HHS-Fighting Tough In Texas
Texas Department of Health and Human Services
After years of fighting to keep his in-plant alive, Robert McDaniel has finally been able to spend some time focusing solely on improving his shop.
Six years ago, the Texas Council on Competitive Government consolidated 31 state print shops in Travis County, in central Texas, into a mere nine shops. These in-plants, which lack right of first refusal, were also mandated to operate on a full cost recovery basis and forbidden from printing for any type of commercial operation. The result? They were left fighting each other and commercial print shops in a limited pool of government work. But thankfully, says McDaniel, "It's a mighty big pool."
McDaniel manages one of two sites that make up HHS Printing & Distribution Services, and both sites are overseen by the Texas Department of Health and the Texas Department of Human Services—the HHS in the title. The two state departments account for approximately 80 percent of the in-plant's sales, with the remainder coming from other state agencies, such as the Department of Safety, the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the governor's office. The work is split evenly between McDaniel's site and the one run by co-manager John Moses.
"They're slanted a little more towards publications, and we're slanted towards forms, but most of those difference are disappearing," says McDaniel. "When we started, 90 percent of our work was forms, and now it's down to about 60 percent"—partly due to forms now being accessible online.
The increased demand for color work and publications has naturally necessitated the purchase of new equipment. Recent acquisitions include a four-color Heidelberg Speedmaster press, which enables the in-plant to do work previously handled commercially, a Muller Martini Saddle Binder and a large MBO folder, so the 74-employee shop can produce higher-volume publications.