How Thomson Nelson Cut Production Workflow by 50 Percent
Thomson Nelson, Canada’s leading educational publisher, recently partnered with Transcontinental Printing to utilize the company’s Job Assistant module. The module is a Web-based, self-service, title-management premedia solution designed for an automated prepress workflow that allows electronic file transmission and soft proofing [online approval]) through its Digital Workshop software suite. The result has been Thomson Nelson cutting its production time by approximately 50 percent.
Book Business Extra spoke with Marnie Benedict, director of composition and prepress technology, Thomson Nelson, and Denis Beaudin, business development manager, Transcontinental Printing, about the partnership and how other publishers can learn from their success.
EXTRA: How did your company decide it needed to look into this partnership to reduce manufacturing cycles and cost savings?
BENEDICT: In the educational publishing industry, there is great pressure to deliver quality products on time and, in many cases, early, in order to meet the needs of our customers. Even more important is the strength of our content and its ability to adhere to ever-changing curriculums. That said, it’s critical that, as a publisher, we’re given as much time in the process as possible to author, develop and present the content in a systematic way. [It] allows us to reduce our manufacturing time, hence adding precious time where it’s needed most—perfecting our content.
EXTRA: How is it used by Thomson Nelson, and how it has improved business?
BENEDICT: Prior to using Job Assistant, the time required to manufacture our two- and four-color titles was approximately four to five weeks. Since implementing the system, this time has been reduced by approximately 50 percent. Files are now ripped during the upload to the system, thus eliminating internal page proofs as well as the costs associated with the creation and delivery of printer proofs.
EXTRA: How specifically does a publisher save time and money with a solution like this?
BEAUDIN: [It] eliminates the need ... to supply hard-copy lasers with their files. Aside from the cost and time to output the lasers, there are additional time and costs savings associated with the actual shipping of lasers and returning hard-copy proofs to the client for approval. In addition, it [used to] take several hours to upload large files via FTP with the usual risks of file corruption during the process.
EXTRA: Why do you feel partnerships like the one between Thomson Nelson and Transcontinental are crucial in the field of publishing?
BEAUDIN: Due to ever-increasing competitive pressures, there is a need for publishers to speed up delivery of products to the market. Books compete with other forms of media, notably the Internet. Therefore, it is crucial for a publisher like Thomson Nelson to develop a close working relationship with a supplier … and benefit from the latest technological services.
BENEDICT: The relationship between Thomson Nelson and Transcontinental is a special one. This is certainly not the first initiative that we’ve worked on together, nor will it be the last. Print technology has evolved over the last number of years, and, in prepress, when one of us brings about change, it greatly affects the other. …