Penn State’s New Direction
ABBAS BADANI is not afraid to be blunt when talking about his in-plant’s past performance.
“There’s no question that the way it was, wasn’t really working,” says Badani, director of Pennsylvania State University’s Multimedia & Print Center (MPC), in University Park, Pa.
In short, up until a few years ago, the in-plant was still staffed and equipped for 1970s-level production. It was losing business, expenses were rising, and most of the campus viewed it as merely another vendor, not as a core part of the university.
“We were very stagnant, I think, for a while,” notes Mike Poorman, assistant director, who has been with the in-plant for 25 years. “The last year and a half…we definitely have a clear picture on the direction of this unit.”
The in-plant is not out of the red yet, Badani acknowledges, but it’s almost there. In 2005, the operation improved its bottom line by nearly 60 percent, he says, generating revenues of $12,347,000, including mail.
“By next year we will be fully back to where we need to be,” he says.
The place it needs to be, though, is a place it has never been before.
Redefining a Campus Business
“The unit has to redefine itself going forward,” Badani declares.
That, in a nutshell, is what he’s been trying to do for the past two years since arriving from Texas A&M University, where he was director of Graphics Services.
In that time, Badani and his management team have spearheaded the in-plant’s name change from Document Services to Multimedia & Print Center and reduced staff from 95 to 75 through attrition, transfers and layoffs. In addition, he and his staff have brought about a number of other changes:
• Copier Management: In September, MPC rolled out a copier program that has brought structure to the previously freestyle copier acquisition process.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.