Prior to this change, the company bundled together the course books – which it purchased in quantity from publishers – and the CE credit, which is awarded following successful completion of an online posttest. The customer would place an order for the course, wait for the book to arrive in the mail, then read the book and complete the online test. The process of ordering books from publishers was inefficient from a standpoint of both time and money.
“We found that Amazon and other online retailers could, in most cases, deliver the book faster and at a price about 20% lower than we were able to do,” says Leo Christie, PhD, CEO of Professional Development Resources. “With the universal availability of such resources, this change is a bit of a no-brainer. Most people are familiar with Amazon and have done business with them, so this is not a concept that is strange to them. Our customers will get the same great courses for less, and we can spend our time improving our curriculum instead of handling books.”
The company, which will mark its 20th year of operation in 2012, started out as a provider of live conferences, later specializing in self-study courses, all of which were originally based on mail-order books. Today, the majority of courses are available online, requiring no mail-ordered materials at all.
“Actually, we have been moving in this direction for some time,” adds Christie. “The best thing about this new arrangement is that our customers still have a full range of choices. For those who like the look and the feel and even the smell of books, this is still an option, and a less expensive one at that. For people who prefer to go mobile, there are now many ways to access educational materials on our website and other Internet sources using smartphones and tablet readers like the iPad.”
The company estimates that employees currently spend between 10% and 20% of their time managing the various tasks involved in ordering, stocking, packing and shipping books. Once “Operation Goodbye Books” is completed, it plans to reallocate resources in more productive directions like website enhancement and curriculum development. Weekly updates with photos are posted on the company blog: http://pdresources.wordpress.com/
The current curriculum of mail order courses have been reduced in price and moved to 'closeout' on the company website. The courses will change to a 'test only' format once the remaining books have sold. Closeout courses can be viewed at http://www.pdresources.org/
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Professional Development Resources, Inc. is a nonprofit educational corporation organized in 1992. Our mission is to provide healthcare professionals with accredited continuing education courses on topics that are vital to contemporary clinical practice.