In a move it expects will save the company $1 million, Dow Jones, New York, has outsourced all its outbound calling services, disbanding its internal operations. The change will result in 118 layoffs at nine locations in eight states.
The services will be handled by a network of vendors headed by the Martin Agency, Richmond, VA.
In addition to cost, the move is expected to add flexibility and efficiency to the company's subscription acquisitions.
“We can add and subtract people easily and have them focus on different regions and products. That also translates to efficiency,” said Richard Tofel, a spokesperson for Dow Jones.
The company will receive constant reports from the Martin Agency and the other vendors on the rates of new subscribers who are acquired. Tofel said that he could not comment on how many of the publications' subscribers are acquired through telemarketing.
“We will have to train them to familiarize them with the products,” he said. “We also have various offers that are made through telemarketing and other channels they have to be aware of.”Dow Jones has worked with Martin on a limited basis in the past.
The laid off workers will be eligible to apply for other jobs that come open at the company, Tofel said.
The company will take a charge against earnings for severance and office closing costs in the fourth quarter. After taxes the total of the charge is expected to be $2 million, or two cents per share. In a statement issued by Dow Jones, operating cost savings have begun immediately and will average $1 million per year before taxes.
“Our fourth quarter is going to be worse than it normally would because of the non-recurring charge,” Tofel said. “However our operations costs in the fourth quarter will be better than before and will continue that way.”
Dow Jones publishes the Wall Street Journal, Barron's, SmartMoney magazine, and other periodicals that the telemarketers will sell subscriptions for.