Having grown up around printing, Doug Weatherly has found it to be a natural fit. His father co-owned a print shop, at which his mother was involved in taking orders, working with customers and handling finances.
It's encouraging to read this month's cover story on Highmark Corporate Printing Services and see Manager Jeffrey Taranto say such things as "While in-plants often face the danger of their companies turning the lights off on them, we have experienced the complete opposite. Our business only seems to grow...and Highmark has been willing to invest more and more money into us."
The in-plant customer can be an enigma—aware of the in-plant's existence while at the same time ignoring it entirely. More times than not, this attitude is born of perceptions that are usually inaccurate.
When students in Virginia Tech’s architectural and design courses want to bind their final projects together in an elegant portfolio, they now have a place to go. Printing Services recently installed a Sterling Digibinder, from Spiel Associates—a self-adjusting perfect binder made to handle digitally printed pages.
It’s been just over a year since Franklin University Printing Services opened for business and began saving money for the 111-year-old private university, based in Columbus, Ohio. In its first 12 months, the three-employee operation has saved nearly $110,000 over what it would have cost to outsource that work.
Insurance is all about planning ahead. As the in-plant for one of the largest health insurers in the United States, Highmark's Corporate Printing Services (CPS) operation recently executed well-planned facilities and technology upgrades that leave it extremely well-positioned for the future.
Wide-format signage has been one of the most visible areas of interest for printers looking to expand their offerings and revenue. With the advent of more productive wide-format inkjet digital printing equipment—including eco-solvent, latex and UV-curable ink technologies—in-plants and commercial printers have been able to extend their product offerings to their existing client base with relatively small investments that provide far greater margins than one is able to obtain in document printing.
The Principal Financial Group’s Print to Mail operation is serious about digital color printing. Just six years ago, the 64-employee in-plant had 10 Kodak NexPress digital presses running in its Urbandale, Iowa, operation—making it the largest single-site NexPress user in the world.
Customers are always looking for that something special—a feature that makes one service stand out above and beyond the other options. If you don't offer something remarkable, your business will fail to thrive. The key is to maintain your traditional services, quality and reliability, while offering customers added value through the auxiliary services you provide.