DC Thomson Media partner with PCS to drive efficiency through automation. With a heritage dating back to the early 1900’s, DC Thomson has roots in the publishing industry as a highly successful family-owned UK media organisation.
DC Thomson Media partner with PCS to drive efficiency through automation
In 2016 DC Thomson Media (DCT Media), the publishing arm of the DC Thomson Group, partnered with leading publishing software developer PCS to rollout the NCS circulation solution throughout the business.
DCT Media were looking to adopt a centralised IT solution for home news delivery and circulation for its newspapers, which include two of the top ten performing UK titles, The Press and Journal (56,422) and The Courier (46,991). PCS worked with the team to facilitate the rollout of a single system across sites in Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness, which has now been in place for 12 months.
Neil Mackland, Head of Circulation at DCT Media comments, “We use NCS to manage supplies for distribution of newspapers all over the UK and Ireland to wholesalers and approximately 1300 agents/distributors. We chose NCS after a thorough selection process where the PCS team demonstrated how effectively the system could meet our business requirements and a willingness to develop it further to fill any gaps.”
With this in mind, the development team at PCS made significant enhancements to the NCS workflow to facilitate the needs of the 35 users at DCT Media.
There are three wholesalers with numerous branches that the DCT Media team have to manage. The Wholesaler Branch Report helps manage these relationships and improve overall service. Neil continues, “This report is very useful and has reduced time spent on this area, specifically in Dundee where such data was not previously available.”
“Supplies by branch are easy to manage for both wholesaler and production as the report itemises the quantity supplied to the wholesaler for their own retailers and the total quantity of retailer accounts linked to that wholesaler.”
A new Report Mode group box has also been added to the report screen which will allow DCT Media to distinguish any changes that have been made between each distribution run, which is done daily. The changes could incur holidays, suspends and cancellations, which is specifically useful to the distributor in alerting them to their next point of action.
Key to the rollout of NCS at DCT Media was the introduction of Task Management. This allows manually or automated "tasks" to be created and assigned to individual NCS users or "task groups".
Typically, these will be used for customer care purposes e.g. follow up for new order starts, canvassing, complaints etc. “The automated version of Task Management is still in use today and automates what was an entirely manual process,” continues Neil. “PCS delivered the enhancement on time and met the requirements at the first time of asking, something I feel is directly attributed to having an in-house development team.”
DCT Media are currently testing the ability to import bank account details from the handheld eSay devices their canvassers’ use, directly into NCS which thus far is producing positive results.
In conclusion Neil comments, “NCS facilitates replication of working practices between our sites which allows both centres to work more closely than ever, share more information and improve reporting. PCS have always been accommodating of our requirements, whether it was proposing solutions within existing functionality or developing enhancements to meet specific requirements.
The team are always responsive and helpful which is why we see this as a long term working relationship.”