United Methodist Publishing House laying off 40 employees – The Tennessean
The United Methodist Publishing House will close its distribution center at theÃ‚Â MetroCenter business park in March, a move that will idleÃ‚Â roughly 40 employees.
Exiting distribution is the latest transition for theÃ‚Â United Methodist denomination’s self-supporting publishing agency, which three years ago closedÃ‚Â its last Cokesbury retail bookstores nationwideÃ‚Â to focus on sellingÃ‚Â online, over the telephone and through community resource consultants in 38 U.S. markets.
“Dramatic changes in the publishing and distribution industries require that we focus on our essential core competencies and partner with others for supporting functions that they can provide more efficiently and economically,”Ã‚Â said Tammy Gaines, chief financial officer of theÃ‚Â United Methodist Publishing House. Ã¢Â€ÂœOur retail customers will receive outstanding service through this partnership.”
LSC Communications, which was recentlyÃ‚Â spun offÃ‚Â from printing giant R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. for print and digital product distribution, will handle the work afterÃ‚Â the publishing house closes its only distribution centerÃ‚Â at 341 Great Circle Road.
Currently, the United Methodist Publishing House has roughly 400 employees, including the mostly warehouse associates Ã¢Â€Â”whoÃ‚Â performedÃ‚Â pick, pack and ship tasksÃ‚Â Ã¢Â€Â” that will be let go. The affected workers will receiveÃ‚Â severance packages and job search service, officials said.
As part of the transition to LSCÃ‚Â Communications, a few positions will be brought over from the distribution center to the United Methodist Publishing House’s nearbyÃ‚Â headquarters at 2222Ã‚Â Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Through itsÃ‚Â Cokesbury retail division and Abingdon Press publishing arm, the publishing houseÃ‚Â produces resources for congregations, church leaders, seminaries, study groupsÃ‚Â and individuals.
“With advances in just-in-time inventory management, partnering with LSC for product distribution will increase flexibility, reduce costs, and help UMPH maintain the highest quality and speed of service for customers,” the publishingÃ‚Â house said in a statement.
Reach Getahn Ward at 615-726-5968 and on TwitterÃ‚Â @getahn.
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