Watt's changes save time, money

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Watt Publishing, whose titles include Egg Industry and Poultry International, has been going through a shift on the production front, led by production director Jeff Swanson.

MB: What kinds of changes are under way at Watt?

Swanson: We're handling our prepress in-house now. That's been going on for about three months, and it's been great. It saves us a ton of time and money.

MB: And you're switching from Quark?

Swanson: Yes, over to InDesign. We like the XML coding that it provides because we're developing a content management system in-house. That's what first attracted InDesign to us but then, as we looked at it closer, we realized that it offered a lot more things that we wanted, and it was more cost-effective if you get the whole suite with Photoshop and Illustrator.

MB: When do you expect that to be in place?

Swanson: That should be up 100% by April. We're leaving it up to each magazine's director as to when they want to roll it out.

MB:What's the most difficult thing about managing so much change?

Swanson: Training. We set up groups to train people, and then we give everyone DVDs to go back to their desks and play around with. Then we meet again twice a week to see how everyone is progressing. The DVDs have been great because we're in kind of a remote location, about 100 miles from Chicago, so personal training could have been really expensive, but this allows people to do it on their own time and go back and review things they're not getting.

-Mark J. Miller

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