An Impression by Any Other Name...
In my career I’ve managed in-plant shops with a combination of large and small production equipment, and we ran jobs on the equipment that made the most sense. Short runs went on duplicators. If the quantity for the same job increased to 50,000, we might move it to a small roll-to-sheet device. And if the job was a carbonless pre-collated form and the quantity was relatively large, we might run it eight-up on a 40˝ sheetfed press.
To account for these differences we defined an impression as one side of a letter-size sheet. That definition worked for my shop, but a different shop with different equipment and workflow might develop a different definition. In fact, a lot of pressroom managers don’t even keep track of impressions.
When we talk about commonly used terms with varying meanings, we need to make sure we’re all talking about the same things, right?
So what’s the point? This isn’t new information. Like I said earlier, we’ve been dealing with this for hundreds of years.
Here’s the point: The State Auditor's Office (SAO) in the State of Washington has awarded a contract (with an estimated price tag of $300,000) to a consultant to be a "subject matter expert" for a “Printing Services Performance Audit” and assess the performance of the Washington State Department of Printing. The consultant is interviewing managers of other large printing operations to determine “best practices.” Nothing wrong with that. In fact, I suggested people to interview.
The consultants/vendors invited to submit proposals were pre-qualified, that is the SAO screened consulting firms to determine which ones possessed the skills and experience to conduct performance audits and price studies on printing operations. I take that to mean the SAO identified firms that had the knowledge and experience to understand and evaluate the performance of a large and complex printing operation employing over 100 people and generating annual revenues in excess of $30 million. Consultants that were not prequalified were not allowed to submit proposals for the project.