In-plant Graphics – April 2011
Our core business isn't necessarily printing, it's educating students," declares Bill King, Supervisor of Printing and Publishing at Mesa Public Schools. "We ask ourselves, 'How can we shape our operation to mirror the core values of the school district?' "
I'm on a plane as I write this, flying home from Rochester, N.Y., after attending and presenting at a Xerox Thought Leadership Workshop. Xerox holds these events periodically, bringing a couple dozen in-plant managers together for two days of tours, presentations and networking at its Gil Hatch Center for Customer Innovation.
Océ North America has sponsored a research project that documents the value of in-plant printing operations in the college and university environment. The resulting white paper is initially available for download exclusively from In-plant Graphics.
Invariably in a plane or at a hotel I'll get into the typical "So what do you do?" conversation with another fellow road warrior. My answer has been boiled down to a classic elevator speech. "I'm a consultant in the wood and paper industry, primarily dealing with chain-of-custody certification, which tracks trees and reclaimed material from their source all the way to the end user through transparent, credible, third-party auditing systems. FSC, the Forest Stewardship Council, and SFI, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, both offer labeling systems where certified organizations are licensed to apply trademarks to their products and advertising. Anything made from wood or wood fiber, like paper, can be certified to ensure that the material used came from legal, ethical and responsibly managed sources."
Cyber attacks on data within organizations like Google and TJX Companies over the past few years have done more than capture the media's attention. The serious harm to a company's bottom line caused by Web attacks and malicious code is keeping information security top of mind with senior executives.
"I learned how to run the Ludlows and then offset," says Rodney Brown, referring to a stint working on a Ludlow hot metal typesetting system at Kent County Publishing back in May 1965. "It was rigorous to do. I just liked it. Even back then, there was always something new."
IN MY February article, "Naysayers and Yea-Sayers," I talked about in-plants that are thriving. The in-plants in this group share something I refer to as establishing credibility with existing products first, and then using that trust to motivate interest in more valuable products, such as variable data printing (VDP).
Before his in-plant's print management information (MIS) system went live last summer, John Meyer says the production environment was more than a little chaotic. With handwritten job tickets, job specs delivered by fax and Excel files to track production, the in-plant was frequently overwhelmed trying to manually input job data or locate individual jobs.