Business Management - In-plant Justification

Basic Training
September 1, 1999

In-plants that emphasize employee training report increased quality, productivity and customer satisfaction. Find out how they do it. KEEPING YOUR in-plant employees' skills up to date in these days of rapidly changing technology can often be a struggle. It is an on-going process that requires information from many sources. "These days it seems like you're always training," admits Gilbert Sosa, director of printing services for the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, who oversees a staff of 28 employees. "Just as you finish learning an operating system or software program, another version or upgrade hits the market. The printing industry appears

In-plants Must Find New Roles
May 1, 1999

In-plant managers should be on the lookout for ways to improve document management, storage and output in their organizations. In-plant managers can and should play a leadership role in developing their organizations' document management and storage systems. • They can work with information systems (IS) managers to evaluate software and set guidelines for the production process. • They can help set and enforce standards-such as TIFF, PostScript, PCL and PDF. • In-plants can recommend that documents be stored in a print-ready format. • They can assume responsibility for indexing and archiving, and act as a resource for users who are

How To Justify New Equipment
May 1, 1999

Getting the O.K. to buy new equipment requires research, reporting and good timing. Learn how to dodge the red tape and get what you want. Gregg Gabbana decided to move into color printing and convinced the management at Unisys to purchase several pieces of equipment, including a color press, an imagesetter, a color proofer and a plate processor. Mike Renn of Mellon Bank negotiated an offset press, two Macintosh workstations, a RIP and a color copier for his in-plant shop. How did these two get the goods when so many other in-plant managers are snagged by red tape trying to buy even

When Disaster Strikes
February 1, 1999

Are you ready for a calamity to hit your in-plant? Neither were these managers. Find out what happened to them, and how they recovered. For most people, spring break brings thoughts of warm, bright Florida sunshine under which college coeds hit the beaches by day and party by night. But for Brad Johnson, print services manager at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., last year's spring break was about as far from fun as he could get—and not just geographically. "I was in shock. It was a reality check for sure." That was how Johnson says he felt when he first laid

Understanding The FM "Monster"
May 1, 1998

Our Great Debate series tackles the facilities management issue by pitting a respected in-plant manager against a leading FM. No topic gets in-plant managers more agitated than facilities management. We all know of shops that were closed by FMs. Stories of their "shady" tactics spread like gossip. But how many of these stories are true? In-Plant Graphics decided to dive right into the heart of the issue and talk directly to one of the larger FMs to find out what really is going on. But to address both sides of the issue, we wanted to have an in-plant manager on hand to

Knowledge From Numbers?And People
April 1, 1998

Planning comes from people, not spreadsheets. Here's one manager's take on how human interaction can be more important than fancy figures. In the back of one of my file cabinets is a stack of documents. Every now and again, as the need arises, one or more of these volumes is pulled out, dusted off, and a number, an observation, or some factoid is pulled out for inclusion in some new report I am working on. What are these works? There's a couple of consultant reports, two major internal task force self studies—one with a rebuttal written by the previous management—a handful of

Refocus On Your Customers
April 1, 1998

By refocusing your attention on your customers, many of your other management challenges may become easier to solve. Many years ago when I was in college, I worked for a highway construction company during summer vacations. I had the opportunity to try my hand at nearly every possible job. One of the tasks I enjoyed the most was working as an engineer's assistant, setting grades for the excavation work. This process involved locating an established benchmark or target for comparison purposes, then leveling and focusing the transit to insure accurate grade readings. We would "shoot" a few grades, then recheck the

A View From The Top
March 1, 1998

Not all executives are fooled by outsourcing's empty promises. At many companies, outsourcing is out, and upper management gives its in-plants a ton of praise. It's a question every in-plant manager asks, but few get answered: what does management think about my in-house printing operation? In the past several years, the answer has too often come in the form of a decision to eliminate the in-plant and outsource printing. That, however, is certainly not the whole story. Many forward-thinking organizations stand squarely behind the quality, cost-effectiveness and convenience of their in-plants. To find out why, In-Plant Graphics spoke with upper management at

Stay Alive With Strategic Planning
January 1, 1998

By helping to plan your organization's document strategy, you can create a strong future for your in-plant. Creating a document strategy is a popular topic at seminars and trade shows these days. But what, exactly, is a document strategy? And why should you have one? Basically, a document strategy defines an organization's method of capturing, storing, managing and distributing documents. It may exist on either a departmental or enterprise-wide basis. Not having a document strategy presupposes that operations will continue in a linear fashion. Though copying or printing a document and mailing it may be the way things have been done in the

Outsourcing--Friend or Foe?
January 1, 1998

Strategic outsourcing lets you concentrate on your areas of expertise. Here's how to analyze your in-plant and maximize your potential. Some words strike fear into the hearts of in-plant managers: Privatization. Downsizing. Rightsizing. Facilities management. Outsourcing. We've all faced—or know someone who has faced—privatization or facilities management threats, so some of our nervousness is justified—but not all of it. Unlike the other challenges, outsourcing, when done strategically, can be our ally. Traditionally, in-plants have attempted to perform all types of printing and reproduction internally. Managers promoted their in-plants with slogans like "one-stop shopping" or "no job too large or small."