ASU Enjoys the MIS Advantage

Staff and student employees of Arizona State University’s Print & Imaging Lab, the first in-plant to use Avanti Systems’ new cloud-based Slingshot MIS solution.
Since implementing a print management system, Arizona State University's Print and Imaging Lab is enjoying lower costs, additional business and much more efficient use of its time.

Easy-to-learn System

At ASU’s in-plant—which functions mostly as a learning environment for ASU students, who make up 23 of the shop’s 25 paid employees—having an MIS that was easy to learn and use was crucial. Slingshot filled that need. It has an intuitive graphical user interface, with built-in intelligence to guide users through the workflow.

“We trained everyone here in about five minutes,” she says.

Avanti invested heavily to reduce the level of effort and amount of time required to get the system up and running. Slingshot was built to support multiple lines of business including offset, digital, wide-format, fulfillment, mailing and marketing services, most of which ASU’s Print & Imaging Lab provides. Inside its 6,500-square-foot facility the in-plant operates a seven-color HP Indigo 5500 digital color press, a two-color Heidelberg QuickMaster 42, a Halm envelope press, a PSI digital envelope printer and HP Designjet wide-format printers, including a new HP Latex 260. Thanks to Slingshot, Skoglund can quickly see which equipment is available for more work.

“We can drive more print volume without adding more staff,” she notes. “It definitely drives down the cost of doing business.”

It can also help bring in new business, she points out. She can generate a report showing how much each customer is spending and on which products. So if she sees that one department is not doing any wide-format printing, she can market this to them.

“The reporting is awesome,” she says. “That’s something I’ve never had before.”

Capturing Costs

Slingshot captures all of the Print & Imaging Lab’s costs, keeping Skoglund aware of the margins so she can price jobs better. She can use this to create reports that show the in-plant’s savings compared to outside printers with similar equipment.

Related story: Avanti Slingshot at PRINT 13

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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