34 Cost-Cutting and Time-Saving Production Tips
With fast-track routes, he notes, “In general, we would not skip steps, but make steps shorter. But multiple proofing steps are avoided and proofing is shorter. All process steps are managed more rigidly. Obviously ‘fast track’ comes at a price, as suppliers will charge extra for prioritizing work. So, ‘fast track,’ as a rule of thumb, is not skipping steps, but reducing waiting times between steps and actors.”
27. E-books: There’s nothing quicker.
“The more fundamental change is, of course, the exciting transition to electronic books, which allows almost immediate availability of titles after typesetting,” Laeven says. “This is really a great step forward to get books to the market quickly, but also to extend their lifecycle significantly.”
With respect to e-books, the change toward XML coding, bandwidth improvements and platform development contributes greatly to their usability, he adds.
28. Embrace technology with an eye to improving communication.
“[Technology] helps us a lot in developing better planning tools,” Laeven notes. “Having said that, IT is important, but equally important is the ability of the managers of the processes to modernize working practices by using IT tools. Communication is key; the tools to connect actors all over the world have improved quickly over the last few years, especially video- and teleconferencing. In the old days, all workflow steps were strictly sequential. The new technologies, communication means and planning tools help us to have process steps that are partly overlapping so that much time can be saved,” he says.
TIPS FROM … Denis Beaudin, Director, Strategic Business Development, Information Products—Book Group, Transcontinental Inc.
Ontario-based printer Transcontinental offers a vendor’s perspective on cutting costs and speeding production time.
29. Consolidate vendor lists.
“Increasingly, major publishers are consolidating their vendor lists and purchases,” Beaudin says. “The objective is to derive cost benefits from volume purchasing and volume incentives. Publishers are leveraging their buying practices for composition, materials and printing. Smaller and medium-sized publishers are ‘ganging’ print runs, which leads to cost reductions.”