Efficiency is precisely why Dow Jones & Company, Inc. prints The Wall Street Journal at strategic points across the nation. The obvious benefit is that it gets “the Journal closer to our customers,” according to vice president of production Larry Hoffman. There was a time when the publisher operated its own printing plants—17 back then—but today it relies more heavily on print suppliers, bringing the total number of sites printing The Wall Street Journal—and a mounting volume of commercial print—to 26, Hoffman said.
What that means—having manufacturing closer to the customer—is shorter truck routes for distribution, and in some cases, a later edition.
Several key people within the organization attained Six Sigma Green Belts and Black Belts, and the publisher leveraged their skills and perspective to look at particular projects—quality valuations and energy consumption, according to Hoffman, who clarified, “We used Six Sigma methodology to get to the answers.”
As color became increasingly important to the newspaper itself, it became a production challenge to double the number of color pages. It required adding some equipment and working with contract printers to figure out how to leverage color technologies without burdening the workflow or introducing new costs.