Pioneering change as educational book suppliers

When you work in an industry for almost four decades, you are bound to see your fair share of change. And that’s certainly the case for Endeavour Education. Since our early days when we sought to fill a gap for educational book suppliers, we have seen the resource requirements of schools change significantly.

Endeavour Education Director Bob Stephenson has been there from the beginning and has charted the course, in many ways pioneering changes in the industry. He explains,

“At Endeavour, we provide a total service. We have been quick to shift our services to meet the needs of schools and moved to implement new technology to keep the schools abreast of the latest changes in resources. Whether schools want digital resources, site licensing or reactivation, we offer it all under one roof.”

The digital shift

The digital shift

Bob recalls that the shift to digital started with publishers about 20 years ago. For schools over the last decade, that digital resource landscape has become challenging to navigate. Thankfully, from the beginning, we’ve had Bob’s technical expertise from his engineering background to steer us in the right direction.

“We have worked in parallel to schools as they have expressed interest in going digital. Our Single Student Logon was the first of its kind in the industry and offers schools a blended approach to how they can handle their resources, both digital and print.

Some schools that have gone down the digital path want to have a PDF of the resources so they can work offline in the classroom. We have now moved to the next stage where we have reformatted the PDF to allow the student to work with learning tools that are matched across a range of publishers. The challenge with the move to digital for many schools is that all publishers have different systems… our Single Student Logon eliminates the difference between them all so the student has a set of annotation tools that are all identical.”

Supporting individual school needs

Supporting individual school needs

More than 25 years ago, Bob realised that schools needed more from their educational book suppliers. There was a potential to add value to schools beyond simply providing the books they ordered. And that’s because every school is unique. They each have an individual character and resource requirements that have certainly evolved over the last four decades.

“We provide a service,” says Bob. “We aren’t just order takers. We talk to each of the schools we work with and always follow up.

Supporting individual school needs

In order to give schools the level of service they want, we know we need to offer close contact with a sales representative. We were one of the first educational book suppliers to have multiple sales representatives actively going out and talking to schools.

That model has not only allowed us to better support schools through the shift to digital resources, but also respond to other changing needs. In NSW for instance, we have seen a trend over the last 20 years for a number of private schools to move towards student purchase of resources rather than hiring them from the school. Our booklisting service answers this demand.”

One thing is for sure, as school needs change over time, we will continue to respond to the demand, as we always have.

Publishing industry changes

Publishing industry changes

“Over the years, many of the small boutique publishers have been absorbed by the large publishing houses,” explains Bob. “While we once had relationships across a large range of publishers, now we only have a few specialist publishers alongside the six major partners.”

Publishing industry changes haven’t just affected the education industry, they are in fact across the sector. We know that educational book suppliers are only as good as the relationships they have with publishers, so we always focus on building strong and lasting partnerships. And it has paid off. As Bob explains,

“We are regarded by the six major publishers as a channel partner. That means we get the first inkling of any new product coming out, we get first inspection copies and we work very closely with those publishers. For schools, that means we have the big picture when it comes to servicing their resource requirements.”

Looking to the future

At Endeavour Education, the future is bright. Bob’s son, Jon, has stepped into the business as General Manager while Bob starts to scale back towards retirement. The Endeavour business is in good hands.

As a family business, the service we offer schools matters to us. Over almost 40 years, the industry has transformed before our eyes… and we are proud to be drivers of that change. We are passionate about the industry and playing our part to make a difference in how schools and students access their educational resources.

Contact us to discuss your educational resource requirements and how we can provide a tailored solution for your school.