In-plant Graphics January 2010
It was the distinctive smell of chemicals that first enticed Clarence Porter into the printing business. "There was a print shop in my neighborhood that I would pass by as a kid," Porter recalls, "and as I walked by I could smell those chemicals and look at all the printing stuff. That was my first introduction to printing, and I was fascinated. I was probably 10 years old."
Just before Christmas I took the train up to New York City to visit a few in-plants. I do this from time to time to remind myself what the inside of an in-plant looks like and to learn more about the situations managers are facing. So I planned a rather ambitious itinerary that would take me to four different in-plants, all around the city. One was at a television network, one at a financial services company. Another was in a hospital, and the last at a famous art museum.
Uncoated papers have different qualities than coated sheets and require a different approach. Here are some tips from four paper experts to help you choose the right paper and get the best results.
LOCATED ABOUT four miles from the state capitol building in Santa Fe, N.M., the state's Printing & Graphic Services operation has been serving New Mexico for a quarter century. For most of that time, the shop has focused on black-and-white reproduction of business cards, letterhead and forms. High-quality color work, however, was eluding it, and as the demand for this work increased, the in-plant found itself losing business.
At Metro, the transit agency serving the St. Louis region, the five-employee in-house printing and mailing facility recently executed multiple, multi-faceted initiatives that have resulted in improved quality, increased efficiency and major cost savings. The in-plant has been supporting Metro for more than 20 years, producing platform schedules, training and employee documentation/manuals, forms, business cards and stationery, newsletters and board meeting materials, among other jobs. The facility also houses a full-service mail center. Both printing and mailing functions are considered part of Metro's Office Services department.
If you are working with direct mail marketing, e-mail marketing (with or without PURLs), mobile media marketing, transpromo or collateral fulfillment and you are trying to personalize the material to improve the response, then you know it is not easy to pull it all together.
When the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) asked staff and students to rate the service they were getting from university departments in 2008, the results were enlightening. Both faculty and students complained about the level of service being offered in all business services and financial departments. That included UNMC's 21-employee Printing Services department.