Publishing Executive Hall of Fame: John Blanchard—Not Afraid of the 'What-Ifs’'
Snyder says Blanchard's efforts to streamline advertising, editorial and print production workflows are a model for the industry, and notes that Reed's ad-submission portal, ads4reed, garnered Blanchard an Innovator of the Year award from BtoB Magazine.
"… We have taken on very large-scale projects together and have shared in their success," says Snyder.
Blanchard also chaired for two years American Business Media's production and manufacturing technology committee, which addresses topics of print manufacturing, co-mailing, distribution and postal issues, publication workflow systems, content management and Web operations.
As for current challenges, Blanchard says his job is to continuously refine and retool operations within the recessionary environment, preparing the company for growth when the economy revives. "Automate where we can automate, consolidate where we can continue to consolidate, and outsource," he says.
No one project or initiative stands out to Blanchard as the definitive achievement of his career at RBI, thus far. Instead, he says, it is rising to "the continued challenge of rightsizing this business in line with the cyclical nature of b-to-b advertising to ensure that everybody gets what they need," he says. "That we provide high-quality products for our customers and services without interruption as we've managed through the peaks and valleys … of the advertising business. I think that's what stands out the most."
Michael Cohen, director of manufacturing and distribution purchasing at Reed Business Information, calls Blanchard a "visionary leader."
"Hall of Fame inductees should have made a significant impact to their business and the industry," says Cohen. "John has managed a business through good times and, most recently, in very challenging times. He has 'reinvented our wheel'—and continues to do so—treats employees with respect and encourages people to learn new skills.
"John is a strong leader who has a clear vision of the operations role and processes that need to be in place to contribute to the company's success," he adds, "and he has made a significant impact on the structure and cost basis of our operations. I can't think of anyone more deserving of being inducted into the Hall of Fame."
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