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Business-Production-Business Integration Thursday, January 06, 2005 By Bert N. Langford In the August 1984 issue of Folio:, Bert N. Langford presented a vision of what the (then infant) personal computer could mean to the publishing workplace, which since has largely been fulfilled. Here, he extends that vision, 20 years later, into what magazine publishing can expect next... When you consider the breadth of change in magazine publishing these last 20 years, it is quite amazing. Yet, perhaps this represents only the beginning—if magazine publishing, its suppliers, clients and their technology providers were to take the technology already available to us, and extend it to the ultimate step: A fully automated publishing management environment, meaning complete, integrated end-to-end process management, from concept to magazine delivery. Consider: • Magazine workflows can be substantially simplified, as manual steps are eliminated through new or expanded intelligent applications. You not only eliminate manual clerical work, but also enable the computer to back-stop your work to ensure optimal accuracy and performance. • Computer systems could become an even more integral part of everyone’s job: Not just the editor and art director. Not just the use of spreadsheet programs. Rather, all employees, even senior management, will have powerful, intuitive, and fully integrated software applications in order to be kept fully informed in order to do their jobs better, with the goal of automating the publishing workplace to the fullest extent possible. • The publisher’s ability to run the business can be significantly enhanced in responding to, even leading the marketplace, with alternative revenue opportunities and by delivering more timely and targeted content to readers, while reducing its cost of production to the lowest possible level. These measures can also reduce turnaround time, perhaps the print publisher’s greatest obstacle in competing with electronic media. But there are two major challenges. Computerization is haphazard. Today, the reliance on manual processes, even when using computers, takes up an inordinate amount of time and distracts from managing. For example, in the accompanying chart [p. 49], highlighted applications largely do not have software products in place today. And even available applications may not be developed to computerize all clerical processes. Computers aren’t integrated. &quot;Integration&quot; and &quot;data exchange&quot; are commonly-used terms, but the potential benefits of fully integrated applications are much greater than what you might imagine. In its simplest form, the most common type of data exchange is a one-time batch exchange: Your application imports a flat text file (even an Excel spreadsheet) with columns as fields and rows as records. Outside of entering the data manually, you may not be able to receive data in real-time. And the data is probably not intelligent—that is, the computer cannot automatically act upon the imported data. If you have computer systems developed by the same software vendor, you may have actionable data exchange in real-time. However, having one vendor offering all the applications found within the blueprint above would create a monopoly and limit choices for magazine publishers. IDEAlliance and other organizations are establishing standards and other exchange protocol. But it will take more than standards to meet the objectives cited above. For one, much of their efforts focus on standards that will enable companies to exchange data not within the same publishing office. Second, the lion’s share of integration has concerned integration of production processes. But what about business-to-business applications? Or better yet, business-to-production-to-business integration? With digitization of content through all creative-production processes now in place, content can be integrally interwoven into business systems for advertising accounting, circulation and production. By attaching metadata instructions to digital files, overall production processes are simplified. Tomorrow’s Workplace: A Reality Let’s propose tomorrow’s publishing workplace. Here is a possible scenario which under manual systems could never be properly implemented. Implementing a Virtual Employee Manual A publisher’s HR department has worked up a “virtual manual” of policies. The initial objective is to develop a fully computerized organizational chart where all operations, their departments, and the management and employees of each department have been catalogued. With a few keystrokes, privileges are assigned or later changed applying to all employees holding the same job title. If an employee is hired or promoted, simply selecting his job title results in the appropriate software privileges being assigned him. The Virtual Manual would also integrate with departmental fiscal budgets for budget planning and execution. An Operations Management System (Van Gennep’s PlanSystem3 ) would be used by publishers and department heads for planning and management.The manager would have access to that system and the requisite analytical tools to evaluate performance against plan. The system would also interact with the supply-chain management and ad-management systems to project issue costs in comparison to budget and history. The system would be an intelligent tool for senior management to get the truth regarding business and production status, without subjective interpretations. The Marriage of “Digital Content” Fully digital workflow removed “blinders” imposed by the limitations of analog, film-based prepress. Content repurposing is now cross-media publishing, with content prepared for multiple distribution channels. Each article or ad can now be indexed within an asset-management system. Publishers will have additional data about subscribers and newsstand buyers. This can create privacy issues but tracking content can be implemented at the publisher’s discretion. IDEAlliance’s Digital Image Submission Criteria Working Group (DISC) has developed standards for digital photography, while PDF/X-1a will give way to the PDF/X-3 format in order to incorporate ICC profiles and other image metadata. Content will merge with business applications, such as schematic planning (Dataplan’s JournalDesigner , QuadGraphic’s Impoze ); ad management (Media Services Group and others) and edit management (Quark’s QPS system and SoftCare’s K4 Publishing System ). Supply Chain Management Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) and JDF—job-definition format—are practically synonymous to many in our business. But there is more to being automated than enabling the printer’s presses and bindery lines. For publishers, there can be three critical production applications. Cost Management. This covers fiscal manufacturing and distribution budgets, estimates, and invoice reconciliation/approval, including specifying all the billable work the publisher wants the printer to perform. The Schematic Application. This is used by the publisher in book makeup practices to dummy the magazine issue for editorial and ad placement. The Printing Contract Management Software. This application provides for the integration of the publisher’s overall business and manufacturing functions with the printer’s processes. Every conceivable component to be produced and billed by the printer will be assigned by the printer an electronic “code” found in both the printer’s price schedule and in its automated systems. The publisher’s cost-management application would use the printer’s codes for preparing budgets and later reconciling/approving invoices. It would also use them for estimating issue costs that ultimately form the magazine issue’s “Pre-Bill” (or purchase order if the publisher and printer are not under contract). The result is to specify the exact work the publisher expects the printer to perform. Each issue’s production planning begins with the map, or schematic application, where the user determines where each ad and editorial item will be placed within the issue (page folio and position on each page). The schematic is online with the publisherseparate ad management and editorial-management systems to routinely receive information including images and actionable metadata that is used in automatically placing ads and editorial. The schematic is also interacting with the cost-management application for compiling the Pre-Bill estimate, offering the user real-time cost results. When the schematic is finished, an electronic Production Order is transmitted to the printer, including actionable metadata for automatic use by the printer’s computer-integrated manufacturing system and business systems. The order includes not only the Pre-Bill, but all magazine-issue related specifications including but not limited to trim sizes, paper-stock, print-order breakdowns and even digital-image ink densities for pre-setting the press’ ink fountains. The printer’s billing and CIM systems are integrated in order for the printer to import that electronic Production Order to automatically execute invoicing and CIM manufacturing processes, with both first reconciled to ensure no billing or manufacturing errors. Unfavorable invoice variances would be eliminated by preventing them from occurring before-the-fact. Even manufacturing problems that are not catalogued into the pricing/billing system, such as brick-piling due to defective glue, causing inserts to stick together, are entered by the printer’s receiving department for establishing a Manufacturing Exception report that generates electronic documentation to the publisher for prior notification/approval (if time), and to the printer’s billing department for later billing. Through collaborative feedback between systems managed by the publisher and printer, the publisher’s own intelligent software systems become more intuitive as the printer’s systems can update the publisher’s planning tools for better management and planning. Is Any of This Truly Possible? Technically, yes, it is. Much of it is already happening, just piecemeal. IDEAlliance is preparing an initiative to computerize electronic insertion orders for automating data exchange between the ad agency and publisher. Online circulation systems are enabling subscribers to renew or purchase new subscriptions, even change address. And publishers already check magazine production status by logging onto a personal account at the printer’s Web site. But going to the next step requires the cooperation of publishers, printers, ad agencies and technology providers. What remains is the creation of a universal data dictionary identifying all aspects of magazine publishing and related industries, and then the technology tools to interpret those data elements for assuring integration. Changing the traditional publishing/production culture is another matter. Competitors are not normally known to cooperate with one another, so it will take a huge push from the end-user companies like publishers and printers. To many, “automation” means loss of jobs. Yet, as the reality of our time, such losses in jobs enables companies to operate more leanly, and thereby compete more effectively against electronic media. And for those employees who evolve with the times, there will be greater job satisfaction through more qualitative and critical work-product for the company.
O Poder da Impressão Digital
O PODER DA IMPRESSÃO DIGITAL
1. Você não precisa manter grandes níveis de estoque do trabalho impresso. 2. O “setup” da impressão é muito mais rápido e barato do que a impressão convencional. 3. Não existe desperdício de produtos não-vendidos. 4. Permite a Personalização de dados e conteúdo da Impressão. 5. Você pode lançar novos produtos com fantástica agilidade, lucratividade, aproveitamento do conteúdo existente. 6. Viabiliza a distribuição de um vasto conteúdo de produtos que o impressão convencional proibe. 7. Clientes procuram por CONTEÚDO não por manchetes de jornal. Por quê Impressão Digital?
POR QUE IMPRIMIR NA ERA DA INTERNET? A Impressão é portátil. A Impressão traz retorno. A Impressão entusiasma as pessoas. A Impressão tem credibilidade. A Impressão fica. A Impressão é pessoal. A Impressão está em todos os lugares. A Impressão coloca o Cliente no controle. A Impressão muda o mundo!
“ Quando você vende preço você aluga o seu negócio. Quando você vende VALOR você é dono do seu negócio” eu mesmo e um monte de gente.