Fayetteville In-plant Gives Library a Facelift
When Gary Warren took over Fayetteville State University’s in-plant, Bronco Printing Solutions, in 2018, it was hard to imagine the shop handling any large-scale projects. The in-plant had seen better days and was in need of some TLC.
“When I came here, the print shop was pretty much shut down. They had an old copier in here that wasn’t doing too good,” says Warren, print and document supervisor.
But since 2018, Warren has adorned the Fayetteville, North Carolina, shop with new equipment, hired a staff, and essentially given the in-plant a makeover. Now, after demonstrating its capabilities to the university, Bronco Printing Solutions has been tasked with its biggest project to date.
In the fall of 2021, the in-plant got wind of a major, multi-phase project that entailed repurposing the first floor and part of the second floor of FSU’s Charles W. Chesnutt Library into a centralized location for advising students called the Bronco One Stop.
“The library hasn’t been touched in years, and they wanted to give it a facelift. As far as the project goes, we’ve done six acrylic with brushed-metal die bond standoffs, wall murals, elevator wraps. We’ve done vinyl on 30 windows on the second floor; we had to use a 25-ft. lift to get up to install those. We printed everything and installed everything ourselves,” Warren says.
The shop used its Mimaki UCJV300-160 UV-LED roll-fed and Mimaki JFX200-2513 UV-LED flatbed printers to do the work.
Like most projects, this came with its share of challenges. With just three people working in the in-plant Warren admits that staffing has been the biggest challenge. Part of the time, Warren says, the shop was down to two people; Warren was out for two weeks due to COVID-19, and another employee was out for a month.
“We’ve got three right now. We had four but we’re looking to hire a large-format person,” Warren says. “It’s very hard to find people to come and work, especially in specialized areas like large-format. We’re having to raise our pay and do some staff recruiting. We’ve advertised twice and haven’t gotten anybody with any experience yet to apply.”
Another challenge Warren and his team have faced stems from COVID-related supply-chain issues. At times, getting materials for the project has been difficult.
Due to the shop’s smaller size, Warren says he had to convince the university to let Bronco Printing Solutions take on the project. However, even with the staffing ups and downs, he and his team are keeping up with deadlines, and the university is happy. So far, phase one and phase two are complete, and Warren is hoping that over the next few months phase three will wrap up.
Before it took on this project, Bronco Printing Solutions did singular, smaller-scale jobs like elevator wraps and wall murals that demonstrated its capabilities to the university. Warren believes this project will make his in-plant even more valuable.
“The university has … seen the pricing that other companies have given them for what we’re doing. We’re cheaper and more responsive. They’ll come to us, and sometimes it’s a real fast turnaround within a few days on different items. So, they see the value in that,” Warren says.
He believes it’s all about helping the university so that more funds can go back into the educational mission.
“For us, it’s bringing a profit into the university. Our profits don’t go back into the print shop necessarily, they go back into the general auxiliary funds, which can help different departments that can help students with financial needs and other things,” Warren says. “So, for us, that’s a big plus because if we can help the university and we can help the students then that’s a win for us.”
Related story: Major Facelift Brings In-plant Back to Life