Company confirms RABC reports
Gannettoid.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Sept. 2, 2009 • Afternoon report
With a note to publishers Wednesday morning, Gannett finally confirmed it will consolidate its advertising production to centers in Des Moines and Indianapolis.
The company had been declining to discuss the move since it was first mentioned in a report one week before taking place Aug. 10-11 in Des Moines.
Publishers were sent details on the regional ad building centers in an e-mail from Bob Dickey, Gannett's president of the newspaper division, that said, "Our plans to create centralized advertising production centers in Des Moines and Indianapolis have progressed to the point where we wanted to update you and your employees."
The e-mail, obtained by Gannettoid.com and included at the bottom of this page, included a release for newspapers to share with employees, a Q&A document for employees and a more detailed note on the project (below) from Austin Ryan, Gannett's vice president of production, that Dickey said, "I request that you limit distribution of Austin’s letter to only your operating committee members."
Here's the note to publishers from Ryan:
CONTAINS PROPRIETARY BUSINESS INFORMATION - NOT FOR PUBLIC DISSEMINATION
To: Gannett Publishers
From: J. Austin Ryan
Subject: USCP Ad Consolidation
I wanted to share with you the details of plans we approved to consolidate USCP ad production through the creation of two Gannett Production Centers (GPC). The goal of this project is to improve efficiencies both internally and with our current outsourcing efforts, while maintaining a high level of quality and service for our advertisers. This will allow Gannett to stay competitive as the media landscape continues to evolve and is part of a larger effort to use technology to improve efficiencies, when and where appropriate.
The Gannett Production Centers will house both Ad Consolidation and the current Regional Toning Centers. The GPC will be located in Des Moines and Indianapolis for all of USCP - expanding the RTC operations and capitalizing on the technology and management infrastructure already in place. These centers will be responsible for many prepress functions throughout the division including image processing, receiving and processing electronic ads, ad building, spec ads and ad outsourcing. A separate plan is being developed that will enhance our premium creative services for customers at a local and regional level. This plan will create a group that would be responsible for customers in need of specialized services including the design of high-end creative packages.
We have signed an enterprise-wide agreement with DPS for a consolidated ad tracking system - DPS Ad Tracker. Currently 60 Gannett sites have DPS installed at their location, 15 sites have systems by other vendors and the remaining sites have no ad tracking system today. This plan is the result of many months of discussions with vendors, our newspapers and the corporate IT staff. It aligns with the Gannett technology roadmap moving forward. DPS is an industry leader in ad tracking and has been a very important business partner to Gannett for several years.
This plan will give USCP sites and their customers access to the latest technology and allow customers to become more involved in the ad submission and proofing process through the use of Ad Tracker On Line (ATOL). ATOL, along with a built-in CRM module, will be used to e-mail submission links to the advertisers, which will then allow them to submit ads and proof them via the Internet. The new process will be more efficient for our advertisers and allow our sales force to spend more time building relationships and less time doing administrative tasks. Sites will also have access through this web portal to the Gannett Creative Library to provide their customers with as many spec ad options as possible. Another benefit of this plan will be to provide our national and regional advertisers with the ability to use National Ad Portal, which allows them to perform Enterprise functions, such as submitting materials to multiple Gannett locations in one upload. They will also be able to check proofs for multiple newspapers in one place once their ads have been built by the GPC. This will also allow for several efficiencies from a systems side such as automated pickups and automated electronic ad processing.
This means the following for your site:
- All data will be centralized at the Maryland Operations Center (MOC) with a redundant backup at the Phoenix Operations Center (POC).
- DPS Ad Tracker will replace your current ad tracking system and all data will be centralized on one system.
- Any hardware in use at your organization when you transition can be repurposed or retired as appropriate.
- All ad tracking IT support will be initiated at the GPC rather than locally.
- Corporate IT is currently evaluating bandwidth at each site and upgrades will be completed as necessary.
A Task Force has been formed consisting of experts from each Group that will be working closely with your site to assure that everyone at your newspaper is prepared for the transition to the new workflow and system. These individuals, along with several Corporate IT members, met in Des Moines recently to discuss the overall project, talk about organizational structure and make some decisions pertaining to workflow and system. As a result of this meeting, several people have been assigned to smaller groups to facilitate pieces of the project using their expertise. There will be further meetings with sales and marketing staff to tailor the plan as necessary. Also as noted earlier, the creative teams at both the local and regional level will need to be identified once the GPC launches. This will be worked through on a site-by-site basis.
Some additional standardization will also be taking place at the same time. Mark Morneau has been working with Adobe for several months to develop a standardized font set across all properties that you will be asked to adopt, along with the use of InDesign 4. Graphic libraries will need to be addressed and standardized, as will the graphic services we use today. Discussions are taking place to make changes to Genesys to standardize order entry across all of Gannett as this will be critical to the workflow system. The workstations used by the Ad Traffic Coordinators will be managed and kept current by the IT personnel at the GPC, thus assuring licensing remains consistent and current across all properties.
Rollout will begin in November 2009 with Des Moines and Iowa City being the first sites to go live. The Indiana group of newspapers will then follow as these are the sites of the GPC hubs. Beginning in February, the focus of conversion will be on the larger sites followed by the remaining DPS sites, then the non DPS sites. All sites should be converted by Q1/Q2 of 2011. Formal rollout schedules will be forth coming and are still in development.
There will be more information and additional meetings in the coming weeks as specific plans for individual pieces of the project are further developed. We are preparing pre-site documents and surveys to help us collect and analyze information quickly and effectively. We are also working with HR and others here at corporate on retention plans for staff as this project will take numerous months to roll out and it will be important to retain staff during this time and reward them for their efforts.
I want to thank each of you in advance on your cooperation and help in making this project successful. I realize protecting and helping to grow revenue, as we retain strong customer service, must be the priority in this process. As always, if you need or would like some additional information, please let me know. I’m including a Q&A for general employee distribution as you see fit.