Success Stories

Custom AdTrac Integration Improves Newspaper Group’s Bottom Line


The client

The North of Boston Media Group produces four dailies and five weeklies covering the Merrimack Valley and Essex County in Massachusetts and neighboring southern New Hampshire. It includes the Eagle-Tribune, one of the largest-circulation dailies owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.

The challenge

The North of Boston Media Group started implementing IPS AdTrac, MEI’s enterprise-wide ad-tracking system that manages the production workflow from order entry to final pagination, in 2010. The company’s existing ad-production workflow already included OneVision’s Asura, a powerful preflighting tool for managing, correcting and optimizing PDF and PostScript files. Being able to use the two systems together was a key requirement of the installation, so MEI began developing a process that would allow Asura and IPS to exchange information with each other seamlessly.

The solution

Thanks to MEI’s custom integration, content flows easily back and forth between the Eagle-Tribune’s IPS AdTrac database and its Asura system when it’s ready for preflighting and PDF creation.

First, the IPS AdTrac system creates a PDF of a finished ad. This action can be automatic — triggered if items in the database match certain criteria — or manual — if an IPS AdTrac user queries a certain set of jobs. Then the AdTrac-generated PDF is delivered to a set of hot folders monitored by Asura. Once detected, the PDF is brought into the Asura system for preflighting and processing. Meanwhile, IPS AdTrac is monitoring its own hot folders; depending on the Asura results, IPS AdTrac users are notified, within the IPS AdTrac interface, whether the ad can move along. If the PDF passes preflighting, it is reassigned back to the IPS system, and production can continue; if preflighting fails, the PDF does not advance.

The result is an intuitive, integrated and streamlined electronic ad-management workflow that reduces errors and cuts down on processing time, plate waste and press downtime.