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Reader's Digest Association partners with Williams Lea for global business process outsourcing contract

Press release from the issuing company

October 29, 2007 - Global Corporate Information Solutions provider Williams Lea has entered into a multi-year exclusive partnership with The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (RDA), the world's largest global publisher and direct marketer. The relationship represents a managed cost base of more than $1 billion over the contract duration and will see Williams Lea deliver outsourced print procurement and marketing solutions to RDA's operations in 19 countries across the United States and Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
In one of the most complex process reengineering projects of its kind, the global BPO deal has set an industry first in terms of solution and scale. In creating the Print Utility, Williams Lea will assume the promotional printing operations of RDA's direct-mail business, providing RDA with increased leverage and purchasing power by virtue of Williams Lea's expertise and global scale. The Print Utility program is expected to both help RDA improve its business processes worldwide as well as reduce its costs by approximately $130 million over the first three years.
Williams Lea was selected after RDA conducted a global review of suppliers and outsourcing firms. The implementation program will involve the transfer of 100 RDA employees augmented by 70 new staff from Williams Lea.
"We are delighted that Reader's Digest Association has chosen Williams Lea as a partner to engage in this critical element of its business process," said Tim Griffiths, CEO at Williams Lea. "From our perspective, being awarded this contract reaffirms the considerable cost and operational benefits that a global organisation can achieve by managing its promotional printing within a truly integrated process."
"The Print Utility project with Williams Lea is an innovative partnership on a global scale in the handling of print promotion," said Mary Berner, President and Chief Executive Officer at RDA. "The project reflects RDA's firm commitment to reduce costs and improve our business processes worldwide in support of our plan for sustainable,
long-term growth."
"We are very pleased to be working with Williams Lea, which throughout our discussions showed strong interest in our company and sensitivity to our business and employees," said Albert L. Perruzza, Senior Vice President of Global Operations and Business Redesign, at RDA. "We are approaching this relationship in the spirit of a partnership, with a shared goal of creating solutions that ultimately are best for our company, our customers and our employees."
The implementation process is now under way with six of the 19 locations set to go live in October 2007. Full implementation is planned by March 2008.