Konica's In-plant Practices What It Preaches
Two years ago, Konica replaced the offset presses in its in-plant with digital printing and copying equipment. The operation has become a showcase for the company.
Ray Embury looked around the industrial park in Windsor, Conn., where his shop and several other corporate in-plants were located, and noticed some of them shutting their doors. Determined that Konica's Printing Services wouldn't become "a dinosaur" like some of those shops, Embury began making changes.
"A lot of the in-plant operations around us were closing because their work was being outsourced to other printers," says Embury, Konica's manager of office services. "We've never outsourced, but we saw the need to practice what we preach." After all, Embury notes, the company's slogan is "KBT Practices What It Preaches."
Putting those words into action, the company converted its conventional offset print shop into a digital cluster-printing operation two years ago. Replacing three offset presses with six Konica 7075s and four Konica digital color desktop printers (powered by an NT server and an AHT Konica Unified Solution cluster server), the in-plant has become a showcase for the company, contends Embury.
"We're practicing what we're preaching by not only using the POD [print-on-demand] equipment to produce and distribute internal documents, but to generate revenue," he says.
That revenue comes from several areas:
• Increased efficiency in document production and distribution.
• Reduced warehouse/inventory space.
• Enhanced sales and marketing.
• Insourcing commercial work.
"Each year, in-plants have to go through justification of why they exist," remarks Kevin Kern, Konica's vice president of planning and support. But this is good news, he says, since it means the in-plant has to be very efficient, and it must have document reproduction expertise.
"Since transitioning to POD," Kern contends, "our operation is now more efficient than ever."
To understand just how much efficiency has improved, Embury gives a brief background of what operations were like before the digital switch.