Strong Support in Cincinnati
Winter was just settling in at the University of Cincinnati's campus back in January of 2012 when the sneak attack came. Agents from the facilities management (FM) arm of a popular print equipment vendor set up a meeting with the university's financial committee. With no one from the in-plant present, they began dishing out promises of cost savings if the university allowed the FM to handle its printing.
"If we turned it all over to them," recalls John Wesseling, director of Communications Services, "they [could] do all that for only $5.9 million." The vendor based this figure on how much they estimated the southwestern Ohio school was spending on reprographics. The only problem was, they didn't know the university's actual print expenditures.
"It ended up being $1.9 million is what we really spend," he reveals—less than a third of the vendor's generous offer. He passed this tidbit along to his boss, Richard Puff, who sent it right to the financial committee.
The vendor's proposal died a quick death.
Having such ready access to senior administrators has certainly made life easier for Wesseling and the 18 employees in Communications Services. Backed by the support and trust of administration, the operation has thrived. It's a trust the in-plant has earned, though, by maintaining an unrelenting focus on one important thing:
"Our goal is to give the university the best possible product for the least possible price," Wesseling declares. The in-plant has a close bond with its university customers, he says, and goes to great lengths to get their projects done on time, so they can meet their own goals.
"We're all U.C.," Wesseling says, quoting an oft-used slogan at the University of Cincinnati. He cites a time when the manager of Printing Services, Karen Kappen, recruited her mother and son to help collate an important job for the president.
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.