APS IFRA Article
15 July 2009
See the full article at IFRA Magazine
IFRA publication date: 15.07.2009
1 July 2009 - With cutbacks and restructuring occurring around the world, businesses need to think on their feet. Nowhere is this more apparent than in newspapers. In an industry of declining ad revenue, new and intelligent approaches should be considered; to take advantage of shared resources and to improve inefficiencies.
While consolidation is still a dream for many businesses, one Australian company is doing all this and more. With products and services uniquely placed to oversee the entire production process, Advanced Publishing Systems (APS) demonstrates how we can achieve a great deal with even less.
A solely Australian owned and supported company, APS uses layout data to provide a complete overview of publications at all stages of production. Bridging the traditional divide between editorial and advertising, APS delivers the entire publishing system: taking bookings and paginating, then bringing the layout files straight into the editorial software or with the ability to create the pages directly in InDesign. Along with its software development partner Redgum Technologies, APS also offers consulting services and customised solutions to the print media publishing industry.
In March 2009, APS established a new standard for the industry; proving that it only takes two weeks from installation to training and full set up of its products. A far cry from the customary three-month turnaround, APS is free of old development issues, and its modern sales and installation cycles allow their clients to streamline their business.
“Our production time has more than halved,” notes Mark Drury, production manager of The Great Southern Star newspaper. “It has left us with the time to add more publications to our list, and also given us the time to produce a much better looking product.”
The benchmark for the newspaper layout products in Australia and New Zealand, APS product QuickLayout has over 300 seats installed throughout Australia/New Zealand and North America. The Edition Viewer from the Optima suite of products has over 4000 seats installed by one major client, and is also installed throughout North America, Australia and New Zealand.
"APS provide News Ltd with software integral to the integration of advertisements from the sales process into newspaper editorial pages.
QuickLayout and Optima Edition Viewer provide functionality flexibility and consistency that is mandatory in the sales environment of today; these solutions are robust and problem free.
APS have also provided a development partnership with News Ltd were their skilled and experienced team add value to the process of development , they are nimble, they apply great care and attention to detail that delivers strong robust usable business solutions.
APS also provide 3rd level support to these production applications; on the rare occasion when we have called on them they have provide timely access to the right key staff to solve issues." - GARY MCKENZIE, DIRECTOR - PUBLISHING SYSTEMS, NEWS LIMITED
Sales Manager, Terry Flynn proudly points out that APS has now successfully implemented all of their products with most of the lending system vendors globally - the following have either been implemented or are in the process of implementation - CCI, Atex, Genera and Gensis along with both Mactive and Enterprise, Edios, Roxen, Saxotech and Miles 33 (SII).
Recent signings in North America include La Press, Montreal along with New York Post and the Seattle Times.
APS are currently in discussions with two other major Global Publishing Groups with regards to implementations of their software.
Currently, in the Asia Pacific Region, the QuickLayout Ad Dummying product is now recognised as the bench mark within the media industry.
Proven ad booking system Synergy has over 40 sites throughout Australia and New Zealand, and caters to the small to medium newspaper market.
APS is also the Asia/Pacific distributor for Mindset Software, a classified pagination product and Roxen Internet Software including the Roxen Editorial Portal, which completes their suite. Recently installed at Pagemasters, Roxen Editorial Portal now produces over 1000 pages per week over several publications.
Managing director Bruce Davidson said "APS has been extremely valuable in helping develop new technologies to assist in productivity and efficiencies in editorial production systems."
“APS, particularly as the agent for the Roxen Internet Software and their editorial solution, Roxen Editorial Portal that we use as a production tool, has always been responsive, flexible and reactive to our requests and needs over the past two or three years of our business relationship,” Mr Davidson said.
“They have some smart guys in their software team, but more importantly, they understand newspapers and pressures of daily production. Whenever I talk to the APS people, they know what I am talking about – and that’s not always the case with other software developers.” – Bruce Davidson, Managing Director, Pagemasters
However there is more to useful technology than distributing great products.
The software also has to integrate seamlessly into new and established business systems – which is where Redgum comes in.
Many businesses are aware of software developers Redgum Technologies. But not everyone is aware that this recognised company represents the software side of APS’ business. A major point of difference for the company, Redgum provides long-term experience in software development, and compliments the newspaper experience of APS people to create a one-of-a-kind offering: industry people talking to industry people.
Through improving processes and reorganising how people do their job, Redgum cuts out a lot of the inefficiencies present in many mid to large-scale companies. Says group general manager Ben Taylor of The Murray Pioneer: “their products enable fewer staff to do more…when I see other newspapers of similar size with many more staff, I know our decision to utilise APS software is justified.”
Redgum develops and supports APS’ products and creates custom software solutions to newspaper and other industries including: logistics; medical systems; insurance; steel metal manufacturing; call centre management; and statistical analysis. In the past, APS has provided this on a smaller scale, but with Redgum providing the technical background, can now cater to clients on an international scale.
Recently, APS has entered the normally difficult to crack North American market with La Presse, one of the largest French language newspapers in the world. Based in Montréal, La Presse has installed QuickLayout and the Optima Edition Viewer to great success.
A number of APS products are in development, and are designed to revolutionise processes of even the most established newspaper groups. APS’ new ad querying software will determine simultaneous bookings across the country, thus cutting down on the time needed to chase up individual bookings in separate cities.
Continually improving business efficiencies, APS is testing an exciting new process management software that will also allow large companies to coordinate all their process documentation.
Over the coming months, APS and Redgum are building up their consulting side, to integrate more effective, economical solutions to the restructuring happening globally. Thinking laterally about the problems faced from the smallest to the largest companies, it seems consolidating resources and automating technology will be the key to APS’ continuing success.
For further information please phone Terry Flynn on 0412 692566 or the Melbourne Sales Office on 03 83170355.