On Demand Features Advice from In-plants
Two in-plant managers took center stage at the recent On Demand Conference & Expo as part of a four-person panel presentation on the show’s opening day. Debbie Pavletich, Graphic Services manager at Briggs & Stratton, and Roger Chamberlain, manager of Administrative Services at The Cincinnati Insurance Co., took part in a session entitled “50 Ideas in 50 Minutes” during which panelists responded to questions and revealed some important survival tactics.
Chamberlain noted that expanding his in-plant’s marketing program is one of his top priorities. He strives to strengthen customer relationships through such activities as open houses. He has his designers sit in on meetings where new insurance products are discussed, so they can immediately begin thinking about how to market them.
Pavletich agreed that marketing one’s in-plant is crucial, as is finding ways to integrate with customers and solve problems for them.
“How can you make them look good in their job?” she asked. Build partnerships, she advised, so customers want to continue working with you. Having a Web-to-print solution, she added, connects the in-plant more closely with the customer by making it easy for them to send you work.
Still, she and Chamberlain agreed that knowing your costs is ultimately what will determine your survival. Make sure you’re getting a return on investment for every piece of equipment—and every employee—Pavletich said. Chamberlain noted that his shop does a cost analysis of each job to decide which piece of equipment it can be most effectively produced on.
Knowing your costs intimately, he added, is also the best way to thwart facilities management companies. When his shop is challenged, he stresses the confidentiality and immediate turnaround benefits his in-plant provides. If the company needs something printed and delivered tomorrow, he asks upper management, can the FM really do it?
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.