Inaugural In-plant Innovators Conference a Big Success
Though In-plant Graphics has twice previously hosted a spring in-plant conference at the Government Publishing Office, the new In-plant Innovators Conference was the first one to focus specifically on the need for in-plants to think —and act — in innovative ways. More than 100 people turned out to hear that message. Managers traveled to the nation's capital for the event from Kansas, Ohio, Texas, Colorado and from up and down the East Coast.
From the opening keynote presentation by Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy, executive director of the International Council of Small Business, in which he discussed a number of disruptive technologies and explained why they succeeded, to the closing talk by David Zamorski of Information Services Group, where he described how to establish a “roadmap” for transitioning a print operation, the event got in-plant managers thinking about how they can innovate in their own operations.
The day began with a tour of the GPO's printing plant, where attendees were wowed by GPO's Timson Zero Makeready web press, as well as its new bindery capabilities. After lunch, a panel of in-plant managers, interviewed by IPG Editor Bob Neubauer, revealed some of the ways they have transformed their operations:
- Marcie Carr described how the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Bureau of Publications has incorporated automation so that jobs move from the Web-to-print system all the way through to shipping with minimal touch points. "We try to make ordering easy for the customers," she said.
- Tammy Golden reviewed how transaction printing was moved from the State of Tennessee's IT group into her in-plant, and how she brought it from a revenue losing operation to a $1 million a year revenue generator. "We are transitioning to more state-of-the-art operations and we are able to reduce our pricing," she said.
- Jimmy Vainstein related how the World Bank Group's in-plant has deployed virtual reality services including interactive maps with 360-degree images. He showed videos depicting how 360-degree videos look and explained how the World Bank uses them and why the in-plant is in charge of this new service. "For the past two years we have been exploring virtual reality, where you can get transported into a different place, and creating films and photos where you can explore other places," he said. "It's about trying to go beyond the message."
Also on the docket, Howie Fenton, VP of Consulting with Integrated Methods Group, presented research on digital printing technology's influence on in-plants. He urged attendees to do an application analysis to determine where they should be investing their workflow improvement dollars.
Fenton also pointed out three critical strategies in-plants must consider: the introduction of new services, reducing manufacturing costs and increasing relevance and value with customers.
Throughout the day, IPG awarded its new In-plant Innovator award to five different in-plants. Watch for more details on those winners and on the In-plant Innovators Conference in the next issue of IPG.
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 more than 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, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.