May 2008 Issue


47 Million Impressions (and Growing)

THE LEANDER (Texas) Independent School District has been growing continually for more than a decade, going from six campuses in the mid-1990s to 30 campuses for the current school year—and there’s still more to come. “We’re opening two elementary schools and a high school this summer,” says Jennifer Espinoza, the district’s manager of document production services. Volume has grown from 35 to 47 million impressions over the past three years. What’s even more amazing than the volume is the number of orders. “We don’t have lots of long jobs or packets that are constantly printing,” says Espinoza. “We take any order of

Adopt Our System —Or Else!

WHILE ONLINE ordering introduces all kinds of efficiencies, some in-plants have trouble getting their customers to make the switch. That wasn’t the case at Allan Hancock College. Gordon Rivera, coordinator of Campus Graphics at the Santa Maria, Calif.-based community college, saw another school make the transition, so he and his team of three full-time employees—two of whom are designers—ran beta tests using EDU Business Solutions Print Shop Pro WebDesk. Then, he says, “We just set a date of February 29th as the last day that we would accept paper work orders. From what I’ve seen, we have complete buy-in.” Through Print Shop Pro,

Affordable Short-run Color Comes to Columbia College

The Print Shop at Columbia College recently installed a Canon imagePRESS 7000 CV to meet quality and speed expectations that its previous device, a Canon CPP500, could not fulfill. Mark Tindell, director of Mail and Print Services at the Columbia, Mo., college, says the CPP500 “required frequent repairs, and the amount of up time was problematic.” So the in-plant turned to the imagePRESS 7000 CV, justifying its lease from Ikon by examining what it would cost to do the same type of work using outside sources. It is using the new digital press primarily to print newsletters for the start of the

Amazon and You

ANYONE WHO strolled the exhibit floor at the On Demand show in March can attest to the popularity of on-demand book printing and binding. The ease with which single copies of books can now be produced has spawned big changes in the book publishing industry. Instead of hunting for a publisher to bankroll the printing of thousands of books (or paying a vanity publisher), authors can upload their novels to any of several sites, where they will stay in digital form until someone buys one. Digital presses push out a single copy, the author gets a tiny royalty check and the customer never

Busy Library Checks Out DI Press

THE STATE of Washington’s King County Library System is reportedly the second busiest library in the nation. As the county continues to grow, the library system is being called upon to expand its collection and to provide more resources for its 43 community libraries. J. Tarner manages the five-employee graphics department in Issaquah, Wash., part of the public relations team for the library system. The team develops concepts, creates graphic design and manages print production for a range of promotional and program support materials. The group had been using a two-color A.B.Dick duplicator and Digital PlateMaster (DPM), as well as two Canon image

Going Wide with Deep Service

IF YOU want to avoid talk of outsourcing by your parent company, get a few of your fellow departments on your side. Scott Thompson, supervisor of Printing Services for Brookdale Community College, in Lincroft, N.J., says that his in-plant works closely with the marketing department, which has led to strong support. “We have a great relationship with them,” he reports. “They’re giving us a lot of color work, so we now have a new wide-format color printer that prints 44? by up to 150 feet. The cost of the printer is less than half the cost of us sending the jobs outside, so

GREEN: It’s the Right Thing to Do

QUESTION: What do Sports Illustrated, Kiplinger’s, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone have in common? Answer: All of them have published “Green Issues.” Unless you’ve been isolated from the world around you, you’ve noted that increasingly more companies, industries and institutions are taking great pains to profess their Green-ness. All of this activity is being heralded under the banner of Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR. (Yes Virginia, there is another CSR. It’s not just the Customer Service Rep anymore.) Go anywhere. Green is a headline. It’s a leading marketing message, and it’s being placed at the head of the promotional line. Why now? This

Holding Down the Fort

HOW MUCH can one person do on his own? Charles Shorter has tested the limits in his one-man operation for the Harris County Appraisal District, in Houston. Some years he has reached three million impressions, using his Itek 975 perfector and a Multilith 1250. Since a merger with the computer department—which saw some of his smaller jobs migrate in their direction—his volumes have fluctuated from year to year, with big jobs sometimes landing on him unexpectedly. “I’m helping computer services on a two million impression job right now,” he says. “I have 606 cartons to print, and in the last four days I’m

In-plant Aids Presidential Forum

PENNSYLVANIA WAS a whirlwind of activity this spring. Campaigning, rallies, forums, debates and other events all led up to the Democratic primary on April 22. Messiah College was right in the thick if it when it hosted the Compassion Forum on April 13 to discuss moral issues that bridge ideological divides within the country. The school’s 11-employee in-plant, College Press, spent 60 hours of overtime to take care of behind-the-scenes printing work leading up to the forum, which hosted presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. “We were very disappointed when Senator [John] McCain was unable to attend due to what his campaign

Keeping Tabs On the Mail

SOMETIMES ACCIDENTS help you discover a new use for an old machine. Ron Lindgren, manager of Quality Impressions—the in-plant for Avada Hearing Care, in Beaver Dam, Wis.—says his in-plant once ended up with a half-million misprinted envelopes because the wrong original was chosen before printing. To fix the foul-up, the shop designed and printed custom labels, then used its Secap Jet 1 Tabber to position those labels and recover the envelopes. “Without that machine, 500,000 envelopes would have had to be trashed,” he reveals. That’s not to say the 18-month-old Jet 1 Tabber isn’t useful

Kerry Mehle: A Well-schooled Success

DON’T CONFUSE Kerry Mehle with a “professional student,” a person who milks college with watered-down academic effort year after year, using education as an excuse to avoid the real world and real work. A former skilled student turned consummate print professional at Moorpark College, Mehle gives maximum effort, makes no excuses and produces excellent work. Mehle is graphic communications technician for the Moorpark, Calif.-based community college. A one-man production band, he executes the gamut of responsibilities—from customer service, estimating and billing, to running film, plates, press and bindery equipment, and even job delivery—handily and happily. “I like to be involved in the

Making Work a Snap(shot)

WHEN YOUR boss asks you to take on a new task, do you try to figure out how to avoid adding to your workload...or how to do the task the best way possible? Ed Eagan, managing director of the Instructional Services Center for the Valley Stream Central High School District, falls into the latter category. This is why the in-plant installed a photo ID system to create ID badges for 4,500 students and 500+ staff members in his Valley Stream, N.Y., district. The six-employee in-plant’s first efforts used one of the original Apple digital cameras that could hold only eight photos. The quality

Never Say ‘No’

IN SOME people’s minds, “in-plant” equals “print shop.” Dan Adams, duplicating assistant at Chippewa Valley Technical College, in Eau Claire, Wis., views his job more broadly: To provide clients with whatever they want. “Five years ago we started taking on other responsibilities,” says Adams. The mail room was the first acquisition. The in-plant then took on commercial work, mostly from non-profits. The help desk for the IT department was outsourced, so Adams became first in line to repair the copiers. When the bookstore was outsourced, the in-plant started selling envelopes and other paper items. The shop now processes the student evaluations of

Small Wonders

Click the links below to read about the in-plants at: Allan Hancock College, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Avada Hearing Care, HCR ManorCare, Harris County Appraisal District, Brookdale Community College, the Leander Independent School District, and the Valley Stream Central High School District. Allan Hancock College Chippewa Valley Technical College Avada Hearing Care HCR ManorCare Harris County Appraisal District Brookdale Community College Leander Independent School District Valley Stream Central High School District

Spending Time on Floor 13

TO AVOID problems with superstitious tenants and workers, most landlords skip past 13 when numbering the floors in their buildings. Not so with the offices of HCR ManorCare, a provider of short- and long-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. The two-employee Document Center is located on the 13th floor, where it shares space with the company’s data center. Both departments report to the manager of Production Services. The in-plant and data center have a unique arrangement. The in-plant uses the print room on the first shift to produce items like flyers, newsletters, postcards, HR materials, manuals and training materials, and then

State of Ohio Opens New Downtown Facility

The State of Ohio Printing and Mail Services held a ribbon cutting ceremony last month to officially open its new 9,000-square-foot printing center. The new center is in the heart of downtown Columbus, near the majority of state agency customers. In addition to moving into this new facility, Ohio’s printing operation recently added two new Heidelberg Printmaster QM-46 presses, a Konica Minolta C6500 color imaging system, a Halm Super Jet Plus XL envelope press and two additional Canon imageRUNNER Pro 7110s. “We are making great strides in centralizing print production for Ohio’s government,” says Joe Tucker, state printing administrator, “and in doing so

Time to Go Green With Your Plate Production?

ONE OF THE smartest things an in-plant can do to reduce production time and environmental impact is to go computer-to-plate (CTP), eliminating the entire film imaging and developing stage and all of the toxic waste issues involved. The quality, speed and efficiency improvements of CTP make it an excellent business decision for almost any shop. Many have already done just that, and are now ready for the next step up: low-process/chemistry-free or no-process plates. Going green has been a big story in the print business for the past decade, and chemistry-free plates are the next wave. “Non-process plate technology will improve to meet

Transpromo: Beyond the Buzzword

“TRANSPROMO” IS one of the hottest buzzwords in the business world at the moment, and it’s a safe bet that we’ll be hearing even more about it in the coming months. The term stands for “transactional promotion,” and although the concept has received a lot of attention lately, it really isn’t a new idea—just a new catchphrase. You may already know that transpromo means combining an organization’s regular transactional documents, such as monthly invoices or quarterly statements, with promotional messages. For years some credit card companies have been adding products and services to the white space of monthly statements. Telephone and utility companies

Trivia Time

First the question: Who holds the record for appearing on the most IPG covers? Here are the choices: -Jean-Luc Devis -Mike Loyd -West Barton -Bob Slaughter -Rick Wise Answer: This was a trick question. But since we’re not giving out prizes, who really cares, right? There are actually TWO correct answers. Mike Loyd and West Barton have both appeared four times on our cover. And I should add, this was my decision, not theirs, lest you think there was some ego involved. There have been several three-timers, too: Rodney Brown, Rick Wise, Bob Slaughter, Carol Doffing-Kraft and Ralph Sperrazza. The list

University of North Texas Adds Second HP Indigo

When the University of North Texas installed an HP Indigo 3050 a few years ago, it was a huge success. Almost too huge. “We’d migrated approximately 65 percent of our work over to the Indigo. Because of that...the number of orders caused us to have quite a backlog,” recounts Jimmy Friend, director of Printing/Eagle Images/Mail Services at the Denton-based university. “So we were bringing in staff at 5:00 in the morning and we were running continuously through the day. Then on some Saturdays we even had to come in.” All this overtime was getting costly. So Friend decided to eliminate it entirely by adding

Value-added Services: Your Key to Survival

IF ALL your in-plant does is print, it’s vulnerable. Outsourcing firms are scouring the market, looking for “print shops” to prey on. On the other hand, in-plants that provide numerous value-added non-print services are in a much stronger position when their organizations start throwing around the “O” word. In a recent IPG survey, in-plants listed a number of value-added services they have recently started providing. To name just a few: • Document scanning • Copying engineering drawings • CD/DVD production • Name tag engraving • Trophies, medals • Garment printing • Braille embossing • Envelope manufacturing • Laminating • Fulfillment