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Inching Closer to Online Insertion Orders



By FOLIO: Staff
03/28/2006

Last November, Time Inc. vice president of paper and digital development Guy Gleysteen said he expected the company to start receiving automated insertion orders in the first quarter [Folio:, November 2005].

With the first quarter recently wrapped, Time Inc. still isn't there, but Gleysteen feels pretty good about the progress that's been made. "We're probably about 30 to 60 days behind where we'd like to be but in a general sense we're on target," he says. "We'll get started in the next 30 to 60 days. ムUp and running' will be more like six months from now."

Unlike other evolutions in the electronic workflow (such as virtual proofing), the technology behind online insertion orders (as currently offered by Donovan Data Systems) is simple and relatively glitch-free. "The investment is nothing provided you have access to the Internet. On the publisher end, on a scale of 1-10 for expense and difficulty, it's a two or a three," says Gleysteen. "That's the strength;it utilizes current platforms: E-mail and sending out links to Web sites."

However, while online insertion orders should greatly reduce human error in the production process, it will also shake up long-held production silos and responsibilities, and that change could take longer than the actual adoption of the technology.

The implementation of online insertion orders is a two-pronged effort for Time Inc.;the first is getting a rudimentary form of electronic-insertion order, which is already in place. Now the company has to set up administrative system to support it.

The second step is longer and more complex. It involves using standards to engage in a full suite of transactions between ad agencies and publishers. "The industry continues to develop standards, but we're not yet in a position to actually implement full transactions," says Gleysteen.

While several organizations, including IDEAlliance, the 4As, and the Newspaper Association of America, are working to define those standards, additional rules among publishers and agencies are not complete. "Donovan Data Systems was recently quoted as saying ムThe industry needs to build a registry,'" says Gleysteen. "Really, that's just a technical commentary that says one of the missing components is a standardized look-up registry that all publishers and agencies could use to know exactly what the standard address and name convention is for say, Time. Right now there is no uniform standard for what they call Time or how they get to it among agencies."

Assigning one person the privilege to act on an online insertion order addresses one of more fundamental problems of the workflow, which is that when an agency sends a publication an insertion order, it doesn't know specifically where inside that organization that order goes or where it ends up.

McCann
Erickson
has
been
the
driver
from
the
advertising
side.
"Everyone
is
going
to
have
to
figure
out
their
own
in-house
process;who
will
do
what,"
says
vice
president
of
print
management
Sharon
Mackenzie.
"Everybody's
been
clamoring
for
it
and
it's
now
in
publishers'
hands
to
set
up
their
metadata
for
it,
their
own
little
black
box,
and
away
we
go.
There
will
be
better
accuracy,
no
re-keying,
and
nobody
has
to
lose
their
job."

Mackenzie
agrees
that
the
biggest
glitch
right
now
is
assigning
who
handles
what;and
sticking
to
it.
"Orders
may
be
directed
to
the
sales
rep
but
the
first
person
to
respond
could
be
a
production
person,"
she
says.
"They
may
accept
but
the
sales
rep
may
not
want
to.
There
needs
to
be
a
clear
idea
of
who
is
the
one
who
responds.
Some
guys
still
think
they're
on
paper
and
say,
ムWhat
are
you
talking
about
you're
doing
this
online?'
We
are
but
because
we
haven't
exposed
it
throughout
your
company,
we've
only
got
e-mail
addresses
for
sales
reps.
We
have
to
build
a
database
of
your
e-mail
addresses
to
include."

Other
publishers
who
are
getting
their
first
exposure
to
online
insertion
orders
are
cautiously
optimistic
but
still
fuzzy
on
responsibilities.
"I
guess
I
still
see
that
as
a
sales
function,"
says
Lisa
Goren,
director
of
manufacturing
and
distribution
at
New
York,
which
is
just
starting
to
evaluate
online
insertion
orders.
"We
have
questions
about
who's
responsible
for
what.
It's
not
really
clear
right
now
what
those
questions
are."

How
it
Works

When
an
ad
agency
has
an
insertion
order
ready
to
release
to
a
publication,
they
send
an
e-mail
to
a
pre-identified
user.

The
end
user
can
chose
who
first
gets
the
e-mail,
and
in
the
group
of
recipients,
what
level
of
privileges
they
have.

End
user
clicks
on
the
link
which
takes
them
to
their
Web
site
and
their
order,
and
behind
that
order
any
revisions
or
changes.

From
that
point
on,
the
end
user
can
do
whatever
they
want
with
the
the
insertion
order;most
likely
keystroke
it
into
a
separate
system.
Publishers
can
print
it
out
and
start
treating
it
as
a
paper
order
or
extract
the
electronic
data
itself.

By FOLIO: Staff
03/28/2006







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