Every magazine publisher looks for ways to improve production. Productivity has an obvious impact on the bottom line. But we often get hung up on details and tradition, which in the publishing world, sometimes equates to manual processes that slow delivery. Here are three ways to improve print production and yield immediate ROI.
1. Kill your email
Even if you wanted to, you probably can’t eliminate email from your life. But sending content, images, and comments back and forth online via email isn’t the ideal way to collaborate. This is true for internal and external contributors. How much time do you spend searching through emails to find the right thread? How much time does your staff spend resending large files, downloading, or uploading to the server? Calculate that time expenditure, and you’ll realize that each of these laborious processes is probably repeated three to five times during the production of every story in your publication. Calculate two minutes spent on every email. Now, multiply that by every person in your production line. Email is a time killer that can have a disastrous impact on productivity.
2. Automate, templatize, and standardize your processes
Those in the magazine publishing business believe in creativity, flexibility, and freedom to do things their own way. The idea of production driven by a templatized process may alarm creatives, but it is important to realize that standardization is not the kryptonite of creativity. Standardized workflows and templates are organizational tools designed to free up time for more important tasks — like creating better content.
Every magazine has pages that appear similar in design from one issue to the next. Templates save the time and effort of remaking designs. They also reduce fatigue — or boredom — that could lead to errors. Templates should not be too rigid. They are meant to encourage, rather than stifle, creativity.
The same is true of automated workflows in approval and design processes. Think of workflows as the best tool available for the job. What is the optimal tool for working smarter?
3. Use an online portal for content preparation
The reality of most publishing processes is that we spend too much time on staying organized. That’s true for writers, copyeditors, designers, photographers, and editors. To maximize time and streamline production, establish one location — one centralized online hub — for all communications.
At Sheridan, we know the real secret of better magazine production: Proofing and approvals happen faster in the cloud. Our InSite™ internet portal is a one-stop online hub for job submission, proofing, and approvals. Multiple reviewers can access proofs from any location on any digital device. Changes can be made in real time with multiple collaborators. This tool combines the best of the cloud with your trusted content workflows.
Contact your Sheridan representative, or visit our contact page to ask how we can help you streamline your publishing processes, reduce costs, and keep up with changes in print and publishing strategies.