Solutions Showcase: Better, Faster Magazine Production
Jane Hazel, production manager for Mansueto Ventures, agrees, adding that, for her, the most important benefit is the ability to make layout changes on the fly. The answer for Hazel and her company has been QuadSystems' Impoze and Adsync. Mansueto plans to move to Publisher's Studio, Quad's new suite of services that combines the features of Impoze and Adsync on a shared database.
Tips for Selecting a Solution
Before adding a workflow/scheduling tool, production managers and company management should review the production department's current processes and determine what production managers need in order to do their jobs better.
A main consideration is return on investment (ROI), Walter says, noting that typically the ROI for ALS for Magazines can be achieved with the elimination of the first make-good.
"It's a small capital investment that will pay dividends very quickly through the money savings, the time savings and the efficiency in the workflow that's gained," he says.
Match technology to your needs, Walter advises. "Your ad-planning system should be able to easily interpret ad information from your booking system without requiring expensive changes to your ad-booking system," Walter says. "Other often-critical requirements include the ability to manage conflicts to prevent erroneous placements; support for both automated and manual ad placement; electronic transfer of ads to your current editorial page layout; the selection of management reports; and the ability to deliver a run-of-publication export for automating the reconciliation with the booking system."
Linda Garfinkel, senior alliance partner for publishing consultants The Lexicon Group, recommends shopping around to determine what kind of software will streamline the process.
"Not all off-the-shelf solutions fit the needs equally, and price alone is often not a good criteria," she says. "... Try to separate salesmanship from actual software features. Pay special attention to support beyond installation."
Solutions on the Market
Bard Business Solutions
Product: Magazine Manager
Features: A software tool that includes multiple databases that hold information on advertisers, contracts, print jobs, articles, subscribers, invoices and production scheduling. It also offers tables for information on ad types and rate cards as well as volumes and issues. Developed in FileMaker Pro, the tool runs on both Mac OS X and Windows XP platforms.
Publishers who have used the solution: Not available.
Pricing: Not provided.
Contact: 416-410-2273, www.BardSolutions.com
Features: Electronic-submission interface and print-production management system for tracking, administration, assembly, correction and approval of publishable material. Project status is viewed as color-coded page icons, as well as JPG thumbnails and PDF full views of completed pages, all available in real-time from a Web browser. Features complete production-automation workflow, software flat-plan development and imposition, and proofing.
Publishers who have used the solution: Parade Magazine, Niche Media, Hachette Filipacchi
Pricing: $90,000-$150,000, depending upon size of installation.
Contact: 407-574-7486, www.Dalim.com