Head Of Its Class
University of Washington Publications Services
As the largest university in-plant on the IPG Top 50 list, University of Washington Publications Services has an impressive operation. Not only does it fill a three-story, 48,000-square-foot building on the edge of the Seattle campus, but it includes 16 copy centers, two of which are located off campus.
In addition to printing and copying, the mega-in-plant handles all of the university's incoming and outgoing mail—a massive undertaking, and part of the reason that Publications Services employs a staggering 160 full-time employees and 112 part-timers.
But why? Why does a university need such a huge in-plant?
According to Frank Davis, associate director and 25-year university veteran, the in-plant's size is dictated by the size of the university, which currently has 36,000 students and 18,000 staff members. There are also two medical centers and two other campuses. Additionally, the university is a major research institution, so the in-plant produces lots of grant and research material.
Publications Services consists of Printing Services, Copy Services and Client & Creative Services. These units have 117 permanent staff and 98 student/hourly employees. Mailing Services has 43 permanent staff and 14 part-time students. The reason for such a huge staff in the mailing area, Davis says, is because the school has its own zip code. As a result, the in-plant must handle all incoming and outgoing USPS and inter-campus mail.
"We have such a huge volume of mail because of the size of the university," Davis says.
Because of this, Davis and Director Eric Mosher were able to justify funding three years ago for $750,000 worth of updated mailroom equipment. This enabled the automation of address verification, bar coding and sorting by zip code. Mailing Services now processes 75,000 pieces of mail daily.