What Goes Around Comes Around
So back to the call I mentioned earlier. An administrator at the aforementioned school called to ask my opinion. It seems that the university’s information technology unit is evaluating the feasibility of adding a Xerox iGen digital press! Their justification? The iGen will cut 40 to 50 percent off the cost of a typical short print run and offer shorter turnaround than the 10 to 15 days required to source the work commercially.
Hmmm...That sounds a lot like the PIA argument.
See, when we ignore peoples’ needs, they will find other ways to get the things they need to do their jobs. They may increase the use of desktop laser and ink-jet devices, they may start using local copy shops or finding ways around established policies, or they may take a more radical approach. In this case it appears that administration made the decision to listen to a local constituency, but it failed to listen to the concerns of its own people. It also appears that IT recognized a need and is trying to fill the void. We can only speculate.
My guess is that a lot of this could have been avoided if administration had a better understanding about the importance of printed material in the day-to-day and strategic operations of the organization, and the role of the in-plant in providing it. But that didn’t happen, so maybe it’s true: What goes around comes around.
Ray Chambers, CGCM, MBA, has invested over 30 years managing and directing printing plants, copy centers, mail centers and award-winning document management facilities in higher education and government.
Most recently, Chambers served as vice president and chief information officer at Juniata College. Chambers is currently a doctoral candidate studying Higher Education Administration at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU). His research interests include outsourcing in higher education and its impact on support services in higher education and managing support services. He also consults (Chambers Management Group) with leaders in both the public and private sectors to help them understand and improve in-plant printing and document services operations.