When the publisher set out to find a solution to manage and report on its delivery, it wanted one that was all encompassing and could handle myriad tasks. Specifically, CMG wanted to be able to generate daily route book production and delivery reports, and to capitalize on route management and optimization tools for its four largest dailies.

Early last year, CMG found the solution it was looking for in Dart from Publishers Circulation Fulfillment. In May 2017, the publisher completed a module-by-module rollout of Dart in order to keep home delivery on track for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Austin American Statesman, Dayton Daily News and The Palm Beach Post.

CMG is also taking advantage of Dart’s automated recovery dispatch, delivery verification, complaint management and carrier compensation tools.

“Daily processes run with a high rate of reliability, and the PCF team proactively monitors its system,” said Mark Moyer, distribution project lead for CMG’s PCF/Dart implementation. “We are [more than seven] months in, and we have seen relatively flawless performance of the technology.”

Aggressive rollout schedule

CMG established an aggressive rollout timeline from the get-go. At the same time, the publisher experienced a lot of business changes and said PCF was able to keep pace without missing a beat.

“PCF flexed to meet the needs of the myriad changes and worked closely with us to stay apace with our timeline,” CMG’s Senior Director of Distribution Erica Singleton told News & Tech.

PCF’s Dart application integrates with publishers’ existing circulation management system. In CMG’s case, it rolled out DTI Circulation in 2010 to streamline circ operations. Dart now bundles all of CMG’s delivery management tools into a single platform.

It also provides real-time access and control to help newspapers consolidate and optimize delivery routes. Dispatchers get a full view and control of their operations, and delivery drivers can manage routes and keep in contact with their individual depot.

The information the publisher has been able to glean from Dart’s analysis and reporting has been key as well. Specifically, the ability to easily pull complaint reports for all newspaper sites at one time has been a huge help and time-savings for its distributors.

“We look forward to tapping other aspects of Dart’s robust functionality, such as when we convert to digital route books and implement its compensation and e-contracting module in early 2018,” Moyer said.

Next up: Route consolidation, redelivery

CMG is currently conducting a route consolidation pilot in one of our Atlanta branches and Moyer said the publisher is eager to reap the benefits of Dart’s route optimization strengths across its distribution landscape this year.

The publisher is also implementing redelivery functionality that provides a level of carrier accountability over its previous system. That feature is expected to roll out by the end of January.

PCF touts Dart as an affordable solution for publishers of all sizes. It’s easy enough for small distributors to use, but can also be customized to meet the needs of the largest multi-publication and multi-region distribution enterprises, PCF said.

Dart’s features enable data management and complaint management for carriers, routing control, driver-friendly route books, and reporting tools for smarter routing. The platform integrates with mobile tools, allowing carriers to view and manage routes via smartphones, laptops or tablet devices. Additionally, distributors can assign routes and set all compensation parameters by product, route, and delivery type and more. Dart also enables compensation analysis by carrier, by district, product, delivery type, complaint charges or a custom payment group.

Strong vendor partnership

CMG said PCF has been an excellent business partner.

“The quality of support during our pilot program, training, and rollout of the delivery, routing and tracking software has been strong and consistent,” Singleton said. “Collaborative and solution-oriented, the PCF team continues to work closely with us as we fine-tune our process and expand use of the Dart technology.

Onboarding, system integration and training have been smooth as well. PCF trainers combined online classroom instruction with rigorous hands-on user demonstrations of capabilities. Moyer said PCF’s approach deepened the learning experience for CMG users, enabling quicker recall of system capabilities and better preparing distributors and their teams for the rollout.

“Having simple and easy-to-follow training documentation readily available within the system was a real plus,” he added.

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