The 5 O'Clock Split: How to Manage Your Hectic Workload, Not Lose Your Mind and Still Get Home in Time for Dinner.
By doing this, we could utilize the strength of the experienced Bonnier production team to get the new magazine teams converted to our in-house prepress and moved to a new printer. We asked the printer to … assign [customer service representatives] who were already working on our other titles. … Having experienced Bonnier production employees for the new titles enabled us to answer questions from the new edit and sales staffs during the transition. Good planning and communication are essential to smooth integration.
How do you keep staff on schedule with multiple titles and shifting ad closings?
Earlywine: … [With 50 titles now,] we are constantly shipping something, but by combining titles that have different schedules, the production managers should not have two shipping on the exact same schedule, so they can focus on the issue shipping first. The titles have many different frequencies, from four times to 12 times a year. Depending on the titles and schedules, a production manager will handle two to four titles.
There is a point in the production cycle when we have to commit the issue to a map size, but ad closing is a moving target. The current economy has taken ad closing to a whole new level …, requiring more flexibility up until the day we ship the issue—sometimes it feels like until the ink hits the paper. We work closely with our printers [on] any schedule changes … .
What is your best advice for other production managers?
Earlywine: Surround yourself with a great team, and embrace changes. … Now more than ever, a production person has to stay current with technology and use it to improve efficiency. … Now our technology changes at a rapid pace, so it is a challenge to keep focused on the present production while looking down the road at the future.