Leading Newspaper Printer: Meeting Deadlines Whilst Reducing Risk
Our client, a leading printer of newspapers in the UK, recently developed an all new, purpose-built £140m printing plant, primarily for the purpose of changing their newspaper printing format from broadsheet to Berliner.
Consequently, they became the UK's first full-colour national newspaper, and the UK's only full-colour Sunday paper. They then made the strategic decision to invest in their own modern press equipment, having previously outsourced their printing. This would allow them to print 128-page full-colour papers, which would attract more advertising and generate more revenue.
Post-press operations regularly fluctuate by as much as 60 people, by sheer nature of the industry. The increase in commercial advertising makes the fluctuations even more severe, as huge volumes of inserts and magazines are added to each newspaper at a rate of 80,000 copies per hour.
Furthermore, the launch date of the new press moved from nineteen weeks to two weeks away, allowing the client no time to recruit, schedule or train staff: The new equipment required a standard four weeks' training.
Our client asked us to take over the entire post-press operation, as we were the very operation that their previous printers had outsourced to with great success. Aktrion seconded our own experienced managers from other printing sites, who immediately assembled their own start-up teams.
Aktrion's recruitment division quickly found reliable staff of varying skill levels available at short notice. We implemented a bespoke two-week training solution for our client, which focused on training of essential components during the first two weeks, then integrating subsequent training with ongoing production.
Because of the high degree of unknown risks involved in using new equipment on a new site with little notice, we over-staffed in the first few months of the launch. In the first year however, Aktrion was able to streamline processes and improve efficiency and productivity enough to reduce staff by over 30%!
At the same time, our client met each and every printing deadline, which is of course the highest priority of any newspaper printer.
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