In-plants Converge on Rochester
The 50th In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association conference was a huge success, drawing more than 100 in-plant managers to Rochester, N.Y., for four days of conversation, education and more. A two-day vendor fair, coupled with visits to the nearby facilities of both Xerox and Kodak, let managers see and sample the latest graphic arts technologies.
If there was one recurring theme in the sessions it was this: In tough economic times, in-plants must be more proactive than ever about finding and creating new business opportunities. Speakers gave numerous ideas of ways in-plants can emphasize their relevance to their parent organization's core business.
Jerry Sampson, of xpedx, advised in-plants to find out from accounting which jobs are being sent outside and who is buying this work. These are opportunities for the in-plant.
NAPL Consultant Howie Fenton implored in-plants to articulate the intangible benefits they provide: they are the brand police; they ensure copyright clearance; their print buying experience can save the organization about 7 percent more than if it used inexperienced print buyers.
Barb Pellow, of InfoTrends, encouraged in-plants to become "e-enabled," starting with Web-to-print, because automation will reduce the number of times in-plant staff has to touch a job, thus increasing the revenue of each job.
Greg Cholmondeley, of Ricoh, urged managers to create a customer advisory panel (and include non customers), conduct short, simple and frequent customer satisfaction surveys and develop a marketing plan.
To update managers on changes in the in-plant industry, IPG Editor Bob Neubauer reviewed some of the big events of the past year, including how the economy is impacting outsourcing. He highlighted several national news stories about in-plants, including a bill introduced in Oregon to block school districts from providing printing services to other government agencies and nonprofits. Neubauer also showed a video of some of the highlights of last year's IPMA conference.
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.