Supply Chain Management of Newspaper: Analytical Essay

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Finding the value: press operations

In general, the critical time for press operations is the fixed run time. Papers per hour output is limited by the speed of a press and the number of presses. The number and type of press is difficult and costly to alter.

Remaining opportunities inside press operations involve eliminating any barriers to maximum sustainable speed. The value of each stop and start, each edition change, or once weekly collect run, should be assessed versus its total cost to the supply chain.

Potential summary—press operations

Overall Potential Rating—Odd production days and unnecessary edition

breaks can add time and cost to the supply chain. However, unless all current final production runs deliver directly to stackers rather than to the mailroom for additional processing, value can best be derived from other areas of the newspaper supply chain.

Finding the value — packaging operations

Packaging and Mailroom process, flow, and timing are the keystone to huge potential cost gains to the total supply chain, especially for newspapers unable to increase value at other links in the chain. Speed and accuracy during the final production process are the typical focus for packaging and mailroom management. A broader view of the interactions between packaging and the downstream supply chain can add dramatic value to the entire system.

Strategy, equipment, advertisers, history, page count, draw, building configuration, available resources. All factor into how and when a mailroom operates. The most important value packaging operations bring to the supply chain is balance.

The mailroom must balance the restrictions of the fixed processes before it with the fixed time window behind it. Each newspaper’s situation and solution are necessarily unique; however, the key considerations remain constant.

Key considerations—packaging operations


Is the packaging operation slowing down the supply chain? The fastest piece of production equipment for a newspaper is the press. If this rate of production is slowed by any downstream mailroom processing, the value of this activity versus its alternatives must be measured and balanced in terms of cost, speed, and accuracy.


The packaging link in the supply chain controls the work flow not only for itself, but for each downstream element in the supply chain. It is especially key to ensure that packaging improvements translate through distribution. Faster in one area of the supply chain does not necessarily add time, reduce cost, or build balance.

Package design, count, timing, and handling must act to balance workflow for packaging and distribution to achieve the lowest possible cost.

Mailroom headcount and shifts, packaging equipment type and quantity, handling methods, storage needs, distribution operations management needs, vehicle type and number, driver type, count, and shifting, carrier count and route length—all of these factors must balance for maximum gain.

Each newspaper will have different needs and priorities, requiring a customized model and considerations; however, the focal point for this balance is the largest cost in the system, the human resource availability and prevailing wages in the local market place.

  • Will more daylight shifts improve my pool of resources? My wage base?
  • Are new DOT restrictions on part-time driving hours placing the operation at legal risk?
  • Are hourly rates at a premium due to short shifts?
  • Can fewer, better scheduled employees perform the same tasks for less cost more accurately and efficiently?
  • Can full-time wages, turnover rates, training needs, worker’s comp claim rates, and productivity offset the cost of benefits?

Analysis of the ideal packaging operations for any newspaper involves balancing packaging and distribution operations for maximum gain to the system.

While time critical operations can yield the most noticeable impact, workflow for both packaging and distribution can also be improved by proper integration of pre-packaged product into the entire supply chain workflow.

Finding the value —distribution operations

Distribution operations for most newspapers are reactive. They receive product by time “x” and must complete operations by time “y”. All delays in earlier supply chain links must be compensated for by distribution, or the consumer suffers.

These parameters can dramatically be altered by changes up stream in the supply chain, but solutions inside the distribution link can still bring broad value to the overall cost of the newspaper supply chain.

In order to assess the potential for improvement within a newspaper’s distribution operations, the activity must be divided into two parts: Bulk Distribution and Carrier Distribution. In some cases, these areas must also be subdivided by home delivery and single copy. Newspaper treatment of each subset of distribution will dictate the applicability of value considerations.

Key considerations—distribution

Compliance & Risk

  • Recent changes to D.O.T. hours of service regulations have exposed many newspapers to the risk of non-compliance from part-time drivers.
  • In order to simplify driver hiring, many newspapers use trucks rated below 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. At the very most, these trucks can haul 10,000 pounds worth of product. (For newspapers, this means five (5) pallets, ten (10) carts, or about 350 bundles).
  • Tail-Loading the practice of placing smaller straight truck loads onto the tail of the bed to speed unloading. This practice, combined with light springs and single rear axles, leads to the dangerous situation of headlights projecting too high on outbound loads, and too low on return.
  • The combination of an illegal driver, an overweight truck, and an accident can be extremely costly.

Information is the thread that binds the entire newspaper supply chain. Newspapers have historically been leaders in information exchange process and technology inside the walls of the production facility.

Unfortunately, this technology and process usually leaves distribution with a printout. Because each newspaper has different strategies, needs, and priorities, information is the key to improvement within the distribution link of the supply chain. Until recently, only two measurements were common or necessary within newspaper distribution: 1) Did the job get done? ,and 2) Did they meet budget? Further integration of the information flow was simply too costly to be warranted.

The best place to start is bulk distribution, where first-rate data, combined with measurements to form management information, can yield fast results. Starting at this point makes the information set manageable. This first step also allows experience with what type of information will be most valuable when considering an expansion of measurement inside the distribution link.

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Tying it together — supply chain integration

While individual value can be gained from examining each link in the newspaper supply chain, the real value is in the big picture.

Basic news paper supply chain

Balancing time and workflow across the supply chain will yield the largest results. The key to unlocking this potential is the availability of information. While efficient, system wide information capture will take time and a step-by-step approach, gains will be realized each step of the way. A dynamic cost and process flow model of the newspaper supply chain will be essential in keeping pace with changing needs and demands within the newspaper industry.

The procedure of the project

  1. Company assigned me the areas for daily visit.
  2. Visit at assigned area to meet customers.
  3. Tell them about the schemes of the company regarding newspaper and magazines.
  4. Take the feedback of the customers about the newspaper they are already reading.
  5. Booked the order of the customers if they are interested in any scheme.
  6. Renewal the order of the existing customers.
  7. Making daily report of the competitor’s strength and weaknesses.
  8. Note down the complaints and views of the customers
  9. I did residential and corporate calling for magazines and newspaper subscriptions.
  10. The Times of India participated in an expo organized at J W Mariott hotel in Chandigarh. We put a stall for Times of India newspaper and magazines subscription. It was a direct Marketing for Magazines.

Seven secrets.

The seven secrets of successful selling can be summarized as follows:

  1. Know your customer
  2. Know your product
  3. Know the process of production, manufacture and distribution
  4. Know your costs
  5. Know your competitive edge
  6. Know the communication process
  7. Know yourself

Simply put the process of successful marketing stems from sound knowledge, good products, innovative distribution channels and successful communication processes. Very often potential customers may be grouped together to form market sectors or segments. It is important for the marketer to be able to identify how different sectors of the market vary from each other, and how the different requirements of each sector may be targeted using specific selling techniques.

1. Know your customer

The customer may be an end user, a processor or a manufacturer. The marketer must have an understanding of the requirements of each end user, processor, and manufacturer and in terms of:

  • Product quality specifications
  • Product volume
  • Product appearance and finish
  • Product supply consistency

Understanding the needs of the customer requires the marketer to develop empathy and trust for the customers business and I or personal requirements. This has been recently termed, 'relationship marketing. ' A marketer with a similar product and an established relationship with the customer have a distinct competitive advantage.

2. Know your product

In order to successfully market a product or service, the seller must be able to define the benefits of the products over those of the opposition's products. Benefits are different to advantages in that benefits relate to the specific needs of the individual customer, rather than the strengths of one product over another.

The seller should also have a comprehensive knowledge of the disadvantages of their products in particular processing or utilization situations (for example, the use of untreated pine products in exposed situations as opposed to treated products). The better the marketer knows and understands the product and its idiosyncrasies, the greater the level of service afforded to the customer, and the more trust created between the parties.

3. Know the process

Getting the product to the customer can be one of the more trying exercises for the marketer. The marketer of farm forestry products should possess some knowledge of the species, site, silvicultural harvesting techniques, sawing, processes, transportation and distribution required for the product to get into the hands of the customer. The more information that the marketer has to assist the customer in the decision making process, the greater the chance of the sale.

4. Know your costs

Without understanding the fixed and variable costs of production, it is difficult to successfully plan for profitability and sustainability of production. Consequently the marketer must place a sufficient margin on the product to cover the costs of all processes and Labour, whilst remaining competitive in the marketplace. Understanding the costs and desired profitability level will also allow some flexibility in the marketplace, should a situation of price warring occur.

5. Know your competitive edge

The greater the understanding of the marketing chain and the product, the more likely the relative strengths may be ascertained. The strengths or competitive advantages commonly relate to price, product, positioning, perception and process. In the traditionally conservative timber industry, competitive strengths are achieved through proximity to the resource, ease of harvesting and processing and proximity to marketplace.

6. Know the communication process

Some customers enjoy regular contact from marketers, whereas other customers prefer to be in control of the event. It is important for the marketer to understand the preferences of the customer, to know how often the customer prefers to receive information and through which media. For example, using current technology, it is possible to sell products using photographs and text on a website. However, this may only attract business from a certain sector of the market.

7. Know yourself

It is extremely difficult to sell products and services that one doesn't believe in or doesn't understand. It is also difficult to sell products if one does not believe in oneself! To be a successful marketer, appraise your own strengths and weak-nesses in order to present the selling opportunity to your customer in a way that works for you. This will usually occur in a situation where all parties are comfortable and relaxed, able to understand and relate to each other's situations and requirements. It's fun, enjoy it.

Consumer behavior and marketing strategy

The study of consumers helps firms and organizations improve. Their marketing strategies by understanding issue such as how

  • The psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products).
  • The psychology of how the consumers is influenced by his or her environment (e.g. culture, family, signs, media).
  • The behavior of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions.
  • Limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome.
  • How consumer motivation and decision strategies differ between products that differ in their level of importance of interest that they entail for the consumer.
  • Behavior occurs either for the individual, or in the context of a group (e.g., friends’ influence what kinds of clothes a person wears) or an organization (people on the job make decisions as to which products the firm should use).
  • Consumer behavior involves the use and disposal of products as well as the study of how they are purchased. Product use is often of great interest to the marketer, because this may influence how a product is best positioned or how we can encourage increased consumption. Since many environmental problems result from product disposal (e.g., motor oil being sent into sewage systems to save the recycling fee, or garbage piling up at landfills) this is also an area of interest.
  • Consumer behavior involves services and ideas as well as tangible products.
  • How marketers can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer.

Understanding these issues helps us adapt our strategies by taking the consumer into consideration. For example, by understanding that a number of different messages compete for our potential customers' attention, we learn that to be effective, advertisements must usually be repeated extensively. We also learn that consumers will sometimes be persuaded more by, logical arguments, but at other times will be persuaded more by emotional or symbolic appeals. By understanding the consumer, we will be able to make a more informed decision as to which strategy to employ.

One 'official” definition of consumer behaviour is 'The study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.'

Four main application of consumer behaviour:

The most obvious is for marketing strategy-i.e., for making better marketing campaigns. For example, by understanding that consumers are more receptive to food advertising when they are hungry, we learn to schedule snack advertisements late in the afternoon. By understanding that new products are usually initially adopted by a few consumers and only spread later, and then only gallfly, to the rest of the population, we learn that

  1. companies that introduce new products must be well financed so that they can stay afloat until their products become a commercial success and
  2. it is important to please initial customers, since they will in turn influence many subsequent customers’ brand choices.

There are several units in the market that can be analyzed. Our main thrust in this course is the consumer. However, we will also need to analyze our own firm's strengths and weaknesses and those of competing firms. To assess a competing firm's potential threat; we need to examine its assets (e.g., technology, market knowledge, and awareness of its brands) against pressures it faces from the market. Finally, we need to assess conditions (the marketing environment). For example, although we may have developed a product that offers great appeal for consumers, a recession may cut demand dramatically.

Data collection

After defining the problem and deciding about the sample and its size we need to collect data to further carry out our report work. The gathering of data may range from a simple observation at one location to a grandiose survey of multinational corporations at sites in different parts of the world. The main method of data collection adopted here are-

Primary data collection

Primary data are those data, which is originally collected. This methodology is used for the proximity to the truth and control over errors. These are several methods of primary data collection like questionnaire, interview, observation etc. The method used by researcher is Questionnaire.

It is considered as the heart of survey operations and therefore should be very carefully constructed. It consists of a number of questions printed or typed in a definite order which is filled by the respondents on their own. A good questionnaire should be comparatively short and simple and the sequence shall be from easy the difficult ones.

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Supply Chain Management of Newspaper: Analytical Essay. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from
“Supply Chain Management of Newspaper: Analytical Essay.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022,
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