Best Practices: Partnership, Discounts Strengthen In-plant
In-plants and designers are known to sometimes butt heads, but at Cedarville University, developing a strong relationship between the two has brought many benefits to the in-plant.
It all began about six years ago when Print Services was getting ready to purchase its first production color machine. Tammy Slone, manager of Retail Services at the Cedarville, OH, school, reached out to the director of marketing for input on the devices she was considering. Together, they compared a few different machines, eventually settling on the Canon imagePRESS C6000.
“My process of thinking was, if we could get equipment that the creative director would really appreciate and feel comfortable with, we could probably capture work via that department,” Slone explains.
With this foundation in place, Slone says the two departments have successfully collaborated in other areas as well. In particular, when it comes to the university’s official logos, there are specific guidelines that must be adhered to. In the past, the in-plant had received numerous jobs in which these logos did not meet the quality and specifications the college requires.
“[The marketing department] was actually the guardian for the logos on campus,” Slone says. “Any time that you want to print or use that logo, you’re supposed to get permission from them, but a lot of people were not doing that, so it was hard to control.”
Slone came up with the idea to discount print jobs that are sent through marketing. This way, she says, customers could save money, the marketing department would be assured that the college’s branding elements were satisfactory, and the in-plant would save the time and hassle stemming from correcting faulty images.
Depending on the size of the job, Slone says discounts can run between 15 and 50 percent, if they’re sent through the designers in marketing. And because of the three-way benefits that can occur through this collaboration, she says the marketing department has been an integral help in advocating for the in-plant.
For example, Slone says, with the help of the marketing department, Print Services was able to save the art department money by printing its programs for theater productions. Previously, the department printed these programs off campus, but Slone says marketing helped the in-plant capture the work.
“The creative director actually took our copy that we printed to the art department and the copy that they had purchased from an off-site vendor and didn’t tell them which one it was,” Slone says. “He just asked them which one they liked, and they liked ours better.”
With the ability to develop a mutually beneficial relationship and save money for customers, Slone says building strategic relationships in other departments is a smart move for an in-plant to make.
“Even though we’re a totally different division than marketing, we’re key in some of the marketing processes they use,” Slone relates. “You have to be open to working in a team environment.”
Related story: Color Quality Inspires Change at Cedarville