Panel of Managers Discusses Best Practices
At the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference in Louisville, Ky., an informative panel discussion on leveraging best practices to increase value featured three leading in-plant managers and a consultant: John Sarantakos (University of Oklahoma), Tammy Golden (State of Tennessee), Greg Cholmondeley (Printelligence) and John Cruser (Bloomberg). It was moderated by Joe Morgan, CEO of siY, LLC, a business advisory. The panel discussed a range of topics, from providing value and outsourcing, to growth, change, and technology.
All of the panelists felt it was important to build and maintain relationships, align with the mission of their parent organization, be more than an order taker and to continually adapt and change. Golden told the audience that at the State of Tennessee’s in-plant, her employees need permission to say “no.” They are required to say “yes” to customers and offer options.
Cruser stressed the importance of modeling behavior for the staff, as attitudes feed through the organization. He also shared an example of including another department (marketing) in a project. When his in-plant developed and documented quality standards, it included marketing in the process with great success.
Cruser and Sarantakos both counseled the audience not to assume that everything is OK, since the threat of outsourcing can rear its head at any time. Both managers suggested being prepared with facts and data, and using business language, not print language. Utilize resources like IPMA and consultants like Howie Fenton, they said, and above all, avoid being static.
All panelists agreed that being proactive and positioning your in-plant as a trusted resource will put your operation front and center when change happens.
“By seeing the whole picture, you can manage the whole picture,” said Golden.