Web-to-print Builds Business in Wyoming
The University of Wyoming Copy & Print Center considers itself a full-service print shop embedded in the university rather than a traditional in-plant.
While it is part of the university and considered a not-for-profit operation, the shop also brings in work from outside the university. This requires it to strike a delicate balance between generating income for the university and accommodating local businesses in the small community of Laramie, Wyo.
Until 2015, all printing work at the Copy & Print Center arrived via walk-up or email. The staff realized there was a need for better ways to reach customers and capture print work that was going elsewhere.
The center began by making it easier for people to submit jobs through its existing walk-up and email methods. Then the center redesigned its store and installed large monitors at customer walk-up stations. The center also simplified its email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After that, the staff added a new job submission method: online ordering through UWYOPrint.com, which is the center’s EFI Digital StoreFront website.
“We were behind the times,” admits Manager John Scozzafava. “Our customers were ready long before we were ready to offer it. Students and faculty already spend much of their time online and are familiar with online ordering.”
So what kept the operation from implementing Web-to-print before now? “We looked at Digital StoreFront years ago, and it was not affordable. But EFI came out with a lighter version with a price point that was right on, and the offerings were still robust, so it seemed like the perfect match,” says Scozzafava.
In the first year of use, the University of Wyoming Copy & Print Center provided copy services to an additional 1,100 customers, which is phenomenal for a one-person shop run with student help. It also saw a 13% increase in revenue over the first year of its website’s operation. This meant that revenues went up while costs went down. Scozzafava directly ascribed this result to the accuracy of ordering through Digital StoreFront.
“Orders are more accurate, which means we rarely have to print jobs more than once,” he notes. “Pricing is accurate, which reduces the human price quoting errors we used to have.”
Built to meet the needs of both faculty and the university’s more than 14,000 students, the Digital StoreFront website was implemented in March 2015. Although building it was labor-intensive, Scozzafava claims that doing so was not difficult.
“I am the only full-time employee with a dozen students, so setting it up took me away from managing my staff for a while, but it was definitely worth it,” he said. “Also, EFI support has been great. Any time there have been needs for additions to reporting or when product features haven’t worked quite right, EFI has updated the entire package for all of our users.”
Students and staff can now easily order books, booklets, posters, flyers, cards, mailings and quick copies online. Students particularly like the ability to order professional-quality resumes and cover letters through the UWYOPrint.com website.
Scozzafava also wants to integrate Digital StoreFront more tightly with his production workflow, which has not yet been a high priority. At present, center staff submit all jobs received through Digital StoreFront to their presses manually, but Digital StoreFront is designed to tightly integrate with EFI Fiery digital front ends (DFEs) to automate and streamline the production workflow process to further reduce handling costs and turnaround times.
While the Copy & Print Center currently operates two Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C6000s that are run off of Fiery DFEs, it also has Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS 1052s that are not. Scozzafava can automate only a fraction of his work until these systems are upgraded. As the volume of work submitted online increases, however, Digital StoreFront-to-Fiery automation will become more important to saving time and reducing turnaround times, something that will make an additional Fiery upgrade more important.
The University of Wyoming Copy & Print Center’s next challenge is to increase use of its website. Currently, 40% of its customers are walk-up customers, and some will always be. But the center could set up walk-up stations in its facility to use the UWYOPrint.com Website to submit those jobs. Increasing awareness for email submitters who are comfortable with their tried-and-true submission methods is also possible; Scozzafava is convinced that once those customers try online ordering, they will never go back.
“We’re really happy with the offering. Our customers are happy with the offering. We’ve seen growth,” he says. “I just can’t imagine what it would be like not using it now.”