IPMA Takeaway: Building a Strong In-plant
On the last day of the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference, a panel of four in-plant managers shared their ideas for building a strong in-plant. In a session moderated by Elisha Kasinskas of Rochester Software Associates, they shared their experiences in four key areas: customer service, future stating, employee engagement and relevancy.
Though the roar of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup parade was clearly audible from the street below, the managers forged ahead with the session.
Bruce Goodman (State of Wisconsin) noted that his staff listens to customers to understand their needs and always responds with a sense of urgency. When they face a challenge, his staff offers alternative solutions rather than immediately saying “no.”
At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, John Yerger and his staff make personal visits to departments to share information on the in-plant’s services, so that new employees understand how the in-plant can help them. He said the in-plant has experienced 28% growth this year due to understanding customers’ needs.
This personal approach was also touted by Amanda Bronowski (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), whose in-plant offers personalized, onsite training for new and existing customers to make sure they are comfortable with the in-plant’s services. This approach has brought a lot of positive feedback.
Treating customers as trusted partners and helping them fulfill their missions has brought success to the Wharton School’s in-plant, said Manager Kelly Boyle-Kinsella. Her staff has built variable data templates for External Affairs, which resulted in an increase in work from that department. She was also able to bring back a customer who had stopped doing business with the in-plant due to past customer service problems by being honest about the shop’s problems and asking for another chance.
These and many other tips were made available in a booklet provided by RSA and available here. What's more, RSA made a video of the entire session. If you missed it, be sure to watch the video to pick up numerous other tips from these successful managers.
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, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.