Franklin University Brings Printing In-house
Recognizing an opportunity to save money and get faster service, Franklin University has started up a brand new in-plant.March 2013 By Bob Neubauer
When Robert Donahue started as director of purchasing at Franklin University, one of his goals was to revamp the mailing services operation and cut costs. His success there got him thinking about other ways to save money for the 111-year-old private university, based in Columbus, Ohio. In particular, he wondered how much the university was spending to outsource printing and whether the school could save money by getting equipment and printing that work in-house.
While researching this, he contacted consultant Jerry Sampson, then with xpedx, who did a feasibility study on the types of printing being outsourced, the volumes and the cost. The study showed that starting an in-plant and moving some printing in-house "had the potential for about 30 percent savings," Donahue says. In just the first year, that would yield approximately $90,000 in reduced spending—a figure he simply could not ignore.
So Donahue wrote a business plan, presented it to Franklin's president and board of trustees, and last February received approval to begin building a new in-plant. Over the past year, Franklin University's printing operation has progressed from an idea to a reality. So far Donahue has added:
- A Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000 color printer
- A Konica Minolta bizhub Pro 1200 black-and-white printer
- A PSI LM 3655 envelope printer
- An HP Designjet T790 wide-format printer
- A Duplo DC-645 slitter/cutter/creaser
- An MBM Triumph cutter
The in-plant, called Franklin University Print Services, now has three employees, including Donahue, and produces work ranging from business cards, post cards and envelopes to brochures, posters and marketing pieces. Donahue is in the process of implementing Print Shop Pro job ordering software from EDU Business Solutions, and he is looking into PTI FusionPro variable data software to expand the shop's services even further.
Lower Costs, Faster Turnaround
Departments are slowly catching on to the cost savings they can realize by using the in-plant. Donahue has been busy marketing the operation by attending departmental meetings, making personal visits and inviting people to see the shop. He plans to hold an open house in the spring. So far, departments like human resources, marketing, student services, faculty services, alumni, the registrar and financial aid are all using the in-plant. One of the benefits they all appreciate is the faster turnaround time.