Growing Every YearDecember 1998
San Antonio, Texas
With a customer base of more than 3.5 million people—a figure that grows every year at a rate of 6 to 8 percent—the USAA in-plant in San Antonio, Texas, is kept busy on a daily basis.
This insurance and financial services company's in-plant department was founded about 40 years ago to primarily print business forms and declaration pages for automobile policies. Today, the operation boasts a 40,000-square-foot facility and averages 36,000 jobs per year—a figure that is expected to grow annually, according to Jack Mondin, executive director of publishing output services.
Despite this anticipated growth, Mondin put some pressure on himself and his staff back in 1992 by putting a cap on the number of employees in the shop through the year 2000. This was done to help keep costs down, leverage technology and keep work from being outsourced.
"If I wasn't doing proactive things, I wouldn't be challenged to outsource," explains Mondin about his decision to put the cap in place.
Since that time commercial printing companies have come in and tried to take some of the work away from the in-plant, but fortunately for USAA employees, management has protected the shop from outsourcing.
"Let us do what we do best" is Mondin's message to management when it comes to the outsourcing issue.
Mondin says that having a good working environment is the secret to managing such a large in-plant and its many employees. USAA currently employs 128 full-timers and 10 part-time in-plant employees.
The operation is now in the process of installing a new eight-color press and mulling over the idea of adding a 29˝ eight-color press next year. Other new additions to the shop will include upgrades to the web and bindery equipment, probably in 2000.
This new equipment will no doubt help with the large number of jobs that come through the in-plant each year. Most notable of these jobs is a quarterly newsletter which has a volume of 1.2 million pieces.
USAA also prints training materials, which are 98 percent black and white, and marketing and advertising materials for the various USAA subsidiaries.
Also on the list of duties for Mondin is overseeing USAA's 150-person in-house mail center and electronic print center. The mail center currently sees 135 million pieces of outbound and 51 million pieces of inbound mail per year.
The electronic print center is a sizable operation as well, producing over 596 million images per year.
—by Chris Bauer
• Six-color 29˝ Heidelberg 74SP+L perfector