Web-to-print Moves In-plant to Head of Class

Standing: Steve Davis, director of Budget and Business Operations, and Jason Gillam, assistant director of Business Operations. Seated: Paul Ackerman, Printing Services coordinator.

The staff of Blue Valley School District Printing Services stands in front of their Xerox iGen3 digital press. Front row, from left: Len Peeples, press operator; Rhonda Moore, digital production specialist; Linda Coffman, administrative assistant; Beth Cupp, production specialist; and Joel Fritz, production specialist. Back row, from left: Billy Ning, senior production specialist; Jim Joy, mail clerk; Steve Davis, director of budget and business operations; Jason Gillam, assistant director of business operations; and Paul Ackerman, Printing Services coordinator.

Rhonda Moore, digital production specialist, runs a job on one of the in-plant’s two Xerox Nuvera 144s.

Press operator Len Peeples runs one of the two Ryobi two-color presses.

Running the Duplo System 5000 collator/bookletmaker is Beth Cupp, production specialist.

Billy Ning (left) and Joel Fritz go over the proof of an annual report prior to printing it.

Pivotal investments in Web-to-print software and digital color are making life easier for teachers at Blue Valley School District, and creating opportunities for the district's in-plant to add volume and expand services.

When the mornings turn cool and the once-joyous smiles upon the faces of America’s youth turn to frowns and scowls, there is one inescapable conclusion to be reached: school is back in session.

Yet, for the nation’s hundreds of in-plant printers serving the educational sector, there is no summer respite to enjoy. June through August is often a heavy period of work, wrapping up the previously completed school year and preparing the multitude of jobs in anticipation of the next educational campaign.

Don’t tell the Blue Valley School District of Overland Park, Kan., that the digital age is cutting into the need for hard copy documents. Its Printing Services operation has been humming away all summer, delivering on as many as 40,000 job orders to satisfy about 3,100 teachers at 35 schools. This district in the state’s second-largest city (trailing only Wichita) serves more than 21,000 students.

Though “flat” may be one of the first words that come to mind when people think of Kansas (not true; it doesn’t even rank among the 10 flattest in the United States), order volume has been anything but for Printing Services in recent years. It has billowed from 51,000 jobs in 2009-2010 to more than 92,000 for the 2011-2012 school year.

Truth be known, Printing Services only has itself to blame for the uptick in orders. The addition of a Xerox iGen3 digital press and a critical suite of software from Rochester Software Associates—including the WebCRD Web-to-print ordering tool and QDirect.SCAN scan-to-print software—have opened the floodgates with more efficient tools for its staff clientele to get the ball rolling on required classroom materials.

Still, you won’t hear Jason Gillam, assistant director of business operations for Blue Valley, or Printing Services Coordinator Paul Ackerman complaining. While the in-plant averaged 640 orders a day in the first week of classes for the 2012-2013 term (with a ­one-day record of 798 orders), the eight-­employee shop has witnessed the elimination of peaks and valleys in its own homework assignments.

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Comments
  • Ruben

    Great article. The yare fotunate to have all these emaployees to run their Print Operation. In San Diego , Ca we are so spread thin that I do all 3 of their jobs! We have 18,500 students 2800 staff and 28 schools. We do all the same stuff they do- Scan to print from school sites, Student Planners, Web submissions and yearbooks!

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