When Jon Bedsted was approaching his junior year of high school in Austin, Minn., his dad (who was also his guidance counsellor) made a suggestion.
Ever since a highly respected IT research and advisory think tank published a study several years ago in which it opined that 1 to 3 percent of an organization's revenue was spent on printing and printing-related costs, managers and administrators have been trying to figure out how to optimize their spend on document printing solutions. You've all seen the hype.
A year and a half ago, the University of Southern Indiana's Publishing Services operation was outsourcing 75 to 85 percent of its four-color work. This bothered Terri Bischoff, assistant director of Publishing Services, at the Evansville, Ind., school. She knew the university would be better served if her in-plant could gain control over this work, improve the quality and reduce turnaround times. To do this, though, would require some new equipment.
Just as we were finalizing this issue, Hurricane Sandy slammed into our area. The storm closed down Philadelphia for two days, including IPG's offices, and brought major damage to the surrounding areas.
Gone are the days when sheetfed offset presses dominated the Graph Expo show floor. The high costs involved to ship and set up a large, multicolor offset press at a show—coupled with a dearth of revolutionary technology developments to showcase—makes it hard to justify the expenditure.
At Graph Expo, digital press vendors highlighted their workflow and digital front end capabilities, enabling everything from transpromotional and variable data printing to ganging of smaller jobs into longer production runs. The emphasis was on automation, personalization and run-length optimization.
Will we ever go back to long-run offset work? Is the variability and one-off flexibility of the digital press turning the old, heavy iron obsolete? If the Obama-Romney rhetoric parade of 2012 taught us anything, it's that the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
It was hard for in-plant managers not to feel special at Graph Expo this year. After years of being included seemingly as an afterthought, in-plants were given the spotlight this time around, with numerous sessions focusing specifically on in-plant issues and a new networking hub called "The InPlant Place" where they could gather and mingle. Some vendors set aside special areas devoted to solutions for in-plants, and one (Rochester Software Associates) offered daily in-plant networking receptions.
Helping customers save time and money is every in-plant's mission. So when Sun Life Financial's Document Services Group discovered that a department was hiring temps to manually stuff envelopes—and taking a week to 10 days to do it—John Moschilli had to take action.