A Scottish Success Story
A fixture at the ACUP conference for a dozen years now, Andrew Scott faces the same challenges in his native Scotland as managers confront here in the U.S.April 2010 By Bob Neubauer
ANY IN-PLANT manager who has attended the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) conference in the past 12 years, has certainly heard the Scottish brogue of Andrew Scott ringing through the air. The head of Print Design Services at Glasgow Caledonian University, in Glasgow, Scotland, Scott eagerly crosses the Atlantic each year for ACUP because he values the opportunity to share best practices and problem solve with fellow managers.
"I've picked up a lot of useful information on customer service from U.S. colleagues," says Scott, from his office in Scotland's largest city. "Some of the technology that's in use in the States is quite innovative, so I bring back good ideas about how to...organize processes more effectively."
His involvement in UK print groups has been even stronger. He organized the Scottish University Print Managers Group in 1998, later merging it with the UK-wide University Print Managers Group (UPMG). He has served on the UPMG executive board for 12 years.
"This has given me a wide view of what's happening in the higher-ed sector across the UK," he notes. "This wider knowledge was a contributory factor in helping me through my business review in 2007."
That was a scary time for Scott and his 16-employee in-plant. His executive board, confident the school could save money by outsourcing, grilled him mercilessly, ignoring the benchmarking data he had collected. Using the knowledge he had accumulated from his years of attending conferences, Scott answered every challenge his inquisitors threw at him, changed their view of trends in higher-ed and got them to approve his 10-year investment plan.
A Fish Story
Born in the town of Dunfermline, in the East of Scotland (also the birthplace of industrialist Andrew Carnegie), Scott had no particular interest in printing as a teenager.
"When asked how I got into printing, I tell people it was because I went fishing," he quips, explaining that when he was 17, he and some friends took off on a fishing trip for a couple of weeks—a leisure excursion that didn't sit well with his folks.
"My parents turned up with a copy of the local newspaper with a job ad for a printer's assistant. That was in 1971, and I'm still in print. If I was a criminal I'd be freed by now," he cracks, showing a hint of his trademark dry humor.