United Methodist Publishing House laying off 40 employees – The Tennessean
The United Methodist Publishing House will close its distribution center at theÂ MetroCenter business park in March, a move that will idleÂ roughly 40 employees.
Exiting distribution is the latest transition for theÂ United Methodist denomination’s self-supporting publishing agency, which three years ago closedÂ its last Cokesbury retail bookstores nationwideÂ to focus on sellingÂ 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,”Â said Tammy Gaines, chief financial officer of theÂ United Methodist Publishing House. âOur retail customers will receive outstanding service through this partnership.”
LSC Communications, which was recentlyÂ spun offÂ from printing giant R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. for print and digital product distribution, will handle the work afterÂ the publishing house closes its only distribution centerÂ at 341 Great Circle Road.
Currently, the United Methodist Publishing House has roughly 400 employees, including the mostly warehouse associates âwhoÂ performedÂ pick, pack and ship tasksÂ â that will be let go. The affected workers will receiveÂ severance packages and job search service, officials said.
As part of the transition to LSCÂ Communications, a few positions will be brought over from the distribution center to the United Methodist Publishing House’s nearbyÂ headquarters at 2222Â Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Through itsÂ Cokesbury retail division and Abingdon Press publishing arm, the publishing houseÂ produces resources for congregations, church leaders, seminaries, study groupsÂ 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 publishingÂ house said in a statement.
Reach Getahn Ward at 615-726-5968 and on TwitterÂ @getahn.