Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Reed Reshapes

It is always good to watch the major publishers such as Thomson, Reed Elsevier, etc. They focus on markets and move decisively in them and disinvest ruthlessly when they feel they need to realign their focus. They may seem big and cumbersome to some but financially agile to others and importantly have to keep the City happy.

Reed Elservier, who employ around 37,000 people, own a large share of the legal publishing market, with the likes LexisNexis and are majors in other sectors such as business publishing, the medical publishing market, with journals such as The Lancet, and exhibitions are embarking on a significant cost saving programme. It is reported that Analysts believe that the centralising functions such as procurement, human resources and IT across the group will shed as much as £100m a year.

Reed operate in publishing sectors that have done very well out of digitisation and that have enabled it to develop value added service onto their content. It will be therefore interesting how they reign in these centralised functions as a model for others to potentially follow.