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Reed finds JDF the way to go

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Reed Business Information's VP-manufacturing, John Blanchard, is on a quest for greater efficiency. He thinks he may have the answer in Job Definition Format (JDF), a comprehensive XML-based file format that enables the handling of text in one file throughout the production process rather than shifting formats or file types.

MB: So JDF is the biggest thing on your mind now?

Blanchard: Yes. When our application programs and databases can talk to one another, we'll produce significant work flow efficiencies. For example, we're talking about electronic delivery of packaging of information that would include all necessary print instructions to our printers in the files to help automate their front-end processes. It's not just about cost reduction but time compression as well. ... We have probably 100 applications that we use that facilitate our core print process that will be able to talk to one another. We're looking to consolidate that number and rebuild some of our core applications and databases.

MB: What else is going on?

Blanchard: We're re-engineering our database. We're looking at content management systems and work flow efficiencies to mesh with off-the-shelf products and third-party tools to help both the editing and advertising departments. We'll roll it out one magazine and Web site at a time. ... We're beginning to pursue different ways to repurpose our content. E-business is huge for us right now. We're looking for ways we can get high-quality information to our readers and advertising base quickly. That is really a never-ending series of discoveries.

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