Randall-Reilly to become complete solutions provider
The centers -- audience development, business intelligence, content, custom marketing solutions, events and interactive -- each serve as a company “core competency” and work in a matrix system. With the new system, now fully in place, years ahead of schedule, there are heads of targeted industries (trucking, construction, recruiting media, etc.) and heads of centers of excellence -- making for a whole lot more opportunities for expanded capabilities.
“It provides focused expertise in the appropriate areas,” says Brent Reilly, new president of Randall-Reilly. “The individuals who are great sales people, who have great relationships and great industry knowledge, can focus on deepening that industry knowledge and not on creating a new interactive product or finding an outsourcing company. Conversely, the individuals who have great interactive skills can spend their time on new product development, in programming and in continuing education to see what’s out there and what’s possible.”
The leaders of the centers of excellence (COEs), and their staff, are subject-matter experts and responsible for growing that area of business across the entire company. Nick Reed, head of the interactive COE, is tasked with growing interactive revenue through all company segments. Alan Sims is the brains behind all Randall-Reilly events. And so on. While the heads of COEs are focused on their own core competency, the heads of industries strategize on how to drive all of the core competencies to provide a better service to their readers.
“There are intersection points,” explains Reilly. “If I say, ‘what’s happening in trucking interactive?’ I’m looking at two people, head of trucking and head of interactive, and they are making decisions together as joint business owner. Our interactive head will not start hiring developers and programmers into that particular segment unless the two of them together decide it’s the best business decision.”
Directing all COEs is the chief process officer, Shane Elmore, formerly the chief financial officer. Elmore is responsible for streamlining all processes, ensuring strategic collaboration to create powerful products and solutions.
With the new structure, Randall-Reilly is able to rapidly expand its offerings. For example, prior to the reorganization, Sims led the trade show business for trucking. Now Sims uses his knowledge to expand and direct all events for the company. The structure also allows for the company to see what areas are excelling and what areas need attention.
“The person who heads up all of our data knows where we need to make some investments across the organization -- they know the stuff that’s coming out in the data world,” says Reilly. “At the same time, they are working with the heads of the industry who know the unique challenges that are facing that industry and strategically what to provide. We find out where they mesh up and invest accordingly.”
End-Game: Product Integration
All of this collaboration, strategizing and evaluation leads to one goal for Randall-Reilly: to become a complete solutions provider by integrating product offerings and sequencing them.
“If you were a construction customer of ours, in the past you probably didn’t know us for anything but being a magazine provider and a corresponding website provider,” says Reilly. “But now we can integrate a world of solutions to help you solve your problems. Now you can look to us for high-level custom marketing solutions or interactive solutions. And, if we’re doing our job right, you can look to us as a true partner that can put all of this together.”
Reilly believes the structure will also allow the company to easily add new core competencies and serve new industries. Although he hasn’t specified what industries are next, Reilly notes that its data business, EDA, now a part of the business intelligence COE, and its current data sets, will be the fundamental drivers for selection.
“There’s a tremendous about of real change going on, I’m talking revolutionary type change, within our organization,” says Reilly, “and we've got a lot more to do.”
By Elizabeth A. Reid
Photo credit, with thanks: Publishing Executive Magazine