Want Less Work, Better Quality and Lower Costs?
Another key here is to consider moving the approval processes up in the production schedules. This can be really tough given the last-minute nature of publishing, but it can be done. Review articles earlier; submit concepts sooner; review text before it's poured into page-layout templates.
Workflow is another key area. Extend efficient workflow practices deep into the production process and it will yield huge dividends. In other words, develop the concept of concurrent, incremental work, and not batch work. Batch work is slow.
Try to find ways to incrementally improve workflow by slicing up jobs into smaller pieces. Have editorial review draft concepts while the designer is working on the next piece. When the review is completed, return the work to the designer for the next level of design. Don't design big batches of articles all at once, when individual articles could be moving through the production process more quickly.
The same applies to production staff: Process one ad and then submit it to preflight; don't wait for a batch of ads to arrive and then process them as a batch, which buries the preflight team. Workflow: Get the work flowing from one group to another.
Now is the time to start educating yourself on distribution options if you mail in any kind of quantity. You've done a lot of homework on the actual production process to make sure your printer is the right fit for your publication. The same applies to the distribution process. Changes are happening in the industry, and it is important that you and your circulation director work together.
Gigi DeWeese, sales representative at Publishers Press, a full-service printer for the short- to medium-run magazine market, suggests asking your printer the following questions:
• Do you have capabilities to co-mail or co-palletize?