Survey Helps In-plant Justify Digital Press

Standing with the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s new Presstek 34DI direct imaging offset press are (from the left) Sandy Goynes, Ken Butler and Kevin Gamble.

Lori Fuller, manager of the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Printing Services department.

After detailed customer surveying, University of Nebraska Medical Center Printing Services discovered it needed a digital press. It added one, and now business is booming.

The in-plant had also investigated the Xerox iGen3 and an HP Indigo digital press, but found the quality level and price of the Presstek 34DI to be better.

“The registration is dead on, on the DI press,” Fuller says. This is important for the brochures, newsletters, invitations and other products the shop produces on the press.

Three employees were trained to run the press, including Kevin Gamble from the Copy Center Operation, who had no previous offset experience. Despite that, he says the transition was easy. He notes that running the DI is similar in some ways to running the shop’s Xerox 8000. He says that some jobs previously run on the 8000, like postcards and certain newsletters, have been switched to the 34DI.

Fuller says the 8000 is great for runs up to about 1,000, but above that it becomes costly. The 34DI fits nicely here, cost-effectively producing runs between 1,000 and 10,000.

“There’s a definite niche that we needed to fill,” she says.

Along with the DI press, Printing Services has added a new 44˝ Epson Stylus Pro 9880 proofer. The shop also has two 42˝ HP Designjet 5500 wide-format thermal ink-jet printers, which it uses to satisfy a big demand for posters from the student population. The shop does its own mounting and laminating.

Surveys Allow Other Improvements

Using the CustomerAlert surveying module has helped the in-plant improve its services in other ways too. Fuller learned that a lot of promotional pieces were being sent to outside printers. The shop has worked to bring those back in-house.

She also learned, through the surveys, that customers wanted an invoice with the finished job rather than at the end of the month.

“We didn’t realize that a lot of them wanted that,” she says. The shop now does it this way.

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.

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