Meet The Team: The Operations Department

Yvonne chats to Paula Gibson about her job in the Operations Department.

Paula has worked for DC Thomson for 30 years.

Can you tell me your first recollections of the “Friend”?

Coming from Dundee, and with family also working for D C Thomson, I was aware of the fact that “The People’s Friend” was one of the company’s oldest and most popular magazines long before I began working here.

Most people just see the end product of the magazine, but can you explain your job title and the main part you play as part of the “Friend” team?

I work in the Operations Department and my main role is paper control – sending print schedules and estimated paper usage requirements to all our various paper suppliers, releasing paper as necessary and keeping stock of deliveries and actual usages ensuring we always have a decent quantity of stock. “The People’s Friend” paper comes from Sweden, so it’s important that we keep a stock in the UK in case of any problems – we have had issues in the past ranging from a shortage of paper resulting in deliveries being pushed back to flooding at a warehouse causing damage to reels!

Has this always been your job?

I started with DC Thomson in January 1989 as a shorthand typist in the Circulation Dept., then I moved onto Logistics (creating the despatch paperwork for all the magazines), before becoming part of the Operations Department around four or five years ago, working with Paul Egan, my manager and paper guru!

What other things does your job entail?

Another of my main roles is barcodes. Although I no longer require to physically create these for the magazine since we moved onto a new system, the schedule is still a requirement – all barcodes need to be checked and approved before going to print.

What’s the best bit about what you do?

My job is quite varied so it makes for very quick days and I also enjoy working with, and being part of, such a good team.

Has the “Friend” celebrating its 150th year created new tasks for you?

The main thing was ordering paper for the 16-page replica first edition of the “Friend”, which is included with “The People’s Friend Special 169”.


Meet the “Friend” staff and more of the folk who work behind the scenes to keep the magazine running smoothly right here.


Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.