Sponsored Session at the News Industry Summit

Power Up Your Profitability: Revenue generation & cost optimization


Gary Blakeley
"We didn't know what we didn't know."

Immediately after we completed a recent operations review and audit for one of our newspaper customers, the CEO, who was very involved in his operations, told us that SLP helped him uncover certain production issues and conditions that he didn't know existed. And, they were costing his company a significant amount of money.

If nothing else, this suggests to me that busy executives cannot possibly know all the goings-on (or lack thereof) in their newspaper printing and prepress departments. And sadly, department heads and even operators may not know what they don't know, either.  Or, they are reluctant to acknowledge changes that are needed when no one else is raising any issues.

Enter SLP Solutions, a division of Southern Lithoplate, which provides services in two key business segments:

  • SLP Solutions Press and Prepress Performance Services
  • SLP Solutions Consultative & Information Services

I was honored to present, at the recent News Industry Summit, a brief glimpse into our Consultative & Information services during our sponsored session: "Power Up Your Profitability."  In the brief presentation, we covered two key solutions available from SLP Solutions:

  • RIP to Dock Operations Review and Audit Services
  • KPIplus+

KPIplus+ is a key performance indicator tracking and reporting program, powered by SLP Solutions, and supported by SNPA.

The RIP to Dock Review helps newspapers identify problem areas in their production operations such as process pinch points, job scheduling, newsprint waste from start-ups, aging equipment and more.  Other issues may be triggered or exacerbated by device manufacturer discontinuation of machine or software support or heightened need for adherence to EHS guidelines.

A typical review/audit is launched with comprehensive phone interviews between SLP Solutions and key management to establish goals and the review parameters. On-site conversations with production department heads and operators, plus inspection of equipment and key production areas including processes and procedures, reveal the specifics that may need attention.

After what can be up to a full day for this on-premises review, a report is prepared and shared with management that details the findings, lists our recommendations, prioritizes them and then quantifies the potential hard cost and labor savings, if the recommendations are implemented.

This process and report opens the eyes of both management and production and serves as a catalyst for action as well as fostering improved cooperation and trust. It's a win for everyone including owners, who can see a tangible return for their investment.

KPIplus+ is a joint program between SNPA and SLP Solutions and a first-of-its-kind performance tool for newspapers.  Planned for launch early in the fourth quarter of 2016, KPIplus+ will deliver actual newspaper performance data on a variety of production metrics that include, for example:

  • Newsprint waste.
  • Press uptime.
  • Cost per impression/pressroom.
  • On-time delivery percentage to circulation/carriers.
  • Plus, 9 additional performance indicators.

The data will be collected anonymously from among dozens of newspapers representing varying circulations and print runs.  This affords peer-to-peer comparisons and can serve as targets or guidelines for newspaper production.

That, in turn, can help papers keep their costs in check, improve efficiencies and increase profits.

The aggregate data, which remains anonymous throughout the collection and reporting across all 13 indicators, can be viewed in a simple, easy-to-read dashboard.

As more and more newspapers participate in the data reporting, the tool gains in value as publishing operations can look around to see where they should be vis-à-vis their comparable newspaper brethren.

If you believe your operation could benefit from some objective study or analysis, I encourage you to visit http://slp.com/solutions_slpsolutions.asp, or call me directly at 800-638-7990, ext. 226.


KPIplus+, Southern Litholate, Blakeley
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