Counting copies saves waste, adds insights

Malaysian publisher New Straits Times Press is pioneering a system to check unsold newspapers and identify media trends.

The Media-Prima unit is pioneering use of Protecmedia's Shipo circulation system to track and control editions, and will use the Schur equipment to replace the labour-intensive task of checking though returns.

A camera-based recognition unit compares front pages to a library of master images at up to 5000 cph, identifying incoming unsold products and assigning them to the respective vendor or retailer.

With the Shipo software, NSTP can optimise future deliveries and avoid overproduction. Barcode recognition will enhance the product security, via a direct assignment of non-sequential unique codes to each copy of a vendor's order.

General manager Aszman Kasmani told GXpress the data is then utilised by Shipo to manage print orders and to provide market trends and information to the sales teams.

The Schur installation enables NSTP to switch from manual handling to an automated registration process. "The reduction of manual work steps will help us to increase accuracy and productivity while saving time and reducing costs," says Kasmani.

"But above all, avoiding unnecessary overproduction helps to protect important resources. From the environmental point of view is this for us an important step in the right direction," he says.

With users including new Barcelona title Ara, and Siglo de Torreón in Mexico, Shipo manages data about current and potential subscribers, their tastes and preferences. At Ara, loyalty of existing subscribers has been shown to increase and new subscribers attracted.

The software identifies outlets where all copies sell out first or where the most returns come from, with geo-circulation making it possible to localise outlets and delivery routes. Data can be used to tailor promotional and marketing campaigns and attract advertisers, who are able to focus their advertising messages.

A subscription module allows overall management of the relationship with subscribers, whether traditional print or digital, monitoring all of the processes of the subscription cycle and driving more focused and customised attention.

• Aszman Kasmani will speak about the project at the ANP conference in Ho Chi Minh City in September.

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