is now more than $200 million. That figure includes sales from both its full-service distribution and fulfillment-only clients, but not its fledgling publishing program of six or seven books a year.
"Roughly 70% of our clients are full service, versus 30% fulfillment only," said Perlman, who declined to break down revenue. In his view,"there's really no difference between fulfillment and distribution. It's a suite of services." Starting in 2001, for example, CDS became the only distributor to offer pick, pack and ship functions for other distributors. Its first client was the now-defunct LPC Group, but current fulfillment clients include Continental Sales, which moved to CDS in September; Mint Enterprises; and O'Reilly Computer Books, which handles distribution for several other computer book houses.
CDS plans to continue to look for ways to slice and dice its services. "I guess fundamentally we view ourselves as an access provider, ultimately providing access to the marketplace for people who have content," said Perlman. "We want to remain very flexible as this business changes."