Take the Express to the Press
"The bad news was that Red Herring was going to face extreme upheaval to accommodate the new publishing frequency," Brown expounds. "The great news is, we were able to take that pressing need and turn it into an opportunity to rethink the entire editorial workflow and develop it with everyone's commitment and insight."
Brown also became Fox's advisor when it came to renegotiating Red Herring's expiring print contract. Although Donnelley won the contract renewal, the change in frequency meant that the magazine would find its new printing home at Donnelley's Danville, KY, plant.
The next wave
Once the workflow was mapped out, Fox could then address the magazine's immediate needs for technologies. To help with editorial and art communication, Red Herring's editorial staff had already brought in Image Inc. to implement Modulo System's QPS. At the same time that "Express to Press" was being created, edit and art were being trained and brought up to speed on QPS' capabilities. To assist production staff, who were now charged with delivering pages in forms to the printer, the magazine licensed Managing Editor's Advertising Layout System (ALS) for ad pagination.
"Before I came to Red Herring, I'd heard that they did the layout on a blank wall covered with blank envelopes, in which they placed little slips of paper with the names of ads or feature articles. … When I arrived, I created a [Microsoft] Excel spreadsheet for the imposition. But that was still a really manual process and just as cumbersome. But at least with the spreadsheet, I knew that no one could move things around in the middle of the night," Fox quips. "When we went from 300- to 600-page issues, started bi-weekly production and had to start delivering forms to the printer, it made sense that we spend some money on software. We had ALS up and running by August, and we were trained on it the week before Labor Day. What used to take me … 12 hours or more to do over a weekend now takes us less than three hours to do during working hours."