A Healthier Way to Print
By restructuring its processes, adding print management software and reducing unnecessary printing, Blanchard Valley Health System has cut print costs by 30 percent while increasing the efficiency of its in-plant.July 2014 By Bob Neubauer
For many years at Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS), associates had free reign to print as many brochures, booklets, flyers and forms as they saw fit, with very little monitoring of costs. When materials became outdated, thousands of copies were discarded and more were ordered.
"Sometimes people got very free with ordering things," remarks Amy Leach, director of Corporate PR and Marketing.
The task of printing this heavy volume of work fell on Brian Rader, BVHS Print Shop coordinator. Jobs came in as email attachments, and he got to them when he could using aging offset equipment.
"We were producing more than 4.5 million pieces per year," reports Leach. "That was just way too much for one full-time employee to handle. It definitely had to be streamlined."
Today, after two years of effort, that streamlining has totally transformed the printing process at the Findlay, Ohio-based non-profit health system. Unnecessary printing has plunged, slashing print costs by a staggering 30 percent—enough to pay the salaries of three full-time BVHS employees. Job submission is now organized and efficient, with clear communication of job requirements and delivery dates, and strict adherence to brand standards. In addition, an array of state-of-the-art digital printing equipment has boosted the print shop's productivity.
"It's 100 percent better now," reports Rader.
Getting to this point has not been easy. It required not only the implementation of new software and systems, but mass retraining of BVHS employees to get them to think differently about printing.
Employing more than 2,000 associates, Blanchard Valley Health System serves an eight-county area in northwest Ohio. It includes two hospitals (Blanchard Valley and Bluffton), two long-term care facilities, medical equipment stores and many other entities.
Until 2012, the BVHS print shop was part of the maintenance department, where it didn't get much attention.
"The print shop really wasn't advancing like it needed to," Rader admits.
Less than a year into her job, Leach was asked to take on responsibility for the in-plant.
"The print shop works every single day with PR and Marketing," she notes. "It was only logical that the print shop would align with PR and Marketing."