Bob Mesch has never been one to shirk a challenge. Now director of the State of New Mexico’s Printing & Graphic Services operation, Mesch has been breaking new ground and inspiring transformation throughout his career. His drive to advance and enhance the organizations he has served is now reshaping the state’s in-plant as well, turning it from a black-and-white letterhead printer into a full-color, full-service graphics operation.
Judging by the content of the sessions at last month's Southeastern University Printing and Digital Managers Conference (SUPDMC), the threat of outsourcing still weighs heavy on the minds of higher-ed in-plant managers. Throughout the three-day conference, held on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, speakers repeated the worrisome message that outsourcing companies are relentless and every in-plant should expect—and prepare—to be called into question.
When he started working at George Fox University Print Services in 2011, Richard Silver was no stranger to wide-format printing. He had previously worked at a reprographics company specializing in wide-format.
Anyone who thinks in-plants are in decline should have been tagging along with me the past two weeks. Between PRINT 13 and the Southeastern Printing and Digital Managers Conference (SUPDMC) a week later, I've lost count of the number of managers I've seen. So heavy was the in-plant participation at PRINT 13 that I could not cross the trade show floor without spotting a manager.
In-plants play a very large role in buying and specifying paper for their customers, with 52 percent of them spending more than $100,000 on paper annually. Most rely on multiple merchants to get the best deals, with 17.5 percent saying they changed their primary paper supplier in the past year due to factors like poor…
PRINT 13 was a busy show, but perhaps no group of printers had a busier time there than in-plant managers. Between the luncheons, sessions, receptions and other forums designed specifically for in-plants, managers were challenged to find time for the show floor itself.
With traditional offset exhibitors like Heidelberg giving the Chicago trade show a pass, the digital print vendors were the new kings. Xerox, Canon, Konica Minolta and Fujifilm led the pack in booth size, and each of them had new inkjet production presses to proclaim.
Over the years, North Kansas City Schools had developed quite a collection of desktop printers and copiers. The school district counted 2,000 laser and inkjet printers and 90 aging copiers at its 32 educational sites.
Wide-format digital printing is a growth market within the in-plant printing segment of the printing industry. Recently, InfoTrends and North American Publishing Co. (IPG’s parent) surveyed 167 print service providers—95 of which were in-plants—on their expectations of growth for the wide-format printing market.
Autumn should prove to be an exciting season at the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Bureau of Publishing and Distribution. The all-digital, 60-employee shop, located in the state capital of Madison, is moving into a new facility this month. And, as temperatures outside begin to drop and leaves start to fall, the in-plant will be busy enhancing its new digs with fresh equipment and other improvements to help customers fulfill their printing and mailing needs.