In 2017, Taylor & Francis, a leading global academic and scientific journal and book publisher, turned to Sheridan to help streamline and standardize their U.K. and U.S. journal workflows. Having worked with both U.K. and U.S. divisions, Sheridan was aware that the workflows were different and was confident that unifying the approaches would yield great efficiencies and value for both T&F divisions.
The team at Sheridan began by mapping each of the two journals’ production workflows, and then, keeping in mind the unique needs of both T&F locations, presented a universal workflow that both could adopt. The new workflow is made possible by Sheridan Select™, Sheridan’s automated print management system.
The Select solution
Sheridan Select proved to be the perfect platform for this initiative. In fact, the U.S. division had some experience with Sheridan Select as a print-on-demand (POD) back issue fulfillment solution.
To implement the new universal workflow, the U.S. division made adjustments to their content preparation workflow and associated supply chain responsibilities, which mirrored the U.K. division process, creating instant efficiencies and increased content processing automation.
Today, the majority of orders for both divisions are processed through the Sheridan digital production platform at the Sheridan PA facility, ensuring standardized toner and inkjet output. They also leverage Sheridan’s digital asset management system to process and house content files and associated metadata, eliminating the need for conventional prepress processing.
The results are in
Benefits of the newly implemented solution include standardization of workflows and full automation. Correction cycles and manual touch points are now a thing of the past, allowing for reduced costs and faster time to distribution.
Most Taylor & Francis journal printing in the U.S. is done at the Sheridan PA location, although some longer run journals are produced at the Sheridan NH facility. No matter which manufacturing location, all orders feed into a single integration point – Sheridan Select – and are then automatically channeled to the appropriate Sheridan print facility.
On the delivery side, both divisions now enjoy the benefits of a sophisticated back issue and inventory system. Sheridan houses and delivers back issues from over-runs of longer run publications, replenishes inventory using POD capabilities allowing for lower over-run quantities and, for ultra-short run publications, employs zero inventory, which eliminates the need to print overruns of these journals and store them in a physical warehouse for back-issue fulfillment. With the new workflow and Sheridan Select’s POD and fulfillment capabilities, Taylor & Francis can fine tune its print runs. This means lower storage fees and lost production costs for unused inventory. In addition, when Taylor & Francis adds new subscribers or receives back issue requests, one-off copies can be produced and mailed quickly and cost-effectively.
Before implementation of the Select solution, Sheridan produced 365 titles for the U.S. division, with an additional ~400 titles going to other print vendors. After implementation, Taylor & Francis awarded Sheridan a sole-source agreement, making Sheridan the only print provider for all ~800 Taylor & Francis U.S. journals.
Stewart Gardiner, Global Production Director of Journals at Taylor & Francis Group, explained, “Around 2015, Taylor & Francis journals decided that zero inventory was the future for our print program, which consists of many ultra-short run titles. To realize our vision, we needed to partner with a reliable, technologically advanced manufacturer who understood how to make the economics of print-on-demand work at scale. We were delighted to discover that the professionals at Sheridan were thinking along the same lines as us. The Sheridan Select digital asset management and ordering platform performs the role of a virtual warehouse, seamlessly integrated with our own content management and ERP systems. Backed up by a full suite of toner and inkjet digital presses and a crew of operators who really understand our products, it adds up to a compelling supply chain solution. As a result, we selected Sheridan as the sole supplier for our North American journals program in 2018.”
Eric Biggins, Sheridan’s Technology Solutions Manager, said, “It is an honor when the world’s largest publishers partner with Sheridan. The production teams at T&F are true professionals. It was rewarding to work with them to implement a solution that supported their vision. We were delighted to take on this sizeable body of work from T&F and were further gratified that it was seamlessly incorporated into our production workflow. This is validation that we are accomplishing our ongoing mission of providing superior solutions for our publishers.”