An Integral Auxiliary
University of Michigan,
The University of Michigan has a large campus, with 25,000-plus students and facilities spread throughout the city of Ann Arbor. In fact, the campus is so sprawling and decentralized that the 80-employee Auxiliary Services department receives only about 40 percent of the print and copy jobs generated.
Still, last year that added up to more than 20,000 jobs and sales of $13.1 million. Print jobs ranged from business cards to high-volume, multi-color books.
"There are certain jobs we'll never go after, such as casebound books," says Patricia Squires, assistant director of Auxiliary Services. "We'd never be able to print enough to justify the kind of equipment we'd need, and that wouldn't be in the best interest of the university."
University departments aren't required to use Auxiliary Services, but the in-plant does what it can to attract new customers.
"We do a lot of in-house training and seminars for potential customers—for the people within the departments that are buying printing on the outside," notes Squires.
This training runs potential buyers through the prepress gamut to show them how to better prepare jobs so the finished product matches their expectations. Buyers are also shown how the printing process works.
"We hope, of course, that what they see will impress them to the point that they use us," says Squires. "But even if they don't, they become better print buyers, and that's a benefit for the university."
In addition to the printing and copy centers, Auxiliary Services handles mail delivered to and from campus, which in 2000 meant handling 14 million pieces of mail. The department also recently added optical imaging services, which involves scanning old and new documents for electronic retrieval.
As for future customer service offerings, "we are exploring the full life of a document, from design, storage and retrieval to recycling and purging," explains Squires. "We're not heavily involved with design, but we've had a lot of requests for it."