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Print Production Specialist/Project Manager

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We are a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries.

Our diverse, nonpartisan membership is our greatest strength, projecting a powerful, unified voice to decision makers around the world. 

Association, corporate environment, business casual dress code 

JOB DESCRIPTION/DELIVERABLES: 

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. 

This is NOT a design position, nor will it become one. This is also not a position that requires hands-on knowledge of how printing presses work (this is not a print manufacturing position). This position is more project and product management-based and will require a solid background in understanding publishing, printing methodologies, vendor management, project scheduling and management, and requests for quotations/proposals. 

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

• 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 our 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. 
 

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