Pad­dock Pub­li­ca­tions im­ple­ments so­lu­tion to tran­sform print, dig­i­tal ad oper­a­tions

Newspapers & Technology Magazine - - Contents - ▶ by tArA McMeeKIn coN­TribuT­iNG wriTer t p

After 22 years, Pad­dock Pub­li­ca­tions is up­dat­ing its print and dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing sales plat­form. To do so, the Ar­ling­ton Heights, Illi­nois-based pub­lisher of the Daily Her­ald se­lected Lineup Sys­tems' Ad­point me­dia sales so­lu­tion. The sys­tem is on track to go live in late Au­gust and Pad­dock will lever­age the new plat­form to drive ef­fi­cien­cies and rev­enue growth across its news­pa­pers. It's hoped Ad­point will help the pub­lisher re­duce IT costs, grow ad rev­enue, im­prove cus­tomer ser­vice and in­crease op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies.

"We're re­plac­ing an an­cient, 22-year-old, main­frame Atex sys­tem," Stu R. Pad­dock III, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy and in­for­ma­tion sys­tems at the Daily Her­ald, cov­er­ing sub­ur­ban Chicago, told News & Tech. "With home-spun cus­tomiza­tion to fit sev­eral third-party pro­grams, it has served us fairly well over the years, how­ever, the mul­ti­tude of work­arounds to sus­tain to­day's tech­nol­ogy and the needs of the busi­ness has be­come over­whelm­ing. The work­flow di­a­gram is a plate of spaghetti.”

Pad­dock will im­ple­ment Ad­point for CRM, or­der man­age­ment, ac­counts re­ceiv­able and re­port­ing for all of the com­pany's me­dia prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing its flag­ship Daily Her­ald; Re­fle­jos Bilin­gual Jour­nal; Daily Her­ald Busi­ness Ledger and Town Square Pub­li­ca­tions.

The buy will also help the pub­lisher stream­line oper­a­tions of the nu­mer­ous news­pa­pers it has ac­quired dur­ing a phase span­ning the past sev­eral years.

"We're buy­ing other com­mu­nity news­pa­pers and other busi­ness to sta­bi­lize our rev­enue streams," Pad­dock said. "The pri­mary ben­e­fit with Lineup is that we will be able to as­sim­i­late the oper­a­tions of other busi­nesses more eas­ily into one frame­work.”

Ad­point will al­low each en­tity to set its own busi­ness rules, commission struc­tures and in­voic­ing op­tions. Fur­ther­more, Pad­dock's fi­nance depart­ment will have all line items re­port­ing di­rectly into its gen­eral ledger for bet­ter re­port­ing and anal­y­sis.

No more si­los

Pad­dock will use more than 50 seats on We're buy­ing other com­mu­nity news­pa­pers and other busi­ness to sta­bi­lize our rev­enue streams. Lineup Sys­tems' cloud-based, multi-chan­nel so­lu­tion across sales, man­age­ment, IT and fi­nance de­part­ments. The new sys­tem will help the pub­lisher elim­i­nate in­for­ma­tion si­los by al­low­ing users to cross-sell, bill and re­port on ad­ver­tis­ing sales.

In ad­di­tion to bet­ter vis­i­bil­ity across com­pa­ny­wide ad sales oper­a­tions, Ad­point will also pro­vide lead-gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties by fun­nel­ing in­for­ma­tion through the plat­form's CRM.

"We're not a busi­ness that re­quires great so­phis­ti­ca­tion in its CRM," Pad­dock said. "We need to get the job done, eas­ily and ef­fi­ciently and Lineup is a great tool to have in our arse­nal.”

Once the tran­si­tion to the new sys­tem is com­plete, mul­ti­ple ad or­ders will hap­pen more seam­lessly, par­tic­u­larly in the dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing realm.

"The com­plex­ity of dig­i­tal or­der­ing can be mind-bog­gling, with all the vari­a­tions and pos­si­bil­i­ties," Pad­dock said. "Be­sides the dimes on dol­lars for dig­i­tal d or­ders, find­ing ef­fi­ciency and stream­lined or­der­ing within that realm is an ab­so­lute must."

What's next?

Pad­dock said the ad­ver­tis­ing tran­si­tion is the pub­lisher's main fo­cus for the near fu­ture, and after 22 years on its legacy sys­tem it will take some time to as­sim­i­late. He said he's been im­pressed that the staff at Lineup Sys­tems has gone to great lengths to un­der­stand the pub­lisher's unique oper­a­tions and to help through what will cer­tainly be an anx­ious tran­si­tion.

The pub­lisher is look­ing for­ward to tak­ing ad­van­tage of the abil­ity to con­duct proper anal­y­sis on ac­counts and sec­tors, which will add a layer of ac­count­abil­ity within sales.

"Those items are go­ing to be our near-term fo­cus. That said, I know this com­pany will never sit still,” Pad­dock said. "We are con­stantly evolv­ing. It will be nice to have a sin­gle sys­tem to move these ideas into rather than my team spend­ing hun­dreds of hours cus­tom-cod­ing a square peg so it fits into that 22-year-old round hole."

Lineup Sys­tem's Ad­point so­lu­tion cur­rently sup­ports 1,600 me­dia brands, in­clud­ing Gan­nett, Time Inc., Bon­nier Corp., Toronto Star, Metro and the Tele­graph Me­dia Group.

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