Tom Martin started in ad sales when he joined Cygnus Business Media more than 35 years ago. He moved to production full time in 1990 and is now VP-IT and manufacturing.
Media Business: Cygnus has offices all across America. Does that create difficulties on the production side?
Technology has taken over. All of these offices are tied in. We've installed Spherical—a unified VoIP phone system—so anybody can be reached directly with four digits. ... We also put in a new order-entry, billing and accounts receivable system a year ago that makes that cross-office communication better.
MB: Sounds like you've been busy?
Like everybody else. It's just a constant battle to be sure we're finding all the ways possible to cut costs and maintain quality. We've done basically all the standard types of changes that we could do: trim sizes, paper, negotiating with our printers, etc.
MB: How receptive was your printer?
This will probably be the lowest you will ever be able to print your magazine. We're locked in for some time with our printer, but we negotiated a special lower rate for the time being. There's no telling what markets will come back first, so it's hard to know what magazines will grow back first. The crystal ball got lost somewhere. But that has forced us to be innovative.
MB: How so?
Bringing all our expo printing in-house, combining print and online production, integrating all of our databases, pushing e-books and webinars, building a graphics program that houses all of that data. We're aiming to build a total digital warehouse. Whatever we can do, we're trying to do it. —M.J.M.