ING - Print

The International Newspaper Group (ING) has set October 4-5 for ING/PRINT 2019, a networking event for print production, logistics and operations executive leadership, to be held in Chicago. ING 2019’s statement of purpose calls for it to be the single event where “print-centric” leadership from the Americas and Europe will meet, network, and share best-in-class ideas, said Steve Mattingly, ING program chair. It’s not a tradeshow; there are no booths to visit. Instead it’s a networking conference designed to provide resources and practices to empower operations execs to successfully shape the print landscape of the future, he said.

The International Newspaper Group’s board of directors consists of 22 newspaper executives and suppliers. According to Russ Newton, ING president, demand for a print-centric networking event is more pronounced than ever. “ING’s LinkedIn following grew by over 100 connections within hours of a save-the-date post last month. Plus, newspaper print leaders across the Americas are already contributing and participating to ensure this networking event will drive significant and actionable value for any and all who attend.”

Kevin Desmond, ING board secretary and SVP operations for Star Tribune Media, points to the organization’s statement of purpose as further reason

for newspaper representatives to attend: If you are the one in your organization responsible for print, logistics, distribution, integrated services, or real estate/facilities, “ING is the event you must attend to learn how your colleagues and industry suppliers are navigating these challenging times. The Star Tribune has implemented several EBITDA-positive initiatives as a direct result of my attendance at ING,” Desmond said

This year’s keynote speaker will be Keni Thomas, author, motivational speaker, musician, and decorated former Army Task Force Ranger. “He will provide the ING audience with valuable insights and inspiration: Get It On! What It Means to Lead the way,” Mattingly said.

“Plus, our industry keynotes and panelists will cover brass tack solutions regarding quality, cost-management, logistics, and strategic partnering,” Mattingly said.ING has a new website on which ING 2019 Summit content and updates will be posted weekly. The ING board encourages all newspaper executives, including publishers, owners, and production leaders to visit the site at internationalnewspapergroup.org.

News & Tech spoke with three ING board members about their operations, emerging solutions and revenue streams.

Clarence Jackson

Clarence Jackson Senior Director of operations, atlanta Journal Constitution/Cox enterprises

N&T: What do you see as best-in-class solutions in the market now?

Utilizing local vendors that can provide control upgrades and solutions for obsolete equipment, both for the obsolete components as vendors have disappeared or where OEMs have drastically cut back support. With reduced circulations, the ability to best utilize equipment by modifying delivery schedules and production windows.

Another challenge at our newspaper is the ability to employ the best people in our industry. Our solution for that is to provide an industry-leading, best-in-class experience for our employees, our most important assets. At Cox, our benefits are second to none with great medical, a 401(k) program, pet insurance and many others.

The AJC was an early adopter of utilizing customer data to best understand their subscription habits and the website traffic patterns of our customers,

N&T: What may be on the horizon for emerging solutions? both current and potential ?

Utilizing research to best serve our customers, we are looking to our division partners in radio and TV to use reader research to better focus our products and efforts on the correct areas.

The AJC will dig even deeper into data and analytics as we work to understand the habits of our current print and digital customers. According to Will Hauck, AJC’s senior director of consumer revenue, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning will be our best tools to predict the behaviors of our current and potential digital customers. It is more crucial than ever to retain our current subscribers and identify new prospects to groom into paying subscribers, using dynamic offers and personalized messaging.

N&T: Is recycling currently being viewed as a revenue stream or a cost of doing business? Please explain your response.

Recycling is and has been for decades a part of doing business in newspapers. It is a critical part of our business as we recycle virtually every material we run through our process. Due to the precipitous decline in recycled material commodity prices, revenue isn’t what it once was for these materials. That said, recycling all the materials is just as important as ever. 

WaynePelland

Wayne D. Pelland Vice president of Manufacturing and Distribution GateHouse Media

N&T: What do you see as best-in-class solutions in the market now?

This is an interesting question, given our Industry's environment of necessary efficiencies to remain competitive. Efficient maintenance and operating models that allow newspaper production facilities to maximize production capacity with minimal staff. This is not the traditional model. Peoria is an example where they produce two dailies at a time with double out capabilities, with one press crew.

N&T: What may be on the horizon for emerging solutions? 

We will see an acceleration of plant consolidations, newspapers with common layouts to minimize change over time, common paging, earlier deadlines, and longer delivery routes (larger delivery windows). All these practices will be based on efficiency and cost reductions. We will maximize our assets.

N&T: Is recycling currently being viewed as a revenue stream or a cost of doing business? Please explain your response.

We view recycling as a key operating practice across all of our facilities. We view recycling as a revenue stream, which is significant in the new world of tariffs and higher raw material costs

MarkHall

Mark Hall ING Vice president Regional Manufacturing Director postmedia Network

N&T: What do you see as best-in-class solutions in the market now?

The three that I see now are:

• Technical support partnerships that provide an important skill and depth of knowledge to production operations at a time where it’s increasingly difficult to attract and retain electrical mechanical staff that is critical to keeping presses and mailroom equipment running in full production. 

• Thermal “no process” plates are a significant step forward and sites that have moved to this are questioning why they didn’t do it sooner. The benefits of not handling chemistry and doing processor maintenance coupled with the significant reduction of health and safety and environmental risk make it a no-brainer. 

• The reusable plastic stackable skids have been around for many years, but I see a much greater importance and relevance of this. The analysis of cost and benefit when taking into account equipment damage and space utilization quickly show it’s more favorable than wooden skids and is more environmentally friendly

N&T: What may be on the horizon for emerging solutions?

Newspapers need to build on their solid foundation of “trusted, true and respected” source of news and information. The rapid rise of technology should be embraced and leveraged to assist the relevance of traditional media. Augmented reality and artificial intelligence are technologies that are maturing and need to be researched, tested and encouraged to engage the younger generation.

Waste recovery and technology are going to become more important and relevant as environmental and social acceptance becomes more stringent. Adopting and developing processes that help reduce consumption, reuse/repurpose products has multiple benefits. Such as reduced transportation, less handling, lower cost point, less hazardous waste removal or discharge treatment.

N&T: Is recycling currently being viewed as a revenue stream or a cost of doing business? Please explain your response.

There is a significant opportunity as a revenue stream if you are in the recycling business. However, this depends on the type of materials handled and process. Aluminum and paper are easier and more attractive, but I believe with new or adopted technology from other industries, liquid waste can also be a hidden gem. 

On the production side, it is more a cost of doing business. However, there is a significant cost recovery that can be achieved depending on your control process along with the rates and terms you negotiate with your recycling partners. Larger volume sites should be managed internally to negotiate a higher price point, and smaller sites may opt to arrange the control with the recycler. 

Chemical waste treatment and neutralization systems can be a significant cost benefit compared with waste removal. Production sites should always be looking for ways to improve in this area, although it’s often overlooked. 

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