Insourcing Wipes Out Outsourcing Threats
"BECOMING A profit center has greatly, if not completely, eliminated outsourcing threats," proclaims Dale Johnson, manager of Graphic and Mail Services at Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge, La. "Just as important, insourcing has generated the ability to provide more services to our parent company."
Today, insourcing accounts for more than half of the revenue generated by the 14-person in-plant, which serves more than 100 internal departments and an insourcing base of over 500 customers.
"Our prices are very competitive compared to the local market," Johnson explains.
He readily admits, though, that the process of insourcing has been an evolutionary journey over the past 20 years that has had its share of hurdles.
"Actually, our first [insourcing] effort in 1991 failed," he confides. "We tried providing office forms to hospital physicians at a discount, but it turned into a paperwork nightmare."
The idea was eventually shelved. It resurfaced once again in 1997 when Woman's Hospital administration requested that Graphic Services collaborate with another area hospital to provide printing. The second time around proved to be a win/win for the shop and all of its customers.
The influx of new business has not only increased revenue, but allowed the in-plant to offer a much broader range of services to internal customers. As the number of outside customers has grown, so has the in-plant's staff. Today Graphic Services has one account representative, one project coordinator and one customer service representative, who are dedicated to managing the needs of 500 external clients.
Self Promotion Brings in Business
To market its availability to the outside world, the in-plant initially relied primarily on word-of-mouth recommendations. Over the years, however, its efforts have widened to include a listing in the area phone book, as well as occasional mailings and discount offers to area non-profits.