See Spot Run

Managing spot inventory should get a lot better for station groups using OSI-Traffic. New features in version 4.0 speed order processing, automate reporting, and improve ROI.

A multi-station/combo-station feature lets stations use one contract from a media buyer to order spots for several stations in the same or even different markets. The system then separates the spots into individual invoices for each station. The good news? "A reduction in order inputting and more-accurate revenue reporting," says Ed Adams, president and CEO of OSI. "The buyer can also order based on a predefined combination station setup that uses a revenue breakout per station."

That combo feature also integrates neatly with OSI's Spot Engine. Spot Engine allows stations to set priorities for an advertiser; the system automatically knows which spot should fill the inventory. For example, an "A" advertiser always runs ahead of a "B." An "A" advertiser paying more should run ahead of the "A" advertiser paying less. Sales personnel who sell ad inventory for multiple regional stations will find the features useful. The system is so efficient that all stations involved in a combo sale will get information at the same time. Also new are Yield Management and Credit Management tools, which incorporate real-time avails and base-rate information into a graphical display. The Rate Card option, for example, integrates the station's rate-card information into the database. As sales people sell spots, the system automatically tells them how to price their inventory, compared with the rate card, in order to reach their sales goals.

"They only have so much inventory to sell," Adams notes. "This lets them know if they need to raise their base rate."

A Value Added report compares the actual value of an advertiser's spot with the base-rate value. The Credit Management tool automatically places accounts into a credit group, making it easier to chart credit standing.

The last feature to make its NAB debut is a data-warehousing tool that gives improved extracting, manipulating and querying capabilities. "It offers quick and easy access to historical data, organization of data into a configurable format, and a graphical display to help analyze industry trends and buying patterns," says Adams.