Fall 2022
Advantage User Experience
by Eva Johnson

Advantage supports some of the most sophisticated business transactions our clients demand in the constantly evolving publishing marketplace. However, that sophistication must be met with an application experience that can be efficiently managed.

Whether you are a publisher, subscription box provider or membership association, Advantage is designed to meet today’s demands for complex transactional handling in a highly configurable solution. From the simplest transactions to the broadest enterprise-wide operations, we understand that each member of your workforce needs to have the right features at their fingertips. With strategic use of Advantage’s powerful yet flexible offerings, you’ll be sure to set up your entire team for success. 

Designed with the User In Mind

In today's world, retaining staff is challenging and software must be both easy and intuitive to use. Accordingly, Advantage offers users an individually configurable user interface (UI) that keeps users at their most productive. Users with the proper security settings can easily customize Advantage based on their personal preferences and needs for accessibility.
The Advantages of Synchronization for Publication and Media Subscriptions
by John Sheehy

Print is dead… Many have claimed. Analysts and experts have been predicting the demise of print in favor of digital formats for decades — as far back as Roger Fidler’s 1981 groundbreaking essay titled Newspapers in the Year 2020. Yet here are, 40 years later.

Yes, print sales across all markets are generally down. And yes, digital sales across all markets are generally up. However, these numbers don’t tell the whole story, and there are other factors that should be taken into consideration:  

  • Monetizing digital subscriptions is not a straight-forward process. AdvantageCS has been providing solutions to publishers for over 40 years. During the late 90s and early 2000s, we saw many clients begin to offer digital subscriptions for free, almost as an afterthought to their core print offerings — perhaps a devastating miscalculation that has shaped consumer expectations.

  • Print book sales have ticked up over the past two years, largely thought to be an effect of the Coronavirus pandemic. It remains to be seen whether that trend can continue or will start to fade.

  • Existing subscription companies increased their overall customer base by 31% in 2021. This reflects the focus on consumers’ ability to participate in subscription services rather than purchasing a product, service, or content in full.

  • Niche content publishers are reporting print circulation stabilization as well. The numbers are not as robust as in days past, but they are no longer dropping at alarming rates. You can find some positive (or at least neutral) outlooks for print in most markets.
Welcome New Employee Kelson Thomas
by Kelly Grace

We are pleased to welcome Kelson Thomas, who joined the Implementations team led by Daryl Vautour. He comes to us with an exceptionally wide range of skills and experience. 

Kelson graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. What led him to pursue this degree was how it is a good basis for many things. After graduating he spent four years in the United States Coast Guard, which he enjoyed, getting to see many places around the world, including Antarctica.

From there, Kelson taught middle school math and science in Colorado for 2 years. He was looking to change career paths when Jeff Leonard told him about the position at AdvantageCS. 

Kelson is currently working on a conversion project for one of our clients, CDS Global. What he loves most about ACS are the work culture/atmosphere and his coworkers.
Advantage Salesforce Sales Cloud Integration
by Cindy Twiss

Salesforce.com is a widely used cloud-based application with support for many different business activities.

Advantage provides a tight integration with Salesforce Sales Cloud, which is commonly used by publishers, content providers, and membership organizations for prospect relationship management where sales teams are involved. Salesforce’s Sales Cloud provides many tools to make it easier for reps to communicate with prospects, members, and customers, as well as features to help manage sales activities.

As part of this integration, the accounts and contacts in Salesforce can be automatically synchronized–in real time–with the accounts and contacts in Advantage. Similarly, when a sale is made, the rep working in Salesforce can push the sale to Advantage where the order is created, again, in real time, and all the standard order edits and rules are applied.

 Advantage’s Salesforce integration allows this to happen immediately and automatically, rather than requiring manual effort in the order-to-cash flow.
European Advantage Users Group Meeting 2022
by Angie Markel

Day 1

The European Advantage Users Group (EAUG) met on October 13th and 14th along the River Thames at the historic Savoy Place which is home to The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). Stewart Love, Head of Digital Services at the IET, gave our twenty-two attendees and 11 ACS representatives a warm welcome to kick things off.

Next, Philippe van Mastrigt, Director of European Operations for AdvantageCS (ACS), presented on Publishing Industry Trends. He shared how post-COVID publishing topics are the same as they were since we last met in 2020, but the trends have changed this year with respect to:

  • Continuous growth on digital subscriptions
  • Change in growth factors; new growth is fragile and provides less revenue
  • Audio continues to boom
  • Economic struggle in industry drives a need for advertising, e-commerce, better quality journalism.
  • Decline of GAFA supremacy

Philippe then handed the podium over to Dan Heffernan, Vice President, and Chief Product Manager for AdvantageCS, so he could share ACS News, Strategy, and Direction. Dan mentioned general news about the company, our new clients, recent go-lives and upgrade projects.
Welcome New Employee Rob Kress
by Kelly Grace

We are thrilled to welcome Rob Kress to the Software Development team, which is led by Toby Hartman.

Rob is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned a degree in computer science. His interest in computer science started when he took an introductory course in college and found that he had a passion for software.

Rob is quickly swinging into action by making improvements to the Advantage database and developing upcoming features. He appreciates how friendly and helpful everyone is and likes the strong sense of community within AdvantageCS. Rob also enjoys playing wallyball with his colleagues.

Rob grew up outside of Chicago but moved to Michigan for college. When he isn’t working, Rob enjoys playing golf with his father, reading history books, and traveling. He has visited 25 U.S. National Parks! His favorite is Kenai Fjords in Alaska. 
Interview with Xavier van Leeuwe Author of
The Human Touch
by Dan Heffernan

Dan Heffernan recently interviewed Xavier van Leeuwe, CEO of Digital Marketplaces at Mediahuis Netherlands, about the book he co-wrote with Matthijs van de Peppel, The Human Touch.

DH: Could you give our readers a quick view of Mediahuis and what you publish, including how vast Mediahuis is now?

XvL: Mediahuis has over a billion Euro in yearly revenue with 30 news brands in six countries. The Netherlands is the largest, and then there's Belgium, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg and Germany. That's the most recent acquisition. 

Our strategy has three components today:

The news media we own. We realized we have to keep on innovating to make sure that we don't slide on profitability. So we’re focused on the whole digitization and monetization of that news media, and we tend to look a bit more at subscriptions than at advertising, although short-term advertising has experienced a great year.
Hope Clinic Fundraiser Success
by Kelly Grace

Last month, we held our 12th annual fundraiser for Hope Clinic. A local nonprofit dedicated to providing free medical, dental, and behavioral health services, plus food, eye exams, baby items, and laundry services to those in need.

Hope Clinic is one of the highest-rated charities in the nation on Charity Navigator, with one of the most comprehensive menus of free services in the state of Michigan. Last year alone, the clinic met more than 60,000 requests for integrated care. 

AdvantageCS has a deep relationship with the organization because our Vice President & Chief Product Manager, Dan Heffernan’s father, Dr. Dan Heffernan, founded Hope Clinic in 1982. We are thrilled to support Hope Clinic’s incredible work with a donation of $18,100 (which comprises employee contributions and company matching funds). We look forward to seeing Dr. Heffernan’s vision come to life for many years to come.

Editor: Kelly Grace
3850 Ranchero Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108 USA
Phone: +1 734 327 3600
Fax: +1 734 327 3620