David Schirmer, Vice President and General Manager of PubWorx Services, LLC, shares his experiences with UPM as his global paper partner. Read his interview below.
1. What is your current role and your goals in your position?
I'm responsible for buying paper for Hearst Newspapers, Hearst magazines, Conde Nast magazines, and Advance newspapers, which is the same parent company as Conde Nast. Our number one priority is to make sure we have paper for our publications to print. Paper is the lifeblood of our magazines.
2. What do you look for in a supplier?
We look for reliability of supply, on-time delivery, and quality assets because we expect to be in this business for a long time and we want to do business with people we know will sustain their businesses for a long time. So, UPM certainly fits that category for us.
3. Why did you choose UPM?
We have a significant international presence and UPM is able to supply us globally—one of the very few companies that can do that. We also know that UPM is very financially healthy and has great assets, so we felt that it was really an important company to start building a relationship with. UPM is very well-situated to manage our supply chain.
4. How do you feel about the quality of UPM's products and services?
The quality of UPM paper is very consistent and it's generally very good. We've toured their facilities in Rauma and we've toured the warehouse in Jacksonville. These are outstanding, world-class operations. They pay attention to details in the supply chain and in the manufacturing process. It's all about making consistently good quality paper and shipping it appropriately so that it doesn't get damaged, and it arrives in our printing plants on time and in good condition. That's really a given in our business, but UPM has been very good at it.
5. How has UPM supported your environmental sustainability goals?
We are very, very committed to buying environmentally responsible paper and UPM has been on the leading edge of sustainability and producing paper in an environmentally responsible fashion. Trees are a sustainable resource, but you have to be able to prove that with certification and they've been able to do that. We have a high percentage of fiber we get from UPM that's certified to a known and accredited standard. UPM has worked very hard to build an environmentally sustainable platform. In terms of sustainable forestry, sustainable fiber, safety and so forth, they have been among the leaders in our view, and in the business in that respect.
6. Why do you want to continue working with UPM?
UPM can be a global partner because they're a financially sound and healthy company, because they have great assets, and because they can make a spectrum of products that our brands can use. We often have situations where we need paper urgently and UPM has been able to bail us out on a number of occasions. What we value about working with UPM is they are really the only supplier that we consider to be a true global partner. Other companies have the assets to be able to do that but have not coordinated internally as well as UPM. That's something we continue to work on all of the time, but UPM is certainly a stand-out when it comes to being a global partner for us.