Sanoma Differentiates its Business Operations with Mendix's Application Platform

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Application built on Mendix's application platform to streamline production, distribution and planning processes for 80+ magazines at one of the largest magazine publishers in Europe: Sanoma Media. The application is a Magazine Production Portal that centralizes all communication and processes throughout the entire production process.

  • Production chain simplified and automated into a consistent, measurable business process
  • Integrated with SAP system to provide financial settlement and control
  • Reporting provides cost analysis on a per magazine configuration basis

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Challenge

The complex planning and production process of Sanoma Media’s 80+ magazine titles involves many internal and external stakeholders such as editors, marketers, paper vendors, printing companies and distributors. The printing and distribution services department is responsible for the entire process.

Some of the activities were still performed manually and with the use of Excel spreadsheets.

Hubert Grim

Manager Information & Organization, Sanoma Media

The fragmented process needed to be improved to avoid manual processing, and expensive inefficiencies. Converting magazine configurations into orders for external partners created another challenge for Sanoma. This process could be improved by automating the translation of these configurations into products that are listed in the existing catalogue of partner contracts.

Solution

Mendix implementation partner Magnus Technology Solutions used Mendix's application platform to quickly build an initial prototype to demonstrate the potential of the application. This prototype would become the first iteration of a new Magazine Production Portal. Its functionality was implemented based on existing processes together with newly designed functionality. Standardized and automated information flow to suppliers ensures fewer errors, clear status reporting and smooth invoicing. Configuration-specific production planning, forecasting, budgeting and calculation of material usage enabled Sanoma to better analyze the complex production process. Extensive business logic was modeled in Mendix to support the many business rules required throughout the process. The Magazine Production Portal also communicates with the company’s central SAP system for financial settlement and control.

Mendix's application platform provided the speed and flexibility we needed to build an application that is unique to our business and supports ongoing business change – and at the same time we were able to reduce our operational cost by 20%.

Joost Prins

Supply Chain Director, Sanoma Media

Results

Mendix's application platform allowed the company to create a unique application that differentiated their business and made the production chain more transparent and efficient.

The Magazine Production Portal brings together all of the processes and communications concerning the production and distribution of illustrated magazines. Every order, including off-the-shelf print jobs like inserts, is now automatically booked. Since its first version the app has been enhanced multiple times and now also includes management reports, a planning module and an external portal standardizing the process around requests for proposals. Recently, the Magazine Production Portal has been expanded internationally within Sanoma Media.

Efficiencies gained through the use of this application resulted in a 20% decrease in operational costs and delivered an ROI just eight months after going live.

About Sanoma

Finland-based Sanoma is a leading media group with operations in 20 European countries. The group is among the top five European magazine publishers and has an annual turnover of 2.4 billion euros in 2011. Sanoma’s diversified business portfolio consists of products and services for consumers and corporate customers. Their six strategic business units – Sanoma News, Sanoma Media Belgium, Sanoma Media Finland, Sanoma Media Netherlands, Sanoma Media Russia & CEE and Sanoma Learning – offer millions of people information, education, entertainment and experiences, every day, in their own languages, respecting local cultures.