Vendor Expo Held on In-plant's Production Floor
When the Western Association of University and College Mailers (WAUCM) held its conference two weeks ago at Oregon State University, the association tried something new. Instead of holding its vendor day in the conference hotel, the vendors set up their tables on the production floor of OSU's Printing and Mailing Services department in Corvallis, allowing attendees to see the latest technologies and equipment in a live, working environment.
This concept made WAUCM vendor day an overwhelming success with a record number of vendors participating. They were able to demonstrate equipment and software that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to transport to the conference.
Having a vendor work side-by-side with in-plant staff created a unique opportunity for attendees to see jobs running and watch how equipment and software were used in a live environment. It was also a great experience for the in-plant's operators, like OSU's Bindery Lead Mike Varner, who ran the shop's new Duplo DC-646 during the event.
“The WAUCM conference was not only one of the finest events I have attended but also one of the most informative," he says. "Having a live operating print facility with all our vendors here was extremely valuable. It is rare that a bindery lead like myself gets the opportunity to have such knowledge vendors [Ricoh and Duplo] at the same place at the same time collaborating, troubleshooting issues and learning how machines can work together. It was a huge benefit for everyone. Additionally, all the members of WAUCM were very friendly, and I loved the chance to ask questions and see how they run their operations."
Judy Bankson, assistant director of OSU Printing & Mailing Services was proud to show off her in-plant and her staff.
“I have been in the printing business for 40 years and I have never worked with a better team of people. These folks are top notch," she praised. "Without the help and cooperation of this staff, we would not have been able to pull off such a wonderful event. Kudos to them. It was wonderful to see the employees so engaged with everyone, getting the chance to show their peers what they do, and how they do it.”
WAUCM, the northwest regional association of NACUMS, drew attendees from colleges and universities across the northwest. Throughout vendor day they attended half-hour presentations given by vendors and OSU staff members.
On day two of the conference, WAUCM attendees had the opportunity tour Oregon’s Department of Administrative Services, Publishing and Distribution, in Salem. Tim Hendrix, program manager, led the tour of the high-security operation.
“It is one thing to have tours for our customers and another to have your peers tour the operation,” says Hendrix. “Everyone has a deep appreciation for what we all do as in-plants.”
Day three of the conference, was devoted to the USPS. Attendees had a chance to get one-on-one time with USPS representatives and get answers to the many questions and concerns regarding regulations. This year topics included:
- Informed Delivery
- Irresistible mail
- Augmented reality
- Informed Visibility
- Enterprise Payment System (EPS), which replaces CAPS