Human Resources

Human Resources

Our core purpose as part of the business is to contribute to its success. We lead the people strategy development which is truly embedded within the needs of the business and the experience of working at Frontline.  We’re proud of our culture and believe it is pivotal in driving our continued growth and innovation.  Against this backdrop, HR works collaboratively with the business to enable everyone to maximize their potential.

Our role in the achievement of Frontline’s business plan and objectives means every day is different for us.  Amongst the variety there are some key core functions of the HR department, these include:

  • Learning and Development Strategy

Deliver initiatives that develop our people and support our mission

  • Performance Development

Developing an environment which supports individuals taking ownership of their development to maximise performance

  • Policies and Procedures

Providing advice and guidance on people policies and procedures to all at Frontline

  • Working with and maintaining the HR Information system, which is an essential source of management information

Finance

Finance

What’s core?

Like any finance team, we deliver on a daily basis all those critical tasks such as collecting cash from our customers, paying our suppliers, fulfilling regulatory requirements with auditors, HMRC and Companies House and reporting to the business on our financial performance against budget and forecasts.

What may be different?

We manage an array of services for our publishers, so many of the costs we process don’t just go to our profit and loss account, but have to be charged back out again.  We are also the source of key revenue information for our publishers

Technology is key.  Across the group the Finance teams interact with over 10 different systems.

With a parent company in Germany, we report in both UK GAAP and German GAAP.

Maintaining a great working relationship with the business is critical for us and we support the business in a number of ways.  This can be in the form of analytical support, advising on cost and accounting implications of decisions or offering first-line legal support. 

Whatever the requirement we work in a fast paced evolving environment and have to be adaptable and flexible to business needs, to find workable solutions around systems and processes whilst maintaining the fundamental integrity of our financial transactions.

Category Management

Category Management

The Category Management Team work in partnership with our key retail multiple groups to ensure the range of magazines sold in their stores maximises the return on space. We provide varying degrees of support for our retail partners depending on each individual arrangement.

In addition to optimising return on space by developing the most effective range we also help with store execution by producing store planograms, managing the store communication process and liaising with 3rdparty merchandising companies to ensure the change in store is landed on time and with no disruption to the customer / store colleague.

Management of range and display is the single most important factor to get right when retailing newspapers and magazines and it is therefore only right that we give it the appropriate focus.  Where we are full category partners with a retailer the Category management team also support the retailer in shaping future strategy, improving visual merchandising, influencing store layout, providing customer insight and shopper mission management.

Category management requires a head for detail and imagination for new ideas delivered with a logical and calm approach. Due to the confidential aspect of this function it is essential that our clients can trust anyone working in the category management function and that they have strong account management skills to ensure ideas and thoughts can be translated into action by others.

The Frontline Category Management team are consistently scored as industry leading year after year and is an important part of our retail facing offer.

Information Services

Information Services

Frontline is very much led by the capabilities of its information systems and the high quality of data analysis to deliver real positive performance impact.

The Information Systems team develops innovative and creative leading edge bespoke IT solutions which drive the competitiveness of the organisation. The team is also responsible for ensuring a high quality operational service supporting the complex array of technologies essential to the smooth running of the business.

Frontline is an information led business and the Commercial Analysis team delivers best in class high quality performance enhancing insight throughout the company. Our team of respected and experienced analysts use advanced statistical tools such as SAS to deliver key insights to Frontline and its publishers. These insights are a critical part of the commercial decision making process. This level of performance enhancing insight relies on high quality data. Our specialist team of data integrity analysts ensure that all the sources of data used to feed analytical processes is checked and cleaned before use.

Turning vast quantities of raw data into actionable knowledge for our publisher owners helps ensure we remain market leading.

Supply Chain

Copy Management:

The Copy Management team are an integral part of the magazine supply chain.  They support our Partners & third party clients by ensuring that the publisher’s insight and strategy are used to create an effective and accurate allocation to the 50,000 UK and Ireland retail outlets.  Alongside store level sales forecasting through our own in house systems,  we work to the Frontline mission of “giving each and every copy the maximum chance of selling at the lowest practical cost” whether it be planning in retail promotional space, allocating to new stores or proposing print run changes for the upcoming issues. The team is structured on a publisher facing basis with each title owned by a single member of the team whilst externally linking directly into the wholesalers. Relationships both internally and externally are highly collaborative allowing us to get the best results for our titles.

Supply Chain Operations:

The Supply Chain Operations team are responsible for the delivery of our Publisher titles from the point of print, through our carrier network, into the wholesale branch estate for onward delivery to retailers. We also manage any finishing requirements, the physical fulfilment of subscriptions and the purchasing of all consumables.

Alongside the physical movement of product we also aim to deliver the most effective supply chain solutions at retail.  By making the category easier to handle we aim to drive sales and improve retail profitability.

We provide an outstanding service level measured through our On Time in Full KPI measure, whilst achieving this in the most cost effective way, as meeting the challenging requirements of our publishers is at the heart of everything we do.

Flexibility and creativity are important in such a fast paced logistics environment, and at Frontline we pride ourselves on leading the industry and being the best in our field.

Newstrade Marketing

Newstrade Marketing

The Newstrade Marketing (NTM) team are the key interface between our publishing partners and the various Frontline teams. Based within the publisher marketing departments, our responsibilities sit within the following areas:

Managing circulation of our titles
It is vital that the copy allocation of our titles gives us the best chance of achieving our sales and profitability targets. Therefore we work together with the copy planning team to maximise sales but minimise waste, as this one of the biggest costs to our business.

Trade Marketing Budgets
We invest a significant amount of money with retail every year. The NTM team are responsible for ensuring that this money is spent at the right retailers, on the right titles and at the right time to achieve a return on investment or increased cash rate of sale. This helps us to strengthen our position to either protect or grow our listings at the various range reviews throughout the year.

Account Management
We work extremely closely with the publishing, marketing and editorial teams to ensure that we have the best possible plan for each of our titles. Therefore, it is imperative that our publishers are continually kept informed of retail developments, trade marketing plans, latest listings movements, sales forecasts, epos performance, copy allocations and competitor performance.

Communication with Frontline departments
We work very closely with specific Frontline departments – and Seymour for our international business – ensuring that they are equipped with as much direction and knowledge about our brand strategies as possible.

Collaborative approach
The scale of Frontline cannot be under-estimated as we are a major player within the industry. Although there are competing titles across the partnership, the NTM team are extremely collaborative and are advocates of cross-partner initiatives, sharing shopper insight and being closely involved with relevant projects that are being run within the business.

Retail

Retail

Sitting uniquely across the Sales and Supply chain departments, the Wholesale and Field Sales (WFS) team has a wide remit. Directly linked to the Frontline mission, the primary aim of the WFS team is to drive profitable sales in our retail and wholesale accounts. Accounting for over 38% of total Frontline revenue, the accounts below are vitally important to the success of the business as a whole. Our dynamic team investigate performance drivers and develop new sales driving initiatives; such as range management, original magazine display solutions, improved retail communication and knowledge, and bespoke retail sales promotions.

Independent retailers

Working closely with the NFRN (National Federation of Retail Newsagents) we strive to develop the sales of magazines within the UK and Ireland’s 35,000+ Independent retailers.

Our work in Independent retailers is supported by field marketing activity for Frontline including monthly merchandising calls in 2,500 Independent retailers.

Small and Mid-Range retail accounts

We have category partnerships with retail accounts including Martin McColl’s and Spar.  Such accounts are at the forefront of the recent switch in shopping habits towards the more ‘Convenience’ approach.

Wholesale

We manage the relationship and performance of our wholesalers (Smiths News and Menzies Distribution) to facilitate our strategy.

New Business

Another strand is new business opportunities for selling our magazines in non-traditional magazine selling outlets e.g. selling crafting magazines in Hobbycraft.  The rise in prominence of ‘Discounters’ such as Aldi, Lidl and Wilkinson’s has resulted in a greater focus recently, a trend set to increase in the future.