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Making 2012 a Successful Year for Your In-plant

In today’s competitive print environment, the passive in-plant will find itself out of work. In-plants that want to stay relevant (and in business) must commit to making 2012 the year of the assertive, intelligent in-plant.

December 2011 By Forrest Leighton
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THE IN-PLANT industry, like many other industries, has been knocked off balance by the economic turmoil of the past several years. As companies have been forced to cut costs, print has been identified as an area of potential cost savings. Gone are the days of 500-page, end-of-year reports and formal printed presentations. These major drivers of print volume have been replaced by documents housed on SharePoint sites and PowerPoint decks to be presented digitally. And now that companies have made this behavioral change, they are unlikely to change back.

In 2012, even the remaining in-plant facilities that have survived the turmoil will not be out of danger. They need to continue to evolve towards a new business model that justifies their existence in a world of "electronic ink" and e-mail marketing.

The Assertive In-plant

There was a time when a full schedule of print jobs fell into the laps of in-plant operations. All that was required of the production staff was to sit back, wait passively for jobs to come in and then complete those jobs. However, in today's more competitive printing environment, the passive in-plant facility will likely find itself out of work. In-plants that want to stay relevant (and in business) must commit to making 2012 the year of the assertive, intelligent –in-plant.

To help build capabilities and drive new revenues, the transition to an assertive in-plant facility can happen in three phases.

Phase I: Market internally

In-plants must promote themselves within their organizations. For example, they need to get closer to the departments that require large print jobs to assure them that the in-plant is capable of meeting their needs, to gain first right of refusal before any job is outsourced. They must also proactively share examples of recent work to showcase capabilities to internal decision-makers and show the relative low cost compared to third-party printers.

They can also effectively market themselves by becoming integrated internally at every level. They should adopt the direction of the organizations they serve and mirror their goals. These goals will likely include:

  • A constant drive to improve processes to lower costs.
  • A strong green initiative that reduces the environmental footprint.
  • Expanded services to make the corporation more relevant to more customers.

All of these goals should be directly applied to the in-plant facility as well.

About the Author
Forrest Leighton is the director of Product and Field Marketing, Production Systems, for Canon U.S.A., Inc. In his current role, Leighton is tasked with creating and executing marketing plans addressing the immediate and long-term strategic goals of the company's imagePRESS digital press and solutions portfolio, including all aspects of new technology launches from product life cycle management to developing new channels of distribution. Leighton graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 1998 with a B.S in Marketing before beginning his career as industrial sector market research analyst. Leighton joined Canon U.S.A. in 2001 as a product marketing specialist and has seen his responsibilities increase to include oversight of all areas of marketing for the Production Printing Division of Canon. Contact him at

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