Want the Job Done Right? Call an In-plant Manager
As in-plant managers, we are often expected to confirm our value to our parent organizations. We are asked why the organization needs an in-plant. Our bosses and supervisors hear stories claiming savings from managed print services or outsourcing, and they wonder if the organization’s investment in staff and printing equipment is justified. Sometimes the value we bring is difficult to measure in terms of dollars—but it is very real.
The following is a true story. Only the names have been changed to protect the...Well, bear with me.
This story involves the in-plant manager at a large university on the East Coast. It seems the university was invited to a bowl game. In higher education, going to a bowl game is a very big deal, and not just to the athletes and the athletic department. The entire institution gets swept up in the frenzy of the event. Call it institutional pride on steroids.
Our story is centered on production of the Bowl Media Guide, the high-profile piece used to tell the university’s story to members of the media covering the event. The Bowl Guide includes information about the school, its mascot, location, student body, coaches, team members, distinguished former players, previous bowl history, and on and on. Anything you ever wanted to know about the school is in the Bowl Guide.
It also describes the practice schedules and media events, and outlines guidelines governing media access to team members and coaches. It even includes a pronunciation guide to help announcers with challenging names. It lists every official team event during the hoopla leading up to the game. Arguably, this will be the most important piece printed by the university’s in-plant. If you think schools are hard on losing coaches, you don’t want to see what would happen to the in-plant manager who fails to deliver a media bowl guide.
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.