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Keith Hammerbeck

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There's seemingly no such thing as a full plate for Keith Hammerbeck. In the past year, he's negotiated with new printers (and gotten Advanstar into the co-mailing business), taken over management of his company's on-site call center as well as its printing and mailing facilities, and begun compressing his prepress and production departments into one unit.

"It's been a wild year," Hammerbeck said, "but that's the nature of the industry now."

On the printing and distribution side, Hammerbeck took advantage of the sale of several titles to Questex Media Group to enter into a new printing contract, which in turn enabled Advanstar to take advantage of co-mailing opportunities.

Hammerbeck said he had no expertise in call center management when he took over that operation. "The problem was that it wasn't being paid enough attention to," he said. "Numbers were looked at every few months." Now Hammerbeck receives a list of information about the call center's performance every morning.

"A colleague tells me that once you measure something, it will move," Hammerbeck said. "If you don't, nothing will happen."

One improvement he's made is finding an outside agency to help with the call center's peaks and valleys.

Hammerbeck is bringing the same measurement focus to his new oversight of Advanstar's printing and mailing center, which handles short-run printing.

"To me, it's all about finding the right processes to make things more efficient and also being able to communicate with people about what we're doing," he said. -M.J.M.

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