Case Study 3

The Client:
A major news magazine.

The Issue:
The amount of time needed to extract, sort, categorize, and file incoming information for writers had grown from a couple of weeks to three months.  Because the magazine is published on a weekly basis, these long delays in news processing had become a serious problem.

A Closer Look:
Although the company presumed that only more time, money and personnel could solve the problem, we took a different approach.  We looked at the overall flow of information, rather than just specific problem areas, and recognized that the total procedure for handling the information was inefficient -- not  merely its management or implementation.

A Solution:
We modified procedures for processing the news information.  These procedures eliminated the need for managers to intervene on a daily basis and incorporated a simple coding system that eliminated guesswork.  We then wrote all guidelines for following the procedures, trained the individuals who would be using them, worked with managers to implement the system, and followed up to ensure a successfultransition to the new routine.

The Bottom Line:
Processing time dropped to approximately three days, the department's three-month backlog disappeared, and staff were freed up to attend to other tasks.  Instead of having to devote more money to the department, the client was able to save money -- while dramatically improving efficiency.

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