An In-plant Victory
It's every in-plant manager's worse fear. You put in a request for new equipment, then find out your upper management is planning to outsource you.
That was the situation Mike Schrader found himself in two years ago. His in-plant at Mercury Marine, a leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines, had just completed a request for proposal (RFP) to upgrade its digital equipment. Instead of the approval he expected, though, Schrader learned that Mercury's parent company, Brunswick Corp., had assembled a team with the mission of outsourcing the printing for all Brunswick companies to a single source.
A heart-stopping discovery indeed. Schrader, however, remained optimistic.
"I just walked up to my boss and said, 'Get me on this team,' " he recalls. "I knew we were the right solution. It was obvious we didn't get the right audience to tell that to."
Thanks to his steadfast perseverance, his in-depth knowledge of the in-plant's costs, and the strong support of his boss, Schrader was able to turn this potential defeat into a resounding triumph. After months of meetings with dozens of suppliers, Brunswick made the decision not only to retain and upgrade the in-plant, but to recommend that all of its companies send their printing to Schrader's shop. The in-plant has now changed its name from Mercury Print Solutions to Brunswick Print Solutions, and is the proud owner of a new Xerox iGen4 and a Nuvera 200, both with inline binding capabilities, along with new workflow software.
"I think we're doing great," Schrader proclaims. "Our impressions have gone back up. Our whole team is actually really excited about things that are going on."
The First Hint of Trouble
Since its creation in the 1950s, the Fond du Lac, Wisc.-based in-plant has printed most of the materials that support Mercury Marine's engines, such as owners' guides and installation manuals. In recent years, though, with its offset volumes declining and its imagesetter on its last legs, Schrader knew he had some tough decisions to make about the 17-employee in-plant's future. So in the spring of 2008, with the leases on the shop's digital printing equipment nearing their end, Schrader made a recommendation to Mercury to upgrade to a Xerox Nuvera 288 with an inline C.P. Bourg PowerSquare to produce square-backed stitched manuals, which make up a big chunk of the in-plant's work.
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, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.