Vendigital with Newsprinters

Revitalising the Print Media Industry

Delivering transformational change to gain competitive advantage in a complex and challenging industry. 

The newspaper industry in the UK is challenged, under pressure from online competition luring readers with free content and taking an increasing share of advertising revenue. However, it’s still a vital industry, especially for rural communities and vast regions of the UK facing unreliable internet access. Getting newspapers into the hands of the wider public is fundamentally important, and the supply chain from journalist’s keyboard at 10pm to retailer newsstand at 6am is mission critical and complex. 

Newsprinters is one of the largest players in that supply chain, managing the production and distribution of over 20 million newspapers every week. Part of News UK, publisher of The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, Newsprinters also provides services to other publishers. Against this backdrop, Newsprinters needs to constantly manage costs whilst maintaining service continuity. 

Operating three sites – London, Liverpool and Motherwell – totalling 340,000 ft2, Newsprinters employed c.750 people. The organisation was structured into 21 ‘Quality Processes’ (QPs). Approximately 500 employees were provided through an outsourcing partner, including large parts of the production process and facilities management. 

Newsprinters approached Vendigital to conduct a review of their operations and make recommendations on opportunities to improve organisational efficiency. Over three months, Vendigital conducted an opportunity assessment; touring sites, observing operations, engaging with stakeholders, mapping activities and analysing data.  

What then followed was a nine-month transformation programme to deliver on the assessed opportunities. Critical to the programme was to set up the business for success in the future by realigning the cost base whilst structuring the organisation in a way that would allow it to flex up or down more easily.  

The results? The organisation now benefits from a much-simplified structure. Moving from 21 QPs to five ‘Business Processes’ has allowed greater visibility of the operation, and the embedding of a new culture of business optimisation. 

Significantly, with a final cost reduction equal to 19.5% of the operational cost base – which itself was over 20% above the initial benefit target – Newsprinters has moved into a position of profit, allowing it to be more competitive when bidding for new business in the market. 

All this has been achieved whilst continuing to get 20 million newspapers printed and delivered to customers every week without fail. 

View the Vendigital profile in the MCA Members Directory