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Print Production Project Manager

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Sr. Production Specialists manage a portfolio of prepress, printing and production, and mailing projects that support the delivery of our programs, products, services, member benefits, and marketing campaigns. 

They define and manage production schedules, identify and manage vendors, purchase necessary goods and services, and provide regular and ad hoc project status reports to ensure that key stakeholders remain involved and informed in their projects. 

They add value to the organization by ensuring the high-quality of project deliverables; ensuring projects are brought in on time and on budget; managing mailing lists and postage costs; and continually reassessing workflows and new technologies in production processes. 

• Develop and manage production schedules for assigned products and projects. Advise business owners and product managers on requirements for providing content for editing, design, printing, manufacturing, mailing, and delivery of project deliverables. 
• Adopt a business partner model in serving the needs of the various content groups and development teams by facilitating brainstorming and product development meetings to help establish project direction. 
• Identify core team members and lead project team meetings. Ensure sufficient staff resources are allocated and available to perform schedule activities throughout the project lifecycle. 
• Manage original project scope and document change requests. Provide advice on impact of changes to scope, schedule, and budget. 
• Monitor project start and end dates according to the master production schedule. Call attention to items of significant impact and make recommendations for adjustment to minimize overall schedule disruptors. 
• Work with department manager to reconcile monthly project budgets across various cross-functional departments and report on project expenses to date and to approved budget. 
• Solicit pricing information for bids, quotes, and proposals. Provide business owners and product managers with cost estimates and offer alternatives to reduce costs, avoid budget overruns, and maximize discounts while maintaining quality standards. 
• Oversee the process of mailing member benefits and marketing and membership products and direct mail campaigns. 
• Research and vet printing, mailing, and list processing vendors to determine the most efficient and cost effective delivery method for producing assigned project components. 
• Maintain up to date vendor records within the department’s vendor list. 
• Develop print and purchasing specifications in response to project requirements. 
• Negotiate pricing with selected domestic and international mail vendors and mail/list processing vendors. 
• Manage vendor performance on contracts and resolve internal and external production deadline conflicts. Negotiate acceptable solutions between vendors and ASCD business owners and product managers. 
• Take action to improve quality and increase deliverability probability by approving simulations of address blocks and facilitating the process of merging, purging, and removing duplicate addresses from mail lists. Fulfill requirements for testing control and direct mail packages. 
• Ensure mail pieces and panels meet USPS regulations for size and weight and to meet non-profit mailing discount requirements. 
• Execute departmental quality assurance processes; i.e., prepress checks, etc. to limit costs of revisions. 
• Review and process vendor invoices for accuracy, resolving discrepancies and processing them through to accounts payable in a timely fashion. Calculate unit prices for data entry into the product fulfillment system. Calculate discounts earned as applicable. Track expenses in departmental and project cost accounting tools. 
• Maintain appropriate inventory levels for printed products and our stationery. Manage approval of business card orders and member card mailings. 
• Keep informed of how best to adapt internal processes to industry changes in technology, publishing, and production. 
TOP 3 THINGS YOU WANT TO SEE ON A RESUME: 4 year degree in relevant field, print production experience, Adobe Creative Suite 

EXAMPLE OF A DELIVERABLE THEY'D BE WORKING ON: 
TOOLS/MUST HAVES: Knowledge 
• A four-year college degree in a relevant field of study is preferred. 
• Strong knowledge of production and printing processes, including prepress, one- to four-color printing, computer-to-plate process, different methods of printing (web offset, sheet-fed, digital, inkjet, large format, etc.) and their appropriate situational uses. 
• Knowledge of production and project management standards, including schedule, scope, and budget management. 
• Knowledge of technical specifications of paper stocks and cost ramifications. 
• Basic understanding of electronic publishing and the process of rendering files on e-readers. 
• Knowledge of vendor recruitment and management processes. 
• Knowledge of list processing and suppression of prospect lists, mailing and fulfillment processes, and postal regulations including permit requirements, mail piece analysis and design, nonprofit authorization requirements, the USPS Postal Customer Gateway, the CAPS system, and postal financial statement reconciliation. 
• Knowledge of graphic design, typography, and desktop publishing principles, techniques, and software for digital and print projects. 
• Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Acrobat Professional, prepress operations, and database and scheduling management systems is required. 
Skills and Abilities 
• Ability to implement production and project management standards, including those associated with scheduling, scope management, and project cost accounting. 
• Ability to pay attention to details while coordinating multiple projects simultaneously. 
• Ability to prioritize a heavy workload and apply excellent organization and time-management skills. 
• Ability to make informed decisions within the scope of projects and recognize when to bring in other stakeholders on issues or workflows that affect multiple units or processes. 
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills to provide excellent customer services, resolve conflict, build relationships, and keep stakeholders at all levels of the organization engaged with and informed about project status. 
• Ability to manage and assess capabilities and performance of vendors. 
• Ability to work both independently and collaboratively across the organization on multiple teams and projects. 
• Ability to work effectively in both iOS and Windows environments and use project scheduling software. 
• Ability to learn and use web-based office applications for project scheduling, online collaboration and document/content management. 
Experience 
• Requires a minimum of five years’ directly related work experience. 
• Production and/or project management experience, preferably within the publishing industry. 
• Experience performing mailing and fulfillment processes, 
• Requires experience writing detailed print and service purchasing specifications.

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