Media company streamlines operations through automated logistics, billing and distribution

Reduced costs

By significant reduction in manual effort

Improved reporting

Via automated data processing

Company Overview

Journal Communications, Inc. (Journal) is a successful century-old media company based in the northern US. It operates three business segments: publishing, broadcasting and corporate. The company runs radio and television stations, publishes the award-winning Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and numerous community newspapers and magazines. In addition, it delivers news and entertainment through mobile tools, applications and other digital media channels.

Business Challenge

Journal relied on in-house developed systems to run print media operations and coordinate them with its newspaper print and delivery infrastructure. These systems were connected by many manual steps supported by customized processes. While the process worked, it depended on many hours of individual effort and constant supervision. To compound the challenge, Journal’s customers expect their newspapers on their doorstep no later than 6 AM each morning.

When the company brought in a new Vice President of Information Technology, his first priority was to streamline multiple IT divisions and encourage collaboration. The VP’s vision was to update the way Journal conducted business. He established a focused cloud strategy for the entire organization to improve quality and accelerate service while eliminating complexity and costs associated with traditional data centers.

Solution

Journal turned to Redwood for an effective, expandable automation platform that could be implemented quickly.

Redwood’s hybrid process and data orchestration capabilities enabled Journal to migrate to cloud-based applications with few changes to business processes.

“Redwood enables us to automate processes from a variety of CRM and other applications quickly and easily with a single solution. It works across our data centers in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, along with our data center in Atlanta, Georgia,” explains Troy Hartfiel, IT Director. “We use Redwood to bring together advertising, circulation, and billing applications in a highly changeable environment. If a subscriber goes on vacation and wants their newspaper delivery temporarily suspended, we have to respond quickly and accurately. Redwood ensures that we’re on target all the time.”

Results

Redwood coordinates and automates steps from circulation to distribution across 30 different in-house systems and hundreds of applications. As a result, Journal has reduced manual effort involved in managing these processes significantly.

“Every night our field unit has an informative report on all of our customers who receive print media deliveries,” says Brandon Brumfield, Technical Support Analyst. “We’ve automated the data extraction and distribution to each of our field units by 5:30 PM. That way, we have all night to troubleshoot any problems. Before Redwood, that would have been impossible.”

The media company also uses Redwood to automate information on print runs and to transfer files quickly and accurately for ads. “The comprehensive audit trail with automated logging of all process and user activity cuts our troubleshooting time in half and alerts us to changes in our system,” says Brumfield. “Integrated source control, rollback and audit trails enable complete lifecycle management of our processes.”

Furthermore, Brumfield says, “We originally had three full-time employees working to keep the core IT processes accurate and running on-time. With Redwood we only need one person working part-time to ensure that everything runs smoothly.”

Redwood enables us to automate processes from a variety of CRM and other applications quickly and easily with a single solution.” Troy Hartfiel, IT Director

Future Plan

Journal plans to utilize Redwood’s capabilities throughout the organization as a crucial part of its cloud strategy. “We plan on using Redwood in other business units to increase process visibility, save time and resources, and maintain operational standards throughout our company. There are no limits to what we can do with Redwood’s cloud automation solution,” said Brumfield.

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