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Flood Opens Door to Redesign for Queens College Shop

Recovering from a devastating flood, the in-plant at Queens College decided to completely overhaul its facility. As a result, efficiency, productivity and customer service have all improved.

July 2012 By Bob Neubauer
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It's a five-letter word that strikes terror into the heart of every in-plant manager: flood.

That's what Michael White faced on a December morning in 2009 when he walked into his basement in-plant at Queens College, in New York City, to find that a pipe malfunction had filled his shop with two inches of water overnight.

"It was like doomsday. It was pretty bad," recalls White, print shop coordinator. The shop's Ricoh and Océ printers were destroyed and much of its paper was ruined. The equipment loss wasn't all that worried him, though.

"It looked like we could be shut down as a department because of it," he says.

It was a week before finals, and the four-employee in-plant had a mountain of printing to do. So, putting their worries aside, White and his crew got to work, using the only printer that hadn't gone down, a Xerox DocuTech 135.

"We were at least able to run exams for finals week," he says.

That perseverance in the face of disaster may have saved the in-plant.

"They had proven, from an operational perspective, the need for the shop," remarks Jeff Barnes, deputy chief information officer, Office of Converging Technologies. The in-plant had gotten the critical work completed on time, despite a major handicap, clearly demonstrating the shop's value to Queens College.

Despite high-level discussions about whether to close down the in-plant and outsource printing, Barnes was able to convince administration that it was more cost effective to replace the equipment and rebuild the shop than it would be to outsource.

"And it was because I really believe in these guys," Barnes says.

Retooling for Success

The in-plant took bids, and in March of 2010 installed an arsenal of new equipment:

• Two Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C6501 color printers, one with inline booklet making, one with perfect binding.

• Two Konica Minolta bizhub PRO 1200 black-and-white printers, one with inline booklet making, one with perfect binding.

• One Xerox 8254E wide-format printer.

• One Duplo DB280 perfect binder.



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