In November, NewspaperDirect embarked on an aggressive plan to expand and improve its production line and quality control systems. This plan not only involved a physical move into a brand new facility, but also major investments in technology and system upgrades. Here’s what’s been happening:
To address the 30% increase in titles in the past year and anticipation of an even bigger increase in 2010, NewspaperDirect urgently needed to quadruple its operations staff on its production and quality control lines. The existing facility could not accommodate that growth, so the company secured a new building and designed a much larger and more productive workspace to house our new employees and equipment.
And a dedicated trainer was hired to ensure new employees received the training necessary to maximize productivity as quickly as possible.
The design of the new facilities paid close attention to ergonomic factors to ensure a healthy work environment; while workflow and process improvements were undertaken to ensure a more motivating workplace for the team. A happy team is a productive team, right?
In terms of technology, Operations doubled its already significant bandwidth capacity, increased redundancy in terms of power and Internet, and upgraded its network backbone.
As a result of these major investments, NewspaperDirect is only days away from:
- Quadrupling our capacity,
- Increasing redundancies in our production systems,
- Drastically improving our operating efficiencies, and
- Enhancing our quality control systems
As you can imagine, running concurrent operations for a 24/7/365 department across two facilities, while trying to move from one to the other is never easy. Even with contingency planning in place, some things can slip through the cracks. So I want to apologize for any inconvenience these growing pains may have caused you - our valued customers and publishers. And I want to thank you for your patience as we wrap up these upgrades to our operations.
Here’s where we are today…
- The move into the new building has completed,
- Vital systems have been installed,
- Upgrades have been applied, and
- The old facility has been shutdown.
Now, the only thing remaining is the hiring and training of the new staff, which began this past weekend and will continue over the next couple of weeks.
According to the Vice President of Operations, James Woloszyn, “We are already seeing a stabilization of operations with all key resources completely focused on getting us immediately to where we should be in terms of reliability and the highest quality. Although some challenges were encountered along the way, I am pleased with the final result and absolutely confident we will be operating at full capacity within a very short period of time.”
In the meantime, I’ll keep you up to date on where we’re at with these changes so you can see the progress we’re making towards our final goal of a world class production line, second to none!