University of Memphis Opens Student Copy Center
In this economy, revenue declines are becoming a fact of life for in-plants. While looking for new sources of business, Penni Istre, manager of Tiger Graphic Services at the University of Memphis, decided it was time for her in-plant to go after a virtually untapped market: students.
"We were getting some student business, but we weren't capturing a very large portion of it," she notes.
So in late March, the in-plant opened a satellite operation called Paw Prints in the new University Center, right next to the student computer lab.
"Anybody who uses the computer lab, we're right next door," she says. "This is just one of the ways that we are trying to capture new business."
The new facility is home to a Ricoh Aficio MP 5000, along with three walk-up Ricoh copiers for student use and a computer for job submission. Istre is looking into adding a 90-ppm Ricoh Pro 907EX monochrome printer. She also plans to add a Rhin-O-Tuff HD 7000 for coil binding and some laminators.
The in-plant did not add any employees, so Paw Prints is being operated by Istre and her staff of two full-timers, two temporary employees and five student workers.
"Opening day was very busy," she says. The in-plant gave away free insulated lunch bags to the first 100 customers, and distributed pens and notebooks with the in-plant's name on them.
"We stood out in the hallway and every student who went by we gave one to them," she says. The fact that there is a food court in the vicinity brought a lot of traffic past the door. Istre also hopes to get business from those attending meetings in the building's conference rooms.
The in-plant is trying to move its smaller, walk-in jobs to Paw Prints and transition its main facility into a production center, Istre explains. There, the shop operates four Riso duplicators, an Océ VarioPrint 4110 with a square fold booklet maker, an Océ CS620, a Canon 105, an Oki Data printer and a 42˝ HP Designjet 5500 PS wide-format UV printer. Soon to come will be black-and-white and color Ricoh printers.