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Pacific Press: Publishing with a Mission

This month, Customer Portrait presents The Pacific Press Publishing Association in Nampa, Idaho.  Pacific Press joined the Advantage community in 1997.

The Pacific Press® Publishing Association, established in 1874, is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and publishes books and periodicals with Christian themes, for both children and adults. Specialties include books for Christian women and books and magazines in foreign languages, including Spanish, French, Afrikaans, and even Samoan.

Their monthly magazine called Signs of the Times, has been in continuous circulation since the Press began in 1874. Pacific Press publishes other periodicals as well, and also produces many of the materials used in Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath Schools and churches. In addition, they distribute easy-listening and inspirational music through their Chapel® Music division, as well as producing a variety of media, including software to spice up church presentations, videos, and DVDs.

Their beautifully landscaped and maintained two-story building is located in Nampa, Idaho?close to Boise and surrounded by scenic mountains. In addition to housing the editorial, customer service, sales and marketing and other publishing employees, the building contains the printing plant where much of their material is printed. So much mail goes out of their printing plant every day that they even have an onsite post office.

At the time Pacific Press installed Advantage in 1997, they were looking for an integrated book and magazine system, expanded marketing and promotion capabilities, improved customer service functionality and the latest Windows technology. Nearly 12 years later, they have realized all those goals and more.

Ed Bahr, the IT Director at Pacific Press, has this to say about Advantage: "This software has served our needs well here at Pacific Press. Because our business model is somewhat unique, Advantage has provided the flexibility and customization we need for an efficient workflow."

Stu Pottle, tech support person for the Advantage system, just retired after 14 years at Pacific Press. He was there through the original conversion and all the upgrades since then. He has been training his replacement, Rick Johnson, for a while now. Although he is looking forward to retirement, Stu will miss his coworkers, and also his friends at ACS. "I've enjoyed working with ACS people?they are always willing to help out with a question or concern," says Stu.

Bill Pinard was the ACS project manager in the original implementation. He says: "As the PPPA project manager, Stu did an outstanding job driving the many aspects of the project to completion and learning all about Advantage. Stu was trained in Advantage's Tools programming language and went on to develop PPPA's forms and custom reports. He made it his business to understand the users' needs and how they could be met with Advantage functionality. He was a real champion for Advantage within the PPPA organization and he will be greatly missed."

Account Manager Ev Acton agrees with Bill. She says: "Over the years, Stu has really "owned" the system. There has never been a question of that. He's worked side by side with his end users and has been able to walk through any issue he has reported to Advantage. When you talk with Stu, it's clear he understands not only their business but he also understands how the processes work etc. I've always thoroughly enjoyed working with Stu."

Rick has a background in networking, programming, and technical support. His main duties at Pacific Press will be administering and facilitating use of the Advantage system at Pacific Press. Rick says (about Stu), "I've never worked with someone who has such a complete understanding of the system he is administering. On top of that, Stu understands nearly every aspect of the user interaction with Advantage and can help them understand how their jobs mesh with Advantage."

Editor's note: Rick, you have some big shoes to fill, but we know you will do a fantastic job. Stu, best wishes on your retirement! It's been great working with you and we will miss you.

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