Allowing Publishers to Streamline Business-Critical Process

Media companies’ classified ad departments are driven by the need to serve as many customers as possible within the shortest amount of time, rapidly executing multiple processes to meet publications’ strict order submission deadlines. By tightly integrating ad design workflow with financial processes, SAP Classified Advertisin Management provides advertising staff and call center representatives a one-stop-shop for handling the entire process, a decisive advantage in the time-critical phone interaction with the customer. With a single, easy-to-use interface, the application’s functionality covers the sale of advertising space for classified and semi-display ads; managing orders and assigning ads to the respective publications and issue dates; content creation and layout including graphics and photos; providing ad content to technical production systems as well as into billing for including the ad proof in the customer’s invoice. SAP Classified Advertising Management will help media companies lower total cost of ownership by bundling classified ad management processes into a single application, reducing the number of interfaces and disparate systems that need to be maintained. The application comes with standard interfaces to various third-party technical printing production systems.
SAP developed the classified advertising management application with the business process input of The Washington Post, which began evaluating the application in November 2003. “We selected SAP’s solution for implementation because it offers an integrated approach to advertising which will allow us to better manage the entire process,” said Mike Clurman, vice president, Operations, The Washington Post. “Following the implementation, we will be able to essentially replace our entire classified advertising system, streamline our processes and lay a solid foundation for future IT projects. We’re pleased that our participation in the development process has led to the general availability of this unique, industry-specific application.” The application builds on customer interaction center functionality already available in SAP for Media. The interaction center supports the handling of customer transactions, providing the advertising staff a comprehensive view of customer data and orders as well as comprehensive functions to track customer histories and profiles. Further capabilities include automatic telephone distribution, computer telephony functionality and automatic prompting on up-selling opportunities. Administration staff are also able to carry out spot checks on current rates and customers’ credit limits, make estimates on orders and handle multiple payments methods.
In addition to supporting ad sales, acquisitions and deadlines, SAP Classified Advertising Management empowers call center agents with a tool for creating flexible cross-media programs for print and Internet. Further functions enable corporate and private users to post ads – for example, a broker posting real estate offerings or an individual selling a used car – via the Internet without the need to consult an ad clerk. The application also enables publishers’ business and general customers to order and compose classified ads online, review cost and billing information, and specify when the ad should appear in print or online. “SAP Classified Advertising Management enables media companies to streamline a time-critical, complex core business process,” said Manfred Gaertner, vice president, Media, SAP AG. “SAP’s customers in the media industry can now manage this crucial industry process without losing sight of important data, wasting hours on administration, or letting sales opportunities slip away. While improving operational efficiency, publishers can also take a significant step forward in delivering top-rate service to their corporate and private customers.”

Source: SAP AG