The challenges of printing overseas

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Julie K. Brown-Davis, art director-production manager for Billian Publishing, joined the Atlanta-based publisher of such titles as Boating World and Textile World a decade ago. She is responsible for Textile World Asia, Textiles Panamericanos and the company's custom projects.

MB: What's new at Billian Publishing?

Davis: Well, we started printing in Asia a year ago, and we've been reviewing how that's worked.

MB: What made you switch?

Davis: We wanted to improve our to-reader rate. It was taking much, much longer in the mail, so this adds ad selling time and edit construction time to the process.

MB: What are some of the complications?

Davis: You have a lot of different measurements. The poundage of your paper is in grams. Your vendors have different jargon and different expectations. You're in centimeters. We're billed in Hong Kong dollars. It's a transparently different work flow. It feels the same on our end, but the files are handled differently on their end.

The primary concern that we've had is maintaining quality and consistent communications. They're very savvy on that. We upload everything to their site, and then the next morning we can come in and there will be questions or whatever we need right there. We have two customer service representatives ?one for the shift I'm here, one when I'm not. We have them upload JPEGs of blue line changes. We have our printer in the states do the same thing, by the way.

--Mark J. Miller

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