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Time Is Money for Radio Stations

Laderer talks about why innovations such as cloud-based workflow software matter

Jinny Laderer In 2005, Jinny Laderer was working as the creative services director at Renda Broadcasting, where she collaborated with sales reps and managers at multiple radio stations on ad campaigns. However, she was frustrated by inefficiencies of the systems and processes with which she had to deal daily and about which she would vent to her husband, John, kept her from coming home on time.

In an effort to solve this, John, a government software programmer, wrote a Web-based software program that helped Laderer combine some of her work and enable her to get home on time. According to Laderer, this was the beginning of vCreative, a software company she went on to co-found with her husband with the ultimate goal of providing people and companies with more time.

Laderer now is the president of vCreative, which has been providing workflow management systems to the radio and other media industries since 2008. She says vCreative came along just as the cloud-based storage movement began and has been a big proponent of the technology. Eight years later, being in the cloud is almost a prerequisite for new technologies.

“In 2008 when we launched, our biggest objection for the reason they [companies] didn’t want to use our software was we were cloud-based and the Internet was not always reliable, and they were afraid to do business online,” said Laderer. “Fast forward to today, you can’t even imagine somebody ever saying that.”

The advantages of cloud-based systems will be featured in Laderer’s upcoming panel, “In-station Innovations That Save and Make Radio Money,” at the NAB Show. Her specific message addresses how these systems and other innovations can be integrated to provide more time to workers, which in turn can result in generating more revenue.

“There are a lot of inefficiencies that happen internally ever day at a radio station that cause their employees to spin their wheels,” said Laderer. “Time is the most valuable asset we have. We want to make the most of every single moment that we have our employees working for us.

“So if they are spinning their wheels all day long with inefficient tasks … then there is this disconnect and what happens is they lost all of those hours. Those hours translate into being more productive, being more creative, and putting more money on the bottom line.”

The way to reduce inefficiencies is by integrating the different systems used by radio stations, according to Laderer. For example, better integrating traffic, workflow management and automation systems may eliminate the need to log information into three or four different systems, potentially allowing for easier communication and fewer errors.

Speaking about how this could help raise revenue at stations, Laderer talks of her personal experience working as a creative services director. She says eliminating some of these inefficiencies freed sales people to be more creative and spend more time with clients to meet their needs.

“I spent so much time shuffling paper work and trying to get organized during the day, I just needed more time to generate more income for the company with great creative.”

Laderer recognizes that some stations are in a better position than others to take advantage of this and that smaller-market stations have particular challenges. She stresses that they should start asking questions about “where are they losing time, where are they spinning their wheels, where are the communications breakdowns that are maybe causing lost revenue, or lost opportunities, or the loss of time for creativity.”

Radio stations today generally operate with fewer staff, so each employee typically has more responsibility. When it comes to saving and making money, Laderer believes that it’s those employees who are still among a station’s greatest asset. So it is important that stations invest in tools that will help employees thrive in this new work environment.

Workflow environments are “going to be extremely streamlined within the next several years,” she predicts.

“In-Station Innovations That Save and Make Radio Money” is part of the Broadcast Management Conference. It will take place Tuesday, April 19, during the 2016 NAB Show.