SUPDMC 2019 Brings In-plants Together in N.C.
In October, more than 30 in-plant managers assembled in Wilmington, N.C., for the 44th annual Southeastern University Printing and Digital Managers Conference (SUPDMC). Sessions and roundtable discussions covered a range of topics, like stress management, employee motivation, outsourcing threats, wide-format opportunities, sustainability, campus-wide MFD programs, and emergency management plans.
The conference was dedicated to long-time attendee Gary Williford, retired director of Printing and Mail Services at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, who passed away on Aug. 29 after a prolonged battle with cancer. An SUPDMC attendee since the '80s, he continued attending even after his 2006 retirement, and loved sharing his vast knowledge with his in-plant peers. He was remembered fondly throughout the conference.
After an outdoor reception Sunday evening on the banks of the Cape Fear River, Monday morning kicked off with with Dr. Wayne Stein of Eastern Florida State College talking about stress management. His tips and personal anecdotes made attendees think about the stress building up in their own lives. To demonstrate how to relieve that stress, Stein gave attendees a 15-minute break during which they were encouraged to make shapes out of the Play Dough he placed on each table. Stein encouraged attendees to find three things they are grateful for every day.
Stein was followed by Patrick Bruchs, whose account of how his university made the unfortunate decision to outsource his in-plant — despite his detailed data showing the school would lose $800,000 per year by outsourcing to a vendor — captured the full attention of the audience. Managers asked numerous questions in a discussion that could have easily gone on for another hour.
Bruchs urged managers to maintain good relationships with their administration and find a way to communicate with their trustees, so they hear your side, not just that of an official who may have a vested interest in outsourcing.
Molly Nece, of UNC Wilmington, gave an energetic presentation about employee motivation, pointing out that where an employee starts in an organization may not be where they belong. It is the manager's job to recognize their talents and help them find the position where they can best utilize their skills.
Kelly Hogg, director of Printing & Copying Services at the University of Virginia, discussed his MFD management program, which comprises more than 950 units across campus, which generate more than 40 million impressions per year. The university buys these devices and leases them back to departments. The session generated a deluge of detailed questions on click charges, lease logistics, and how the in-plant polices the university's brand on the documents departments print on MFDs.
In another presentation, Monica O'Brien of North Carolina State University also touched on her self-supporting MFD management operation, which includes student and department printers. The school uses "follow me printing" allowing users to send a job to the network and then swipe a card at any device to print the document.
An interactive discussion on wide-format printing, featuring Gary Warren of Fayetteville State University, and Steve Barrett, of UNC Wilmington (which hosted the conference) covered the many unique applications these in-plants are printing, such as elevator wraps, floor decals, vehicle wraps, flagpole banners, and other items. Vinyl cutting of letters and graphics for walls and buses is another popular service. The discussion covered installation of graphics and what they charge for this (from nothing at all up to $38 per hour). One audience member noted that he had enough wide-format business that he was able to hire an installer.
On Wednesday, after presentations on emergency management and reducing the use of plastics, IPI Editor Bob Neubauer gave a presentation on the state of the industry, drawing data from several recent IPI research reports. He talked at length about the importance of providing wide-format printing, even if a different department on campus already does it. The in-plant better understand color accuracy, inks, substrates, and brand identity than other departments, he noted; the in-plant knows how to run a business and meet deadlines. Taking over this business from that other department, he said, is essential to your in-plant's future.
On Wednesday afternoon, the group visited the UNC Wilmington campus, where signs and graphics printed by the in-plant abounded, and toured UNC-Wilmington’s SeaPrint Graphic Solutions.
The 44th annual #SUPDMC conference has started in Wilmington, NC. In-plant managers from all over the South are here. Dr. Wayne Stein is doing the opening keynote on managing stress. pic.twitter.com/kezQi0YbnP
— In-plant Impressions (@IP_Impressions) September 23, 2019
— In-plant Impressions (@IP_Impressions) September 23, 2019
Kelly Hogg from the University of Virginia oversees a fleet of 950+ MFDs, which produce over 40 million impressions a year. At #SUPDMC 2019, he detailed his program for fellow higher-ed managers. pic.twitter.com/7XiVgc3s2r
— In-plant Impressions (@IP_Impressions) September 24, 2019
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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.