Marshall Cavendish Rocks the International Market
But tapping the market is a different story and one that requires strict control to meet deadlines. With a diverse community of contributing editors, designers, translators and suppliers, in territories as widespread as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine, communication is not only challenging, but problems can essentially result in a situation comparable to a game of "whisper down the lane."
Initial concept and design creation is undertaken in-house in the United Kingdom, before further development is outsourced to external packagers. Most publications are then distributed to local publishing partners for localization, adaptation and translation, and the finished product is printed, marketed and distributed locally. Overall control and responsibility for each product rests with the UK Running Projects team—which oversees and approves all editorial and finished layouts—to uphold the quality and consistency of the company's products.
"With up to five new partwork products published each year, the pace of output is intense, so transferring data accurately, quickly and on schedule is fundamental to our success," says Chen. "At particular points in the product-development cycle, the movement and management of information can be intensely time-critical. To put it bluntly, if it doesn't get there on time, it's disastrous for our business."
By implementing the new workflow technology, Chen says the company gained full control of communications and enabled faster production. "Before … tracking incoming e-mails and attachments was giving us a real headache," he explains. Features like 'Red Hot Icons' for the 'Vio Send to Me' application were especially helpful in improving file transfer and communication, he says. "We now just send one e-mail to our external contributors, giving them a 'Red Hot Icon' to install on their desktops. Then, whenever they're ready to send a file or folder to us, they simply drag and drop it over the icon, and it's routed straight to the Vio server, with an instant e-mail notification to us that the file and its accompanying Job Ticket are available for collection.